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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTonight on TDS, world-famous musician Justin Timberlake talks about starring in Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher's new film, The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook; and on TCR, acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin previews his new film, The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook.

 sausage grinder of snark


Fluff tonight, though it might get into some non-fluff areas (non-fluff: crunchy? crisp? I'll have to think about that).

Justin Timberlake is here, promoting that facebook movie. With 81 reviews, RottenTomatoes has it at 98% Fresh. That's 79 to 2. Maybe I will have to see this movie, after all -- it can't possibly be as aggravating as the Endless Commercial, can it? Not with all that Oscar talk out there. Although I'm having a real hard time paying attention to all those articles about Timberlake's role in it.

Well, here's a bit from Reuters about last weekends premiere:

"This movie is absolutely a true story, but with the catch that people disagree about what the truth was and the movie takes no position on what the truth is. It presents everybody's story," Sorkin, best known for his TV hit "The West Wing," told Reuters.

The movie opens across the United States October 1, telling the rags-to-riches tale of how Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was transformed from an intelligent, socially awkward Harvard University student to the hottest property in Silicon Valley for creating the online community.

It intersperses scenes of depositions taken for lawsuits by Zuckerberg's former best friend and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, as well as by Olympic rowing twin brothers and former Harvard students Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

Both lawsuits resulted in undisclosed large settlements.

Zuckerberg, now 26, is not expected at Friday's premiere. He refused to cooperate with the film and told Oprah Winfrey on her chat show on Friday, "It's a movie, it's fun" but his life was not so dramatic.

And astonishingly enough, Stephen's got Aaron Sorkin, promoting -- surprise! -- that facebook movie. Adding Sorkin to the Google mix got me some articles that did hold my attention (including one apparently rare negative review which isn't among the RottenTomato bushel). This is from NYMag:

Sorkin is fond of saying that when it comes to the drama behind Facebook’s creation, "fundamentally, you could tell the same story about the invention of a really good toaster." That’s one of the few unconvincing arguments he makes for the movie, which has the virtue of not being generic. In fact, it seems like a story Sorkin was born to tell. No American dramatic writer wrestles more consistently, or enthrallingly, with issues involving the remorseless hyperspeed of the communications profession. And Sorkin is one of a small handful whose mere name is enough to evoke an entire conversational style—jabbing, self-aware, propulsive. It’s the sound of characters whose minds and mouths work faster than those of the people around them, guys whose conversational aesthetic is, in Fincher’s phrase, "about the absolute total tonnage of words." Sorkin’s three TV series—the cult favorite Sports Night; The West Wing, which was originally less about the president than about his messaging team; and the failed Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip—have all been about people who spin skeins of sentences for a living, who lead with their brains and joust with their vocabulary...

The result may be what Fincher kiddingly calls "the Citizen Kane  of John Hughes movies"—not to mention a gimlet-eyed study of old-money, we’re-all-gentlemen-here entitlement versus the equally cutthroat stylings of classless (in both senses) New Economy titans. But it’s also something uniquely Sorkinian: an earnest, unsparing feature-length exploration of the question "What exactly does it mean to be an asshole?"

Here's that negative review, from Jeff Jarvis at HuffPo:

The Antisocial Movie

...The movie violates privacy, smears reputations, makes shit up -- just what the internet is accused of doing, right? Oh, it's entertaining, in a dark way, as much as watching the pillorying of witches used to be, I suppose. For The Social Network, geeks and entrepreneurs are as mysterious and frightening as witches. ...Sorkin himself says, "I don't want my fidelity to be to the truth; I want it to be to storytelling." Making shit up...

...New York's Mark Harris knows, in an aside at least, what this movie is really about: "The Social Network  can be seen as a well-aimed spitball thrown at new media by old media." Except it's not really old media that's spitting but neo-new media. Sorkin is a member of the Young Curmudgeons' Guild... Old media resists change. These guys want to deny the internet credit for it...

The Social Network doesn't understand entrepreneurs and geeks, or at least not the one here. So it turns him into an other. It makes him weird...

Zuckerberg understands the structure and motives of friendship even though The Social Network  calls him friendless. In a flash during the deposition scenes that make up its narrative spine...the movie gives us an anecdote -- based on a true story, as it turns out -- about the Harvard art class Zuckerberg didn't attend in his sophomore year as he was inventing Facebook. Here  is Zuckerberg telling the story in 2007: He posted to a web page the images of the art he should have studied, sent an email to his classmates offering a "study guide," and watched as they distilled the essence of each piece. The punchline: Not only did Zuckerberg ace the final but the prof said the class as a whole did better than usual. I saw that as a perfect tale of social collaboration, a lesson in Wikithink. The Social Network called it cheating. And right there lies the movie's disconnect -- not between Zuckerberg and friendship, but between the movie and the new world it can't comprehend but pretends to portray...

The Social Network is the anti-geek movie. It is the story that those who resist the change society is undergoing want to see. It says the internet is not a revolution but only the creation of a few odd machine-men, the boys we didn't like in college. The Social Network is the revenge on the revenge of the nerds...

...You're going to see The Social Network. You should. It's well-crafted. But as you watch, I urge you to look at what it says not just about Mark Zuckerberg but about us, us geeks. I look forward to the discussion.

This one (which is in the RT batch) probably isn't a direct response to that:

...The movie is tough on Zuckerberg, that's true. It's also more nuanced on its subject than you might expect, a fact that Sorkin says has much to do with Zuckerberg's tender age.

"My first thought was that when I was 26 years old, I was a bartender writing 'A Few Good Men' on cocktail napkins. I wasn't running a company the size of General Motors, so you have to really take your hat off to this young man," said Sorkin, in town last week to talk about the movie.

You take your hat off, then carefully read the lawsuits claiming Zuckerberg stole the Facebook idea and backstabbed the friend who bankrolled it and believed in him. Sworn statements taken from the parties involved form much of the movie's content.

"All of these people went into the deposition room and swore an oath and all told different stories. Rather than choose one of the stories, we decided to embrace the idea that there are all these different stories, there is a 'Rashomon' quality to the whole thing.

"The movie doesn't take a position on what the truth is. It shows as much of everybody's version as it can. I think the scales kind of tip toward [Zuckerberg] quite often in the movie," Sorkin said...

...If Zuckerberg is a latter-day Kane, his Rosebud isn't a sled, it's a girl, a coed who dumps him when he clumsily insults her. The breakup sends Zuckerberg home to write an ugly blog post, and to perpetrate an equally ugly cyber stunt that invites Harvard students to rate girls based on their stolen photos.

These scenes not only help define Zuckerberg, they hint at Sorkin's suspicious view of Internet communication in general, an attitude common to his generation (he's 50), and one that infuses "The Social Network."

"Every generation finds something in the generation behind them that is sinister and screwing up the world. And none of us wants to be the grandparent who says, 'You kids with the clothes and the hair and the music.' But I don't think we're wrong to see something sinister here. There's a removal from reality that is something I think

we're right to look askance at," he said...

...And so, in at least one way, he understands Zuckerberg, the uncomfortable misfit who created an arm's-length way to communicate, a contradiction the movie looks upon with more compassion than sarcasm. The movie is fairer than people think, Sorkin said, and more accurate.

"Here's all you need to know about the veracity of the piece. Any nonfiction screenplay about people who are living and who have proved that they are litigious and have the resources to be litigious and smash you to death . . . you can be sure that screenplay was vetted by a team of lawyers to within an inch of its life. There's no way in a million years they would have allowed us to make a movie that said something that was defamatory, that wasn't demonstrably true."

...He's never spoken to Zuckerberg. "I wouldn't begrudge him any reaction. I have to tell you I would absolutely not want a movie made about the things that I did when I was 19 years old. Probably, hardly anybody would."

Originally posted to TiaRachel on Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 07:57 PM PDT.

Poll

So, whaddya think? Should I give in & do Facebook?

25%7 votes
35%10 votes
10%3 votes
28%8 votes

| 28 votes | Vote | Results

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