Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): Paper vs. Plastic

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Paper vs. Plastic


A visual tribute to old and new technologies in The Social Network


Read my 2010 discussion of The Social Network, composed in the form of a Facebook page.

7 comments:

Film Intel said...

This is great, just shared it on the site's twitter. Really reflects why and how the film hits on the Zeitgeist of a time, not just of a website.

Joel Bocko said...

Thanks, FI. Just started tweeting myself, I will add you.

This movie has really grown on me...it used to play on TV all the time last summer (when I still had a TV lol) and I used to watch it continuously. I've certainly seen it more times than any other film in the past year.

What's fascinating to me is how it both does & doesn't touch on the zeitgeist, how Fincher makes a film about Facebook while barely showing Facebook. This both keeps the film both fresh (a hyperactive attempt to ape virtual forms in the film's style would probably age really quickly) and gives it a tantalizingly elusive feel.

I shared my own thoughts on the film a few years back when it came out, along with some fellow bloggers', and had fun with the form as you will see ;)

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2010/10/social-network.html

Doug Noakes said...

It's interesting to read your commentary on "The Social Network" and all the pitfalls that the director avoided. I agree that movies no longer stand dramatically apart from the culture that the best films explore--it really is a matter more of "catching up" than providing mainstream audiences with insights unexplored by other media.

Joel Bocko said...

Yes, which I generally consider disappointing. I would love for film to find a way to get back in touch with the zeitgeist, not just chasing after new media but transforming into new media itself, Phoenix-like. The internet offers numerous possibilities for this, but I can't make heads or tails of it yet and apparently few others can either because it hasn't happened yet.

In the meantime, Fincher was definitely wise to keep new media at an arm's length in Social Network; not only does it avoid pitfalls it gives the film a very interesting, unusual vibe, perverse not only as a film about new media but as a film period (because how many films so resolutely keep their actual subject offscreen?).

Joel Bocko said...

Maybe I should say "object" rather than "subject" - the film's subject is the relations between the people and how it is affected by this new tool. Btw, I love that scene when Saverin confesses to his girlfriend he doesn't actually know how to use the damn thing (she thinks he's trying to cheat on her, but he genuinely can't figure out how to change his relationship status).

Sam Juliano said...

Great photo essay and discussion Joel, on a film that made it's mark and has stayed in high regard among cineastes, as the ultimate film about media and the new game in town that remains the internet's most popular communication center.

Joel Bocko said...

Just watched the making-of doc from the DVD last night and its amazing to be reminded of how much went into the making of such a seemingly simple movie...in every regard. The Fincher-Sorkin dynamic is also very compelling. Ultimately I feel like there are probably dozens of visual tributes that could be done like this on motifs and themes in the film.