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Scott Foundas: ‘The Social Network’ is “Splendid Entertainment from a Master Storyteller”

The first review of David Fincher’s The Social Network is up and it is a  douzy.  Scott Foundas, former Village Voice film critic, now a film programmer, has seen the film and loves what he has seen.  The review/essay will be published in the next issue of Film Comment, in which The Social Network, will grace the cover.  The film, which opens the 48th New York Film Festival on September 24th, has gotten good buzz from test screenings but this is the first official review.

I have to say that I was not excited about the film when it was first announced.  I love David Fincher but this seemed so out of line with his previous work, even Ben Button, that it made no sense.  Add to that, the first teaser trailer we saw was a bunch of over the top dialogue being said aloud while images of Facebook were in the background.  However, the latest trailer has me sold.  Part of it is actually getting to see footage from the film and the trailer song, which is the Belgian choir group Scala & Kolacny Brothers cover of the Radiohead song “Creep”.

It also looks like a David Fincher film.  The film obviously deals with obsession, a major theme in Fincher’s work, and the cinematography is as gorgeous as Zodiac.   Here is an excerpt from the review or you can click on the link after the excerpt.  (Found via /Film)

Lest I seem to suggest otherwise, I hasten to add that The Social Network is splendid entertainment from a master storyteller, packed with energetic incident and surprising performances (not least from Justin Timberlake as Napster founder Sean Parker, who’s like Zuckerberg’s flamboyant, West Coast id). It is a movie of people typing in front of computer screens and talking in rooms that is as suspenseful as any more obvious thriller. But this is also social commentary so perceptive that it may be regarded by future generations the way we now look to Gatsby for its acute distillation of Jazz Age decadence. There is, in all of Fincher’s work, an outsider’s restlessness that chafes at the intractable rules of “polite” society and naturally aligns itself with characters like the journalist refusing to abandon the case in Zodiac and Edward Norton’s modern-day Dr. Jekyll in Fight Club. (It is also, I would argue, what makes the undying-love mawkishness of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button seem particularly insincere.) So The Social Network offers a despairing snapshot of society at the dawn of the 21st century, so advanced, so “connected,” yet so closed and constrained by all the centuries-old prejudices and preconceptions about how our heroes and villains are supposed to look, sound, and act. For Mark Zuckerberg has arrived, and yet still seems unsettled and out of place (as anyone who witnessed his painfully awkward 60 Minutes interview two years back can attest). And now here is a movie made to remind us that nothing in this life can turn a Zuckerberg into a Winklevoss.

Click Here for the full review from Foundas.