I once read a treatment for a music video proposed by some experimental filmmakers. Their work seemed to defy words, so in the description, they simply wrote: "Never boring! Always interesting!" This is how I might partially sum up Robert Mockler's directorial debut Like Me, a vomit of color, sound, strobes and milk -- milk? Yes, milk -- centered on a young woman, Kiya (Addison Timlin), who becomes addicted to the thrill of recording people humiliating themselves and then uploading the videos to her website.
Mockler seems to be striving for profound revelations about human connection (or lack thereof) in the digital age, but in a fiction that kind of meaning best comes from character rather than circumstance. (See: Ingrid Goes West). Still, Addison Timlin so fully embodies the role of the sociopathic Kiya that this often-gruesome buffet of wild imagery bathed in hot pink impresses even with a thin, nearly nonexistent story. And Mockler's and Jessalyn Abbott's artfully chaotic editing style, full of ultra-slow dissolves, double exposures and scrubbed footage playing forward and backward in time like the image is possessed, elevates Like Me to video art. If it succeeds in revealing anything about modern life, it's that the ubiquitous dudes of the internet who message women death threats more often than they brush their teeth are cowards who will forever demand more and worse -- and then move the goalposts again and again to keep women barred from their fabricated worlds.