Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook?"

Sony Video and Columbia Pictures offers a 92 minute documentary on the DVD (BluRay) for (the recent David Fincher film) “The Social Network”, namely, “How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook”?

The film is in “four parts”, the names of which I didn’t note (the last was “The Lot”). But the entire film focused on how the director, script supervisor, and other staff worked closely with the entire young adult (mostly male) cast.  The documentary is shot 1.85:1 and vertically cropped for the 2.35:1 “Social Network” excerpts.

The “featurette” comes across as being a film about Jesse Eisenberg, Armie Hammer, Josh Pence, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake (Max Minghella is also in the film), as characters in the real world.. In high definition, you see them up close.

Curiously, this film isn’t about Mark Zuckerberg.  Although Jesse’s acting reproduces Zuckerberg’s tendency to avoid eye contact and look beyond the person he talks to, his own speech style is much faster and less calculating. The personality differences came through on the SNL appearance in January where Jesse, Mark, and Andy Samberg appeared together.

Eisenberg does comment that Zuckerberg is a personification of Facebook, and notes the irony of someone who resists intimacy wanting to map the relations of others, and bring human relations to a lower common denominator that can be measured and tracked.

The sequence where Josh Pence fills in as one of the Winklevoss brothers (in most of the film, Armie Hammer doubles for both) for dress rehearsals is interesting, as are the rowing scenes.  There is a sequence in the Second Part where it appears that Josh and some other actors are subjected to what looks like the “Body Analysis” of “The Andromeda Strain”.

Justin Timberlake looks different, in some aspects, from how he did at around age 21 as an ‘Nsync member, if one wants to notice.   Actors have a lot of things done to their bodies.

But visually, it’s Andrew Garfield who steals attention, as in his “Details” appearance. Were the actors subjected to Zuckerberg’s original hacked “hottest” contest (in a male version), Garfield would win hands down.

CNBC aried a one hour documentary ("The Facebook Obsession") on Facebook on Jan. 6 (in which Chris Hughes appears a lot), reviewed that day on the TV blog, but so far there hasn’t been a really thorough factual documentary on the history of Facebook itself, something that would run on HBO or show in a Landmark or art house theater (say with Sony Pictures Classics as the distributor rather than Columbia).

The DVD documentary was directed by David Prior with “DreamLogic” (no connection to Dreamworks or to “Inception”) as the production company.

The DVD second disk also offers other extras on the Visuals, Post, Score, and the music score by Trent Renzor. Some of them are interactive. You have to scroll down to find the featurette, which is separate. 

This blog reviewed "The Social Network" on Oct. 3.

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