After watching Gone Girl, I started thinking about David Fincher’s oeuvre and somehow I skipped over The Social Network. It’s not that it’s a bad film, quite the opposite, it’s that it seems to be the least likely film that Fincher would make. Some may say that distinction belongs to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but that film does deal with the themes of life and death.
Ever since Fincher made the switch from film to digital with Zodiac his films have become even more visually striking, and to a certain extent more Kubrickian. That’s my opinion anyway. Everything seems to “pop” in a way that is almost hyper-real, yet it never takes away from the film.
Some people descibe the begining of a project as “Starting with a blank canvas,” but with The Social Network it seems that Fincher started with a black canvas and shined a light on the parts he wanted to expose. The same could be said of Benjamin Button. It’s not that The Social Network is a dark film, it’s just that a lot of scenes were shot at night or in very dark rooms.
At least that’s my memory of The Social Network; I’ve only seen it once, then once again with commentary. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, quite the contrary, it’s that once I saw it, I got it. I am sure that I will watch it again someday.
Side note: Have you ever listened any of David Fincher’s commentary tracks? As soon as the studio logo(s) appear he starts talking and doesn’t stop until the end credits begin. Also, there is no introduction nor goodbye. It’s kind of a work of art in its own right.
A lot has been made of the script for The Social Network, which apparently took a lot of liberties with the truth. Does it really matter? Up to a point, I guess. The same could be said about Argo. I don’t want to say, “Who cares?” because this is a story about people who actually existed and are still living. Then again, if you go around spreading falseshoods they eventually become history. For an example of this, go see Interstellar.
The script for The Social Network was written by Aaron Sorkin, and to say his style of writing is an aquired taste is a bit of a understatement. When it works, as in The Social Network, it is something to behold. His most recent TV series, The Newsroom, is something people love to hate. I haven’t seen it, but I watch the What the Flick?! recaps on Youtube because they are hysterical. I almost want to watch The Newsroom to see for myself what could inspire such vitriol.
Much like Mark Zuckerberg, many have a devisive opinion of Aaron Sorkin, and that sort of thing demands my attention. At the very least, the minimal amount of my attention.