A documentary purportedly on how electronic devices have driven us all to distraction, "Dsknectd" is itself a sensory assault. A one-stop shop for technology-borne maladies such as multitasking, virtual gaming, sexting, catfishing and Internet commentating, it is a series of free-associating non sequiturs underscored by nonillustrative graphics and an intrusive soundtrack.
"Dsknectd" crosscuts interviews, reenactments and its own unscientific quasi-research — such as soliciting responses with a fake personal ad and subjecting a random woman to 24 hours without cellphone and Internet. The film cites press releases alongside academic studies, while giving equal weight to authoritative experts, men and women on the street and actors reading testimonials as in TV infomercials, only without proper disclaimers.
The film gets into ethically murky territory when it references the real-life case of two South Korean parents so immersed in Internet gaming that their 3-month-old died of malnutrition. Novice filmmaker Dominic H. White scripted the commentary of parent Kim Yun-jeong — which actress Kelly Tran performed in stereotypically broken English — and masqueraded it as an interview.
When its dramatizations become too pervasive for viewers to discern, the film voids the unwritten contract between documentarian and audience.
MPAA rating: None
Running time: 2 hour, 4 minutes.
Playing: At ArcLight, Hollywood.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times