Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kids Today: The Social Network


Two artistic styles that, separate from one another, I've found obnoxious in the past - David Fincher, who found profundity in the grotesque and banal before becoming an Oscar-baiting softy and Aaron Sorkin, best known as a smartass writer of trite melodramas on the big and small screen - form an effective synthesis in The Social Network, aka "The Facebook Movie" (even though "The Mark Zuckerberg Movie" is more accurate and less reductive, but anyway). It's not that their temperaments compliment each other so much as they cancel each other out - Fincher's ice cold detachment effectively counterbalances Sorkin's hacky, show off writing style, while Sorkin supplies Fincher's stoic seriousness with a sense of life and energy. In tandem they've created perhaps the best "Give me an Oscar!" movie in a while, though that's admittedly a bit of faint praise.

One thing that I think is important before continuing: The Social Network is not, ostensibly, a movie about "the Facebook" - that would be boring. I feared that it would be based on the trailer released earlier in the year, but it's a movie about the people who made Facebook. There is a distinction, and a fairly large one at that. Though it's an ingrained part of the world today - honestly, it's hard to imagine going to a party without being tagged in a photo album the next day, and it's hard to meet someone without asking them if they have a Facebook - analyzing Facebook as social phenomenon when it's been around less than a decade would be pretty much a futile effort, and thankfully Sorkin and Fincher avoid that line of thought, for the most part. Though the movie can't resist making a few sweeping generalizations about connection in the digital age, mercifully these examinations comes in the context of Zuckerberg as a human being as opposed to a sociological one. What I find disappointing is that The Social Network is ultimately a combination of two rather cliched stories: triumph of the underdog, of the nerd vs. the jock(s), and a tale of a person who gains everything and loses his soul in the process. And I don't think it brings enough new ideas to these older-than-dirt stories to be a really great movie.

If The Social Network is a great movie - and I don't think it is by any means - it's because of Jesse Eisenberg's performance as Mark Zuckerberg. He so perfectly balances arrogance and insecurity, loneliness and congeniality, bitterness and charisma, that he rises above the rather mediocre material. We're introduced to Zuckerbeg while he's having a typical Sorkin rapid fire conversation with his girlfriend in a bar, and he says something obnoxious about his being allowed into clubs and introducing his girlfriend to "people she wouldn't meet otherwise", which she (understandably) takes a large degree of offense to, and walks out on him, though not before saying to him "When you're alone, it won't be because you're a nerd, it'll be because you're an asshole". I have no issues with taking artistic license, but the real Zuckerbeg has claimed that he had no interest in joining college clubs, and I see no reason to not believe that. Why would he? It's clear he planned to make a ton of money working with computers, so why would he waste time with a bunch of spoiled little shits while they do body shots and play beer pong when he was a blatant careerist, even as an undergrad? But Fincher and Sorkin don't really see it that way, and early on the movie includes a rather hackneyed juxtaposition between Zuckerberg and his group of computer nerd friends working on a website and one of those illicit college parties - you know the kind, with blasting techno music in a darkened hall, where super skinny girls take off all their clothes (in slow motion to boot!), where the cool kids play strip poker while doing ecstasy and - wait for it! - smoke pot, and have sex with each other, and do all those super cool things that I'd imagine Fincher and Sorkin were never invited to do, because this rather unfortunate sequence is played with hostility. Basically, it's a cliched movie party that exhibits how out of touch the two of them are from any kind of modern reality - they're just basically saying "Look at these kids, with their Northfaces and their marijuana and their alcohol and their sexy parties and their internet" - not a particularly unique point to be making, and it honestly makes Sorkin and Fincher look like a pair of cranky fuddy duddys. I think this speaks more to their view of "the cool kids" than to Zuckerberg's, which is fine, but to take such extreme artistic license while projecting your own anti-social anxieties onto another human being is borderline character defamation.

Not to say Zuckerberg isn't worthy of some criticism - he's a ladder climber who stomped on people on his way to the top. He perhaps not un-coincidentally donated $100,000,000 to Newark public schools about a week before the film's release, and I don't think you need to have a PHD to deduce that he was probably trying to pre-emptively repair his image in light of a film that is, really, extremely critical of him - he's called an asshole or something to that effect no less than 20 times during the course of the movie. I don't know how serious a flaw in terms of storytelling that is, but I think this is fairly representative of A) the current hatred of the wealthy elites and B) the resentment of genuine innovators in this country, which admittedly isn't exactly a new development. Zuckerberg created - and he did create it - a tool that fulfilled such a primary function and spoke to such a profound need that it's hard to imagine a world without it. Coming up with something so simple is undoubtedly a form of genius, and if he's as much of a back-stabbing shit as Sorkin and Fincher make him out to be, well, welcome to America. That's how you make billions of dollars. Bill Gates "stole" an idea in the same way Zuckerberg did - and, like Gates, Zuckerberg improved the initial idea, made it simpler, more accessible. You don't become a billionaire by being nice and doing everything by the book. It just doesn't work that way.

What I've frequently found most bothersome about David Fincher's sensibility is his detached point of view, but that detachment helps diffuse some of the idiocies of Sorkin's script. Sorkin's script is just so conventional, and even the interwoven structure - which has invited comparisons to Citizen Kane - feels like it's there strictly to impress. The dialogue is the driving force of The Social Network, and I think it speaks to Sorkin's lack of ability that many of the film's best moments are wordless ones. An event so frequently cited as proof positive of Zuckerbeg's dickishness and cockery, the now famous "I'm CEO, bitch" incident, is played as such an expression of youthful arrogance that it's heartbreaking, with Zuckerberg looking over the cards with the aforementioned expression on it alone in the office of Facebook and wondering what the hell he was thinking - and Eisenberg absolutely nails this poignant moment. Fincher works Sorkin's script, somehow, as it's easy to imagine another director either playing the film as either too much of a celebration or condemnation of Zuckerberg, but Fincher's detachment gives way to a sense of objectivity. Though Sorkin does not deny Zuckerberg's humanity, I still feel like he's a little too harsh on him; yes, he's a bit of a jerk, but he was also a sophomore in college when he suddenly found himself in charge of a multi-million dollar - and, soon enough, multi-billion dollar - corporation. We can cut the guy a little slack I think, as I'm sure there are lots of people who, if they had their every move from their early 20s enshrined in the popular lexicon, wouldn't come out smelling like roses either.

The backbone of The Social Network is a great and truly amazing story, a real life account so littered with drama that it was almost tailor made for a movie. However, Fincher's directorial disconnect helps keep the film from becoming a soap opera, and it is this very disconnect that creates a feeling of isolation, which in turn helps align our sympathies with the lonely Zuckerberg. Though I feel Sorkin and Fincher are too hard on Zuckerberg throughout the picture, ultimately they understand that his know it all exterior is a facade concealing a much more complex person. "You're not an asshole, Mark, you're just trying so hard to be" , a lawyer tells him, echoing his ex-girlfriend's harsh words to him in the beginning of the picture, and though this line is more than a tad sappy - I was so embarrassed upon hearing it that I looked around for a place to hide - it still works, and it's still necessary to the duo's portrait of Zuckerberg. Most affecting is the film's final moment, (again, wordless) which shows Zuckerberg looking over his ex-girlfriend's Facebook profile and adding her as a friend, and hitting refresh on an endless loop. The implications of a man who brought so many people together being unable to forge a human connection himself elevates this insider account of the creation of a social networking site to a more general statement on the nature of loneliness, and is all the richer for it.


33 comments:

Carson said...

Ryan, this is one of the best reviews of the film I've read yet. Thankfully, you don't get caught up in hyperbole due to all of the attention surrounding it. I agree with you that it's a good film, but nothing remarkable or groundbreaking. It has several strong points, most of which you cite here - Eisenberg's stunning performance, Fincher's flawless mood-building, a witty one-liner here and there - but it ultimately feels too familiar to be anything truly special. I'm still working on my review, but one notion I raise is that I find Fincher's "wilder" films to be more interesting, those that aren't as polished or flawless. To me, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, while often times riddled with flaws, is a much more resonant, complex work.

Lianna Albrizio said...

"A cliched movie party that exhibits how out of touch the two of them are from any kind of modern reality."

Thank you. That's precisely what I envisioned and wanted to hear. Glad I did't make the redundant trip to see it.

If you gained anything from seeing this, it was another brilliant review. I enjoyed it very much!

Ryan Kelly said...

Thanks, Carson. I would love to hear a more ardent defender tell me why I'm wrong and why it really is great as that seems to be the consensus, insofar as a consensus actually exists. It's certainly slick and extremely entertaining, but I just don't think that there's very much to it. I don't think it's bad - I think it's quite good, if seriously flawed, but then I am just not very big on the primary creative forces behind the movie. I can respect Benjamin Button to an extent, though I think the Katrina framing device is too serious a flaw to be ignored - it takes up such a large portion of the movie, and for me is pretty much indefensibly bad. So I'll admit to enjoying this far more than I did Benjamin Button, which I found an oddly lifeless film, on the whole - this at least has energy and a sense of humor, if little else.

Ryan Kelly said...

Thanks Lianna. Though I do think the movie is pretty good, and certainly succeeds at being entertaining, and without relying on visual noise, and there is something to be said for that. Though I do think it's ultimately insubstantial, even though I found it affecting.

Adam Zanzie said...

If I loved the movie more than you did it's probably because I read Ben Mezrich's book first. The book isn't really a demonstration of exceptional literary prose, but Mezrich told the story (or, at least, his dubious version of it) well, and I was pleased to see that Fincher and Sorkin improve on it. Sorkin takes a lot of Mezrich's stream-of-consciousness lines and puts it into the talking mouths of the characters (like the "You're actions could destroy everything I've been working on" line--Mezrich's original line was something like "Eduardo's actions could permanently destroy everything Mark had been working on."). Some people find this annoying and typical of Sorkin, but I responded well to it. Why does everybody hate Aaron Sorkin, anyway? True, he's not the most subtle of playwrights/screenwriters. But I still hold out for A Few Good Men as one of the most absorbing scripts of the last two decades. I don't know if his Social Network script is quite as great, but we'll just have to see how it ages, you know...

What really sells the movie, for me, is Fincher's direction. I came away a believer. It was a relief because Fincher has always been an acquired taste for me. Like you, I'm not a Fight Club fan and thought even less of Benjamin Button--but I admire Seven, and I absolutely love Zodiac; so before today, I figured: hey, two out of four ain't bad (though I haven't seen The Game or Panic Room yet and only saw the ending of the unremarkable Alien 3). But unlike Eric Roth, Sorkin is a writer who I think can actually keep up with Fincher's amazingly fast-paced sensibilities. That's one thing I love about Fincher's style in his last two movies: his incredibly fast pace. He makes the audience work, but it's so much fun chasing after him while he's leading the way. I can imagine others in the audience feeling flabergasted, but I was eating up every moment of the challenge. I'm finally convinced that Fincher belongs up there with PTA and QT as one of the most exciting "younger" filmmakers. His idea to play "Baby, You're A Rich Man" over the ending credits was nothing short of a masterstroke as well. And just in time for John Lennon's 70th birthday!

Adam Zanzie said...

I think where we differ, primarily, is over our interpretations of how Fincher and Sorkin portray Zuckerberg in the film. Yes, there are plenty of moments in the film where we see Zuckerberg's darker side, but I think all this talk about how the movie makes us "come away thinking the founder of Facebook is a total asshole" is rather silly. Ebert's review compares Zuckerberg to the late Bobby Fischer, a comparison that I don't think really works. Zuckerberg, to me, commits only two downright mean offenses in the film: his Internet slandering against the Erika girl, and his cutting Eduardo out of the business. But the rest of his questionable tactics can be debated over; I can't much sympathize with the Winklevoss twins because they DID end up getting $65 million in the end, and I have little sympathy at all for Sean Parker--who, if you ask me, had no business having all that power in the company in the first place. But the broken friendship between Mark and Eduardo is where the film's soul lies, I thought. And I felt the same way you did when the lawyer tells Zuckberg he's simply "trying too hard" to be a jerk. :)

The fact is, I'm sure all males have felt like Zuckerberg at one point or another: proud of their accomplishments but also sexually frustrated, sometimes making bad decisions but eventually finding ways to correct them--or, if not, then atoning for them by doing other things. Zuckerberg has reinstalled Saverin's name in the company's founding, for example. Even though he's not the most promising public figure and we all enjoy hating him for making billions, I'm nevertheless impressed with Zuckerberg's overall accomplishment. I mean, all of our lives have been bettered and made easier because of Facebook. I won't deny it.

What a great cast, too. Jesse Eisenberg has come a long way from The Squid and the Whale for sure. Justin Timberlake for once actually gave a decent performance in his acting career. I also enjoyed the heck out of Aaron Sorkin's own cameo as the marketing guy who is insulted by Zuckerberg's falling asleep during Eduardo's sales pitch. Andrew Garfield is quite good, too--I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't immediately recognize him as that kid from Gilliam's Imaginerium of Dr. Parnassus. I knew I had seen his face somewhere. I'm not sure how I feel about him being the next Spider-Man, but he does have MacGuire's charisma, I'll say that.

Also, did you recognize Joseph Mazzello as Zuckerberg's daffy roomate? This is one of the few movies I've seen where he hasn't played a little kid who's either running from dinosaurs or getting stuck in the middle of a raging river. Cute.

Chris said...

Ryan - it's great to read a measured, critical review with all the cries of "masterpiece" everywhere. I've read Mezrich's book and am optimistic of the film (I plan on seeing it tomorrow), but it's always good to put your expectations in place, and reading this was an excellent way to do that. I'm not the biggest fan of Sorkin's work, but do love Fincher precisely for his cold detached style, so we'll have to see how it plays.

Tony Dayoub said...

I think you get some of it right in this review Ryan, but I think you missed the key point which makes THE SOCIAL NETWORK such a good film (no hyperbole from me, if it's one of this year's best films it is simply because this year has not been a great one for cinema).

While I have a general distaste for Sorkin's writing, and I agree he looks down on Zuckerberg throughout, THE SOCIAL NETWORK derives its dynamic tension by filtering Sorkin's disapproval of the guy through the "distancing" style of Fincher. See, Fincher is behind Zuckerberg 100%. He always frames him as the clever one in the room at the depositions. He makes sure to demonstrate that the Winklevii and their ilk are the real dunderheads, underlined both in the Larry Summers scene and the "crew meet" scene where they are dealt an embarassing loss (as if to show these guys are just losers, period).

Fincher even seems to side with Sean Parker over Eduardo Saverin (even if Sorkin does not), displaying an affinity with Parker not unlike the one he showed for Tyler Durden in FIGHT CLUB. Parker is a lovable imp. Whereas Saverin is generally shown to be not up to the task of dealing with this multi-billion dollar idea. Sorkin might sympathize with Saverin (their backgrounds are not too dissimilar I believe), but Fincher aligns himself with the idea that Zuckerberg was simply doing what was best for his company. In many ways, robo-Eisenberg, the unemotional persona the actor imbues Zuckerberg with, is very similar to the way Fincher himself is viewed by the public, a successful director whose projects attract many but is often knocked for failing to make an emotional connection with his audience.

So while you do admit a certain ambivalence to the film (I think I hear that you don't dislike the film either), I think this ambivalence is built-in and justified by some very deliberate actions by Fincher to mitigate Sorkin's judgemental take on Zuckerberg. The fact that both disparate approaches mesh so well to create a film which hits the zeitgeist target so precisely is cause to celebrate the film, not dismiss it (which you're not doing, but many others elsewhere clearly are).

Ryan Kelly said...

Adam, no I didn't read the book, not because I have no interest in it, but Saverin was a 'consultant' for the book, and something told me that it was another in a long line of unflattering portraits of Zuckerberg. Is my hunch right?

And I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate Sorkin... I just don't think he's a very good writer, and he seems to be convinced that he is. Not to say The Social Network is lacking in some witty lines and effective moments, but on the whole the script seems so proud of how clever it is and how sophisticated it is.

And as Tony says, which I'll address further in just a moment, is that Fincher and Sorkin seem to have wildly differing takes on Zuckerberg - Sorkin clearly thinks he's an asshole (and he's said as much in real life), and I don't think Fincher does. It makes for an interesting contradiction, but I still think the fact that Fincher and Sorkin don't really seem to be on the same page is a flaw.

Ryan Kelly said...

Chris, if you like Fincher I think you'll like it. Sorkin's Sorkin-ness is a distraction, but doesn't ruin the fun. Do come back when you see it and chime in with your thoughts.

Ryan Kelly said...

Tony, I agree that Sorkin and Fincher have a different take on Zuckerberg, and that is in and of itself interesting, but I still would have preferred that they be on the same page and create a more unified portrait of Zuckerberg. I'm pretty sure you read his recent defense of the accusations of misogyny leveled at the film (which I don't understand at all - a movie being about someone who is sexist is not the same thing as a movie being sexist, but anyway), where he puts his opinion of Zuckerberg on the record:

"The idea of comparing women to farm animals, and then to each other, based on their looks and then publicly ranking them. It was a revenge stunt, aimed first at the woman who'd most recently broke his heart (who should get some kind of medal for not breaking his head) and then at the entire female population of Harvard."

"More generally, I was writing about a very angry and deeply misogynistic group of people. These aren't the cuddly nerds we made movies about in the 80's. They're very angry that the cheerleader still wants to go out with the quarterback instead of the men (boys) who are running the universe right now."

First of all the use of the word 'nerd' coming from the film's writer is offensive and elitist, and I think it speaks to Sorkin's general contempt for the man. I agree that Fincher's detached objectivity gives way to a sense of sympathy, but I'm not sure how much of that is conveyed by the film's script. Yes, the contradiction in perspective certainly is fascinating, but I don't think that negates the fact that Sorkin's rather harsh take on him ultimately shines through in the finished product. It's such a script-centric film it would have been impossible for it not to without radically changing it.

And I wouldn't goo so far as to say I'm ambivalent towards the movie - I'm ambivalent to it as a bona-fide masterpiece, but that's not quite the same thing.

Tony Dayoub said...

"Tony, I agree that Sorkin and Fincher have a different take on Zuckerberg, and that is in and of itself interesting, but I still would have preferred that they be on the same page and create a more unified portrait of Zuckerberg."

Now, you're just confusing me. Your original premise argued that "...Sorkin and Fincher are too hard on Zuckerberg throughout the picture..." lumping them together every time you mention the disapproval aimed at Zuckerberg's character despite Fincher's detached sensibility mitigating Sorkin's script somewhat. Now you agree they have different takes on the character?

"I agree that Fincher's detached objectivity gives way to a sense of sympathy, but I'm not sure how much of that is conveyed by the film's script."

What happened to the subtext, which Fincher provides so much of in his staging and direction of what could have just been a flat, talky script? I'm very surprised, not just at you but others who insist on reading the film only at the script level, as superficial a level when it comes to cinema as one can ascribe to THE SOCIAL NETWORK's characters and how they choose to live their lives.

If I'm off on detecting how you feel about the film, it's because there are inconsistencies in your argument which are throwing me off. Even after rereading your piece I can't tell whether you like the film and are just criticizing the hyperbole surrounding it or if you dislike the film.

Adam Zanzie said...

Tony, do you really think Fincher sympathizes more with Parker than with Saverin? How!?? Parker throughout the movie is seen as this kind of ultimate slimeball. The moment when he pops open the laptop and sees thefacebook for the first time, you can almost see those $$ signs in Timberlake's eyes. Whereas Saverin's panic in the wake of being cut out of the company is detailed every step of the way--in the scene where he ambushes the Facebook offices and almost socks Parker in the face for trying to hand him the measly $16,000 check, the combination in that scene of the sad music and the guilty look on Zuckerberg's face (realizing that he did betray his best friend) definitely suggests alignment more with Saverin's feelings.

You could, of course, argue that this is all from Sorkin's script and not from Fincher's direction--but if you listen to Fincher's melancholy choice of music on the soundtrack and if you look carefully at his close-ups on Saverin's anguished face in several key scenes, I think it illuminates that Fincher's sympathies are more with Saverin. I just think Fincher AND Sorkin sought to make a film all about a friendship that is snapped in two because, well... it's nothing personal, Sonny, it's strictly business.

Tony Dayoub said...

I didn't say Fincher sympathizes with Parker. I said he sides with him.

You're right in that Fincher is empathetic towards Saverin (whereas Sorkin's script is decidedly more sympathetic with him... a subtle difference). But ultimately, Fincher is saying that a slimeball like Parker benefits Zuckerberg's plans for his future far more than Saverin does. It is no coincidence that Parker has the ability to dream big, an affinity shared by the film's central character, Zuckerberg (and in my theoretical premise, Fincher).

"...it's nothing personal, Sonny, it's strictly business."

You said it. And that is the key sentiment I'm getting at.

Ryan Kelly said...

Tony, your confusion confuses me!

I did claim that the movie is too hard on Zuckerberg, as I think it is, and I think Fincher deserves some of the blame for that even if Sorkin is largely responsible for it. I may be guilty of lumping them together, but I also said "Fincher works Sorkin's script, somehow, as it's easy to imagine another director either playing the film as either too much of a celebration or condemnation of Zuckerberg, but Fincher's detachment gives way to a sense of objectivity."

Yes, judging a film solely on its writing can be reductive, and I wouldn't judge this or any other movie or any other solely on bad writing (and I don't think it's a bad script, just not a great one, and it's very impressed with itself) - some good movies have bad writing and vice versa. But, on the other hand, people so frequently remind you that you can't reduce a film to its script that the writing process invariably gets reduced. And I think it's fair to judge a movie with so much emphasis on the script by the quality of the script - the movie is, I think, more Sorkin's, though Fincher's interests are manifested, naturally.

And yes, I like the movie plenty. I even saw it twice!

Ryan Kelly said...

Oh, and I forgot to add that I love the idea of Parker as the Tyler Durden of this story, and I don't even like Fight Club. Great observation.

Adam Zanzie said...

Joseph Mazzello makes this movie. Apparently, little Tim decided that instead of growing up to be like his hero, Alan Grant, he wanted to become a computer nerd--like Ian Malcolm. So much for that "I read your book" shit.

Adam Zanzie said...

By the way, what did Sorkin say about Zuckerberg and where did he say it? Just curious.

Chris said...

Wow. Having now seen the movie and reading through all of these comments I feel like I have nothing left to say!

I don't know how "important" this film will feel in a few years, but it is certainly a very good film, and I think the big winner here besides the great acting all around is Fincher, who in an improvement over BENJAMIN BUTTON gives you the sense, especially in the first half of the movie, that you're riding along on this tidal wave of momentum with Saverin and Zuckerberg. The creation of Facemash.com, the discovery that they have groupies, everything moves at a pace that picks you up and rushes you along without worrying if you're up on all the rapid-fire language or not. The one scene where this breaks for me is strangely enough the one scene I see referred to again and again in a lot of reviews: the rowing race, scored to Reznor's interpretation of Greig's "Hall of the Mountain King". It's a spectacularly shot sequence, but it completely took me out of the rush of what was occurring on screen. Other than that, though, I think this is one of Fincher's beginning to end films, where every moment catches and moves the story along.

Trying to stay away from everything that's been said or implied in the press, I do think that there's a disparity between the way Sorkin feels about Zuckerberg based on the dialog and the way Fincher films him - you definitely get a sense of tempering, even repelling, Sorkin's disdain for Zuckerberg. The way Fincher frames Mark, always separated from that which he's trying to belong as noted in Tony's review, the quiet moment of the ending, even the look on his face as he hangs up on Parker calling from jail all point to a character whose motivations and actions cannot be distilled down to a simple "he's a nerd who's angry he got dumped" sound byte.

I tend to agree with Adam regarding the film's siding with Saverin over Parker, though: that shot of him practically licking his lips as he views thefacebook for the first time, the obvious (to us) difference in the way her carries himself from the scene in bed at Stamford to his "professional" persona when he meets them for lunch in New York - yes, he does seem to be more in tuned to what it is Facebook needs than Saverin does, but I think Fincher puts him more in the role of the wedge in Zuckerberg's and Saverin's friendship which, when the ending credits rolled, I came away most impressed by: the fact that for all the cries of being "in the moment" and addressing the concerns of today's technology-dependent culture, what Fincher really wanted to film was the one man's attempt to fit in, and how the manner he goes about doing it costs him the one (two if you count Erika in the beginning) relationship that mattered most to him. I think the fact THE SOCIAL NETWORK doesn't try too hard to address the real issues of privacy and security Facebook is currently embroiled in would date and weaken an otherwise very good movie.

Ryan Kelly said...

I still think that difference in perception with respect to Zuckerberg as a flaw, though - I think the film would have enormously benefited from a screenwriter/director tandem that was more on the same page with each other. At least Fincher manages to enrich the script.

The rowing sequence is a indeed a source of controversy... I loved it, personally, and wish the film had done more than that to flesh out the Winklevoss' motivations and who they were as people, because it felt like they were there to be your standard villains in the script, essentially. But the race sequence illuminates a lot about where they're coming from, and most importantly it does so visually. And I loved that Reznor quoted "Hall of the Mountain King" there. But I understand why people don't like it, because it does definitely feel out of place, but I also don't think that's necessarily such a bad thing.

And I agree 100% that it's a good thing that this movie avoided analyzing Facebook as a topical phenomenon - not just because, as you say, it would have dated the movie, but because it would have been futile to try to analyze Facebook's social connotations in a movie when it hasn't been around that long. That would make it a cinematic equivalent of those alarmist news articles that you see published 15 times a week.

Adam Zanzie said...

Yo, I had a question back there! What did Sorkin say about Zuckerberg???

Chris said...

Adam - sorry! I can't remember where I read all the Sorkin stuff from his interviews, but there's a batch of it here that sapeaks a little bit about his narrow view of Mark's motivation: http://bit.ly/9PEaTj

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