Social Network (2010) and Catfish (2010)

Over the weekend, I saw Social Network and Catfish (back to back, in fact). It has been a while since I have been impressed with theatrical releases, so this weekend was a great re-introduction into worthwhile contemporary films.

Catfish is a documentary about an artist based in New York and his interactions with a family in rural Michigan. If I say any more about the film, I will invariably ruin it. I was fortunate enough to go see it without any idea what it was about (based purely on recommendations from my close friends) and ended up enjoying it a lot. Some things that are important to keep in mind are the fact that it is 100% real and that there will be moments in the movie where you think you've gleaned the moral already, but you really have to wait until the end to get everything it has to offer.

Social Network was a terrific adventure in film-making. It had me hooked from the first dialog scene, and kept me intently engaged the entire time. I thought Aaron Sorkin did a wonderful job adapting the screenplay from the Ben Mezrich book, the editing and packaging of the film was terrific and David Fincher excelled in his role as a director (one of my friends whom I saw the movie with was bent on arguing that it was his best film yet).

With reference to the subject matter of Social Network, I thought the film-makers did what they had to do, which was to take a pretty complex set of events, and create a viable story out of it, to tell the audience. All the vitriol and backlash about inaccuracies and poor portrayals of Zuckerberg may be well-founded, but that is not the purpose of a film, as a piece of art. One argument that I did find especially beneficial to read was Larry Lessig's reaction in The National Review. He argues, in essence, that the film missed an opportunity to make some really important commentary on the nature of an enterprise like Facebook being so different from other successful enterprises in the past.

All in all, it was a great movie weekend, and both of the aforementioned films come highly recommended from me.