Mark Zuckerberg

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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It’s that time of the year again: that brief span of time in between Christmas and New Year’s when journalists, critics, and cultural commentators scramble to define an arbitrary block of time even before that block is over with. To speculate on what 2010 will be remembered for is purely that: speculation. But the lists, summaries, and editorials reflecting on the events, accomplishments, failures, and occurrences of 2010 no doubt shape future debate over what January 1-December 31, 2010 will be remembered for personally, nostalgically, and historically. How we refer to the present frames how it is represented in the future, even when contradictions arise over what events should be valued from a given year. In an effort to begin that framing process, what I offer here is not a critical list of great films, but one that points out dominant cultural conversations, shared trends, and intersecting topics (both implicit and explicit) that have occurred either between the films themselves or between films and other notable aspects of American social life in 2010. As this column attempts to establish week in and week out, movies never exist in a vacuum, but instead operate in active conversation with one another. Thus, a movie’s cultural context should never be ignored. So, without further adieu, here is my overview of the Top 10 topics, trends, and events of the year that have nothing to do with the 3D debate.

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Culture Warrior

The Social Network is nothing new, but that’s kind of the point. Its structure creates a story of uniquely American ingenuity, individualism, and capital that we’ve seen often, one that follows beat-for-beat the formula of young, ambitious, humble beginnings to meteoric rise toward contested success to the people that really mattered being inevitably pushed out of the way. It is in The Social Network’s belonging to that subgenre which draws apt comparison to films like Citizen Kane, Sweet Smell of Success, or There Will Be Blood – not qualitative comparisons, mind you (the very title of Citizen Kane has become an inescapable and meaningless form of hyperbole in that regard), but comparable in terms of basic narrative structure and genre play. Such narratives are perhaps more common in films depicting less legitimate business practices – gangster films – which also catalog the rise in stature but fall in character of an outcast who uses the system for their own advantage. From starry-eyed associations with questionable made men (Timberlake’s Sean Parker and the debaucheries of success associated with him) to the inevitable “hit” on one’s kin in the best interest of the business (Zuckerberg and Parker firing Eduardo Saverin), The Social Network is something of a Goodfellas for geeks. Why is it that the first major studio film about the phenomenon of social networking feels like such a familiar movie? Why does it resort to well-honed, expertly crafted but familiar cinematic territory instead of pioneering unexplored terrain analogous to the phenomenon […]

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Be it good or bad, The Social Network has certainly caused some extreme reactions. It was met with almost universal skepticism when it was first announced and has now seen nearly universal praise leading up to its release in theaters. Initially referred to as “the Facebook movie” in a way clearly meant to belittle it, audiences at early screenings across the country have discovered that description simply isn’t accurate. Is the movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the inception of Facebook? Of course it is.  But to say that this is a detriment to the film’s potential is just plain wrong. The Social Network follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a young computer genius attending Harvard University. After breaking up with his girlfriend and some drunken blogging, Mark decides to create a site to rank the sex appeal of Harvard co-eds. He uses his exemplary computer knowledge to download pictures from the online photo catalog’s that each house or dorm at Harvard has for students to get to know one another.  He compiles the photos into a website which he dubs facemash.com similar to hotornot.com where visitors are presented with two pictures and asked to click on the one who they find sexier. The site crashes Harvard’s computer network in a matter of hours, garnering tens of thousands of htis and drawing the ire of the administration. This leads to Mark developing a new website which he calls The Facebook. Eventually changed to just Facebook with the help of Napster-founder Sean […]

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FacebookMovie

End of Show is reporting that a movie based on the popular social network Facebook, or rather a movie based on the creation of Facebook has been greenlit by Columbia Pictures.

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FacebookMovie

According to those that have seen the script, it seems so.

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I don’t know why, but apparently Aaron Sorkin has the jones to write a Facebook movie. Although information about the film itself is not available we can assume that Sorkin will be writing about the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a ridiculous billionaire who’s a year younger than I am.

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