@Miasma and Joks
Agreed. Isn’t it enough to get to see these great movies (I’m thinking more Nashville than The Social Network…) and think about them and meet other fans and know that something terrific just happened up there on the screen?
Canon-making will happen without us, anyway — when it comes to preserving films and having critics cite certain movies years past their release dates.
i thought it was already decided that Inception by Christopher Nolan was the best movie of all time?
“I haven’t seen it, but hell no, it definitely isn’t.”
my problem with film forums
if he cried 3 times…he might have a point.
Just saw it; really, really awesome film, pretty much perfect for what it sets out to do and be. Certainly captures the times we live in, and expresses some of the bizarre behavior that I’ve observed around me in the last couple of years of the internet age, so I could certainly relate to it. I’ve never even much liked David Fincher before this either, seems he finally grew up and made a really great film, not just another overly-hyped one (I haven’t seen Zodiac though, which is supposed to be pretty great, I hear).
Anyway, its certainly far from the “greatest movie of all time”, but there’s nothing wrong with a guy being excited about it and proclaiming it so- especially if he cried 3 times : ) My own “greatest film of all time” changes on a regular basis, as I imagine it does for many of you.
I cried during MacGruber. (It was mostly an accident.)
I wish I was being ironic.
I cried more than 3 times in ‘Come and See’ so I guess it’s the most bestest film of all time.
How’s the score? Any good?
Remove “The Social” from the title and you shall find yourself a lot closer to the truth…
At the very least, it shall be a more serious question, albeit still one incapable of being answered to your satisfaction.
Howard Beale’s “I’m as mad as hell” monologue, Louise Schumacher’s acerbic tirade at her husband Max, and of course the unforgettable final scene…THESE are three great moments, capable of moving people to tears.
“THESE are three great moments, capable of moving people to tears.”
“and of course the unforgettable final scene”
I already forgot it.
Not to demean anyone’s point of view, but greatest indicates a very personal experience as opposed to breaking ground in a technical or thematic sense from the story or dialogue.
I don’t think that this film breaks any ground> it’s well-crafted, but it does not make any great leaps in terms of the visuals. it’s a nice use of the red digital cam, but it looks like FIncher’s other work. The sound design is great, but it’s not the kind of work that transcends every other film made before it.
And the acting, while great, is not going to be studied in acting classes for the ages.
I’m not sure the story structure or Sorkin’s dialogue varies from anything he’s done in the past.
A third point: Trent Reznor’s score is nice and all, but compared to Greenwood’s score from There Will Be Blood, it’s not on par.
This is all personal and relative, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt and don’t let it diminish your experience of the film.
The score is full of droning-then-slowly-tinkling piano keys and mildly throbbing strings. There are some thumping club-music moments. And a really baffling arrangement of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” Which screws up some of Grieg’s original chords (I don’t know why) and is played during a very pretty but redundant scene. So like: the score is not outrageously good, or even good.
I’m a musician and at one point I went to movies to hear good film scores. (Now I go for the movies.)
I probably would’ve have gone to see The Social Network if I wanted to hear a film score (since I wouldn’t have known how it went or sounded) but probably wouldn’t have left very fascinated.
I just wanted to chime in and say the rowing competition scene was amazingly shot and not many directors would have tooken the time to spend that much effort on a simple boat race. It was one of the best shot scenes I’ve ever seen in my life. Its Oldboy Hallway scene good.
-I just wanted to chime in and say the rowing competition scene was amazingly shot and not many directors would have tooken the time to spend that much effort on a simple boat race. It was one of the best shot scenes I’ve ever seen in my life-
Are you referring to the selective focus stuff?
Yeah, I don’t know how they achieved that glossy image quality on the river. And the way the characters moved into and out of focus during the scene was just awesome.
It’s well-shot YES. But why is it in there?
We know the twins row, we know they excel in at least one area of life — why make a music video out of it?
Or do those who really like the scene consider it like the dance sequences in The Red Shoes — something flourishing and cinematic that augments our visual attention and heightens the movie for us.
(And my response to those who see it that way: do the dance sequences in Red Shoes also contribute something to the nature of professional-obsession and perfection-striving that the movie is about? and if those sequences DO contribute to the movie as a whole, what exactly does the rowing scene contribute?)
Howard Beale’s “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” monolgue was filmed in one and a half takes (first half filmed from an incomplete second take, second half done in first take, then spliced together, because Peter Finch did the scene in extremely poor health) and ranks as one of the greatest scenes ever. Peter Finch would’ve won the Oscar on that scene alone, even if he didn’t have at least one half dozen other moments to go with it. Paddy Chayefsky could’ve won the Best Original Screenplay with that monologue even if it were the only great one in the film (but there are at least twelve).
Given Peter Finch gave the performance of a lifetime aged into his sixties and with serious cardiovascular difficulties that led to his demise just months after the film was completed, you’re an ass if you don’t give it some credit. And the effort from Mister Finch would’ve been damn impressive even if he were thirty and in ship shape.
Beatrice Straight had less than six minutes of screen time and still managed to make a huge impression. I know you’re just a little immature teenager, Robley, so maybe you need to be mature-minded and have been through some difficult relationship moments to understand it. Stick to watching Nickelodeon sitcoms for your fix about what “real” relationships between males and females are “meant” to be. As for the conclusion, if you can’t remember it, that’s your own Swiss cheese memory at play, NOT a curse upon the film. The film’s editing, cinemaphotography and set pieces are top notch. Paddy Chayefsky is a screenwriting legend. EVERY performance in the film is pure brilliance, from Faye Dunaway right down to the security guard who welcomes Howard Beale into the building (“Sure thing, Mister Beale”). Maybe if you got out of your mother’s basement and understood life instead of being a silly prick, you’d be able to relate life back to cinema and vice versa. Nobody is impressed just because you watch a jillion foreign language movies from places like Nepal and Thailand on your little laptop and then brag about it. If you could understand them, I’d be somewhat impressed, but you just name check things and directors and then make idiotic, MTV generation “meh” comments that do nothing to enter yourself as a Rhodes Scholar anytime soon.
And you’re the one who several months ago claimed to watch three or four movies per day…and now you apparently don’t get that excited by them anymore (your own testimony to be found in a different thread).
Your post was nothing but pure bullshit and if you wish to complain to the moderators, go ahead—and then get your “Mommy” onto me (that’ll teach me!). But I dare say I have contributed more to these forums than you in the past few months, and I think that people will agree, whether they find my comments agreeable or disagreeable, I have made a sincere effort to DISCUSS cinema on these boards, not just be a pompous little ass who offers NO intelligent reasoning as to why he would besmirch a classic like “Network”. I’m not the only one who thinks this place is better without you.
I hope Frank Hackett strangles you with a sash cord.
“But I dare say I have contributed more to these forums than you in the past few months, and I think that people will agree, whether they find my comments agreeable or disagreeable, I have made a sincere effort to DISCUSS cinema on these boards, not just be a pompous little ass who offers NO intelligent reasoning as to why he would besmirch a classic like “Network”. I’m not the only one who thinks this place is better without you.”
I don’t know if this is based on some previous interaction, but in this case I think you’re way off base. Your first comments in this thread about Network were pretty simplistic so why should Robley’s response have been detailed in it’s analysis? You said:
This is positive, but it’s not insightful discussion, just hyperbolic praise.
His simplistic dismissal is a mirror image of your simplistic support so why the outrage?
And to think it’s not even Finch’s best performance…
Surely you’re mistaking “best movie of all time” with “your favorite movie”. I don’t consider my favorites to be the best movies ever made, but they’re my favorites because of who, when, where, and how I saw them. It’s more about the cinematic experience, how I relate to the characters, and less about what I actually see on screen.
I suppose that you felt a strong connection with the character(s) in the film. I loved the film as well, and I think it’s my “favorite” of the year so far, but it’s definitely not the “best”.
Entire essays have been written about “Network”. Please refer to one of them. I’d be happy to offer deeper insight, and if you wish to message me and ask me about particular things from the film, I’ll certainly indulge you (I love discussing “Network”). And there is nothing “hyperbolic” about my praise. Also, if you know Robley, he does this just to be an ass.
“Network”, like many great films, should speak for itself, anyway. If you cannot grasp its magnificence by just watching (and hearing!) it, either you positively loathe verbose screenplays or you don’t want your illusions about television shattered..or maybe you aren’t a fan of intelligent cinema. However, if by some chance you don’t like “Network” for some other reason, please anyone, let me know (by the way, I have NEVER read a well-reasoned excuse to dislike “Network”. I’ve heard really dumb ones, perhaps the worst being that Peter Finch and William Holden were hitting the bottle hard at the time and were shadows of their former selves. Well, if those guys were “shadows”, I’d sure as friggin’ hell like to see them in their heyday…and I’d ask why those “shadows” still manage to outclass thespians half their age).
Dimitris: which performance(s) from Finchy would you rate ahead of “Network”? Please, don’t say “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, because even though it’s great work from Finchy, it’s nowhere nearly as powerful as his work as Howard Beale in Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network”. And even if you reckon Finchy did better elsewhere, that doesn’t negate the brilliance of his effort as Howard Beale, I’m certain you’ll agree.
I’m always on the lookout for more Peter Finch films. I’ve enjoyed several and he always seems to add a slightly different feel to each character he portrays.
I was extremely fortunate to see Peter Finch in “Rats of Tobruk”, an Australian film from the year 1944(!) on the big screen at A.C.M.I. A very rare film…unless you live in Canberra, where the film is at the National Film and Sound Archive. What was really amazing is they had oodles of copies just sitting there on VHS (PAL format) in the Archive shop! Unless you live in Australia or have a PAL VHS, your chances of seeing this film are Buckley’s and none.
“And even if you reckon Finchy did better elsewhere, that doesn’t negate the brilliance of his effort as Howard Beale, I’m certain you’ll agree.”
Yes, no matter if I do prefer SBS more than his Network achievement, I’ll never diminish the latter’s achievement. However, my favorite of his is neither of them, it’s The Pumpkin Eater (and an excellent film as well) .
I also loved him in…believe it or not, Flight of the Phoenix (!) and I am not always fond of artists’ swan songs, regardless of the great quality of them. I like to think of him more in Maddening Crowd or Pumpkin Eater than In Network. It’s like saying “yeah, Mastroianni rocks in Dolce Vita” when people haven’t seen half of the man’s output and his better performances elsewhere!
Seeing Peter Finch away from “Network” isn’t required to allow you to say, truthfully, “he was awesome as Howard Beale!”
Maybe Dolph Lundgren’s right hook is stronger than his left cross, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t need to absorb both to know he has a great right hook. Not that I’d want either…
“Network” was the first Finchy film I experienced, and even without seeing other films from him at the time, I knew his effort was the work of an acting genius.
I would love to see “The Pumpkin Eater” and others. I think, quite frankly, it’s friggin’ ridiculous that the A.C.M.I. doesn’t put on a Peter Finch retrospective. Hell, they should name the BUILDING after him (or at least one of the two cinemas!). He is often called an “Australian” actor, he won the Oscar, so why isn’t he more highly regarded Down Under?
And for those who thought mentioning Finchy and Dolph in the same post was impossible…
“He is often called an “Australian” actor, he won the Oscar, so why isn’t he more highly regarded Down Under?”
For the same reason Paxinou’s theatrical and cinematic accomplishments have zero success nowadays in my country: they’re too “old” for audiences.
You see, for all the bouts we’ve been having Vanselow, we’ll never persuade 10 out of 10 people that Finch and Paxinou worth twice their talents than Social Network’s periodic escapade.
The Social Network is a slick piece of work as one would expect from Fincher …tear worthy? I don’t get that but hey I cried at least three times in Australia :):)
3.5/5 from me – lost half a star for the unfortunate immersion of Timberlake’s tiresome gob
Good call on The Pumpkin Eater being Finch’s best, it’s my favourite too and a film I love. I also had sympathy for his character and got into an argument about that not long ago.
So is Social Network a “movie” or a “film” and how do people think of this distinction?
@Anthony – “And a really baffling arrangement of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”
I agree: it’s pretty unpleasant, and sounds like a little 8-bit ditty when compared to Walter/Wendy Carlos’ work of forty years ago! What’s even more baffling: Trent Reznor has said in interviews – unironically? – that he spent weeks working on that track…Which makes even me, a decades-long NIN fan, wonder what kind of chops Trent has…
Yeah- you bet, but not as good as Dumb and Dumber!
A little bit better than DUMB AND DUMBER. Both exhibit noteworthy comic timing and a potent sense of the absurdity of living in our modern world. But SOCIAL NETWORK has a better soundtrack.
The most visually striking scene of the film – going back to The Social Network – was, for me, without a doubt the rowing race on the Thames. I have been wondering though about why Fincher included the scene and why he gave it such markedly different visual feel (and sound, I think – need to see it again) – in terms of the editing particularly – from the rest of the film. Some tentative conclusions… In terms of the story, the purpose of that scene is to drive home the spread and dominance of facebook – no sooner had the twins finished the race than they were being told that students at Oxford (?) had just seen it on facebook – a double loss of face for them, really. Visually, I was wondering if the style in which the scene was shot & edited was supposed to in some way allude to the types of digital film formats compatible with facebook – almost as though could have been a montage of multiple cellphone videos taken by random observers – all very slick though, no attempt at amateurish authenticity, just conceptually… maybe… So again, reinforcing the ‘facebook effect’.
What do others think?
The Thames scene is just here to say “oh look, I’m selling out but I’m still David Fincher!”.
The rest of the film is really below his talent. I keep going back to Alien3, I keep thinking that this guy actually worked on the first Star Wars trilogy, and The Social Network is a really sad to watch – just knowing Fincher did the film.
It’s more of a Barry Levinson or Lawrence Kasdan type of film. Anyone could have done it, really. It’s a mystery why the project landed on him.