Category Archives: Film Review

The Social Network

Wednesday evening was my once every six month trip to the Savoy Cinema in Heaton Moor, to see the semi new Fincher movie The Social Network, aka the creation of The Facebook and how it dropped the The.

The screenplay was adapted by Aaron Sorkin, of A Few Good Men and The West Wing from the book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal

 Ben Mezrich’s book was released in 2009 as nonfiction, working with Mark Zuckerberg’s co-founder Eduardo Saverin as his main consultant.

The Social Network, is a slick film in true Fincher style and extremely well cast.  Zuckerberg’s screen portrayal by Jesse Essenberg definitely would get the hotter rating score, if we were playing the facemash game, where apparently it all sparked.  Judging by the film’s portrayal of Zuckerberg, this could possibly be enough to top him off on another billionaire rant.

 

Jesse Essenberg/Mark Zuckerberg
When Justin Timberlake, aka Sean Parker founder of Napster, comes on the scene for their business meeting, they consume uptions of Appletinis and sushi deluxe, this made me sickeningly awe encompassed into this lush way of living and wanting the lavish without the consequence.  Consequentially, it made the sucker in me sympathize with the characters, it doesn’t take much.  The scene where Zuckerberg looks from the outside in, onto a blasted party where no one really gives a damn, made me feel the ache that he probably never has, this is where money perhaps fills the void, or more accurately not looking introspectively or caring to.
 

The film is based on the lawsuits that ensue after Facebook gets its real face, with the input of Sean Parker and the onslaught of Saverin the original businessman, things turn sour.  As the money and the network grows, so to do the drugs, the drinking, the lack of reality and the underbelly of an altogether different world.  However, their lives were different from the start, with the fraternity nerds of Harvard that subscribe to brawn, brains and dollar bills, holding marketplace value over any feelings for true beauty. 

The film is a great watch and extremely well cast.  It looks amazing and apparently was all shot digitally.  The stylised look of the film coupled with the fitting score of Trent Reznor makes it a great ride through the gritty relationships of the now 26-year-old who is worth $6.9 billion.  It’s a story worth telling and really well done, even if it doesn’t truly match the man behind the face. 

It’s hard to distinguish what is and what isn’t based on truth, but it seems from looking about on the web that there are loose threads that point us somewhere along the lines of what went on.  My favourite scene being about Saverin who was put in the paper for chicken cannibalism, after carrying a chicken around with him as one of those stupid initiations into Harvard’s Pheonix club.  Even though there is no truth behind this, the thought of him being stitched up because he fed the chicken some chicken had me chuckling away in the furry seats of the Savoy. 

Eduardo Saverin: Don’t fish eat other fish? The marlins and the trouts!

The blog that Mark Zuckerberg wrote about his angry split with his girlfriend before the launch of facemash (what went on to become  facebook) is actually the transcript of Zuckerberg’s former live journal blog. Though Zuckerberg said

“The whole framing of the movie is I’m with this girl (who doesn’t exist in real life) … who dumps me … which has happened in real life, a lot. . . And basically the framing is that the whole reason for making Facebook is because I wanted to get girls, or wanted to get into clubs.”

 Whether it’s real or not ceases to matter as it is too confusing and the importance comes back to what the film’s portrayal leaves you with.  The feelings that grabbed my perspective was that yep it’s a bit sickening, and yep it’s way over the top rich, but has the film’s Zuckerberg got what he wanted and what we subscribe to?  the answer seems a likely yes.

Great film and was surprised to see an older more well-rounded, not physically, but actorily wise Justin Timberlake.

Zuckerberg apparently has seen the film and said that everything was fictionalised apart from his wardrobe, which was spot on, and in truth Zuckerberg’s wardrobe was the only redeeming quality for the “asshole” he is shown on-screen to be.

 Mark Zuckerberg: A guy who makes a nice chair doesn’t owe money to everyone who has ever built a chair.

Mark Zuckerberg: I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try – but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.
[pauses]
Mark Zuckerberg: Did I adequately answer your condescending question?

 

  


Creation The Film about Darwin

I had a feeling this film might surprise me and further my knowledge about Darwin, whilst focusing on the man behind the name – it didn’t.

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The reviews I had read of the film sparking fresh debate on the theory of evolution, just goes to show the power of film, rather than what is actually shown.

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connely the real life married couple, star as Charles and Emma Darwin, in this screenplay written from Randal Keynes biography, Annie’s box.

It sets out to explore the depression and conflict Darwin experienced after his daughter’s Annie’s death in 1951. 

Largely set in Darwin’s country house in Kent, it paints a bleak picture of this time when he cannot write, for fear he will ostracise himself from his Christian wife.

During this period the relationship he had and still has with his daughter Annie takes privileged place. With Annie’s understanding of the natural evolutionary process being in line with his discoveries of natural selection. 

However, this relationship did not work for me as I kept getting tired of Annie’s performance and the interpretation that Darwin had spoken to her as a ghost, which made no sense whatsoever to me. Martha West who plays Annie, is a delightfully pretty girl, who is surely great at more theatrical roles, but I couldn’t take her seriously in this film. I even started to dislike Jenny the orangutan because Annie kept asking for the story to be repeated again and again.

Sorry to sound scathing, but I just didn’t think it worked for what I was expecting. It was to hammy and montage heavy “Adam”, which can work but not for me.

The cinema however was delightful.

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I believe The Regent, in Marple, opened 1938 and before that was a building of worship.  We had more leg room than star ship troopers and we were about a galaxy away from the screen, it was great, and nice to see so many locals going on a date to their local theatre.

The intermission and ice cream man kept with the old and brought it up to date with the new sex discrimination act. Lovely


Broken Embraces Los abrazos rotos

Not the sequel to Broken Arrow, but Pedro Almodovar’s new movie, and I think it’s fantastic.

I saw it last Wednesday, never a good day to venture to Parrs Wood cinema as it’s filled with Orange Wednesday enthusiasts.  I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to blog about, because this is one of the best films I’ve seen for a long time. MV5BMjEzMTAyMzc5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjEyMDg1Mg@@__V1__CR118,0,364,364_SS90_

Penelope Cruz plays Lena, who plays an actress working for the scriptwriter Mateo Bianco, who signs his work Harry Caine, played by the actor Lluis Homar.  It’s complicated, but I’m just toying with the name thing for my own amusement.

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In the present day reality of the film we see Harry Caine, as he is now known in both his work and personal life, as a blind script writer and we are left wondering why he has no vision and where his real name has disappeared to.

It is through the characters of Judit Garcia and her son Diego that history is allowed to resurface through their relationship with the former Mateo and latter Harry.

Truly wonderful melodrama is played out and details you think are going to be crucial to plot development turn out to be those beautiful red fishies that Almodovar plays with.  Look out for bleach and oh all the others that I’ve forgotten .

It really had me hooked, with the right elements of silly melodramatics, splendid glamour, on a stick jokes and beautiful words.  It looked great and maybe one of my favourite film’s he’s done.  It’s definately made me want to re-visit my box set.


Coco avant Chanel

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I enjoyed it much more than I thought. Though I love Audrey Tautou, I couldn’t help thinking it might turn out to be another “Devil Wears Prada” that wasn’t saved by Meryl Streep.

But then Anne Hathaway has never been an actress with any flair in my book, in the same way that I never empathise with any Keira Knightley characters, who was actually offered the role. I wouldn’t have bothered to spend £3.20 if she’d accepted.

The film covers life for Gabrielle Chanel aka  Coco before she becomes the fashion designer we now have embedded in our subconscious. I remember Hello magazine from when Princess Diana was alive and her wearing a red and pink dress, which I was morbidly against. Now I might have only been 10 years old, but if I had to hazard a guess I would have told my friends, for elaboration, that the dress was a Chanel.A410AZDCAZUVOM0CALQ902RCAW3N3YJCAKWKIOOCACTWIO8CAJY0LX0CAXZM12MCAZNJYHGCAWVZ8HNCAHNV1S5CA80AL0SCAIRN8ETCAZ34GK3CATYVY60CA5E2FFICAK4M2FYCAYI5WIRCAYYRK04

The two symbols that have become emblematic of the brand, are far from the bland Coco that we see in the film, her style was geeky, shapeless and carried with flair away from the frou frou of the tea cake tarts.

Chanel markets herself on the fact that it ain’t luxury if it ain’t comfortable.

I loved the portrayal in the film of Coco’s relationships with men, Balsen and Boy, though Boy annoyed me immensely. I wish he hadn’t bothered to utter any English, for me it took away from the beauty of the film, it seemed a sloppy  token gesture.

Some things I’ve learnt about Coco:

  • Coco was born in 1883 and died in 1971 so she had a pretty good innings
  • Her name was mis-spelt Chasnel when her birth was recorded, this made things tricky for biographers (I did not learn this from the film)
  • In 1913 Coco introduced sportswear into her boutique in Deauville (I did not learn this from the film)
  • not to be confused with Coco Channel, which seperates the coco islands and the North Andaman islands

I liked the film and find Coco an interesting character, I’d be tempted to check out some of the other films about different eras of her life even though they don’t star Tautou, and so far not Knightley.

I won’t be buying the perfume, not until I’m 67 and going on a cruise anyway.


Synecdoche New York

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I watched Synecdoche New York on Sunday evening and had to revisit the second half on Monday, as I knew this film had left me with a real something, but the sleepiness which had crept in blurred Kaufman’s metaphors into something no more intelligible than a piece of pasta hugging a paper clip.  Not that I’m anti this, but I could see that there was something more linear and, shall we say at the risk of sounding poncy, theoretical to appreciate.

“simultaneous understanding”

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synecdoche is when you refer to a part of something to refer to the whole

I watched this film and I was absorbed  

The characters seemed real in their eccentricities and their despairs and the humour of  the film was on my wave

I laughed at the burning house imagesand the daughter Olive talking about being given drips of water and tiny pieces of pizza.

I felt lonely seeing Caden cry before sex and at Sammie’s presentation of him. 

When Caden takes on Ellen’s role as a cleaning lady it really got me, seeing the deterioration in his already fragile state.

Although this is dark, I took relief from the fact that the world is essentially a stage, and the role you adopt is not necessarily type casted out.  You can choose your own place, and what a different world/film Kaufman would have portrayed had he chosen to allow his characters to explore essentially happier, but maybe more forced roles.

The burning house presents Hazel with the fear that it will kill her, and in the end it does.  This made me think about self fulfilling prophecy and how although one might think who would choose to die in a burning fire? at least Hazel controlled this by allowing her worst fear to be actualized, which actually maybe freed her, or maybe not!

Carl Jung  – I like this theory 

Waking and Dream states are both necessary in the quest for meaning – Yep

4 stages to Individuation –  Self-Realization

  1.  becoming conscious of your shadow (recognizing both your constructive and destructive sides) when Caden hires Sammy, he learns of his true personality
  2. becoming conscious of your anima and animus (men become conscious of their female component and women become conscious of their male component),  Caden replaces himself with Ellen
  3. becoming conscious of the archetypal spirit (where you take on your mana personality), think of becoming one with universal life energy
  4. and finally self-realization(where a person is fully aware of the ego and the self) When Cadenrealises the truth about his life and loves he dies – ach

Far from the worst film I’ve ever seen, could potentially ruin your life if you allow it, but I already let Clerks 2 do that

 


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