The New York Film Festival, World Premiere of “Social Network”

September 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Waiting for Mark Zuckerberg”

Article by Sharon Abella

Ironically, Davis Guggenheim’s latest documentary, “Waiting for Superman”, a film about America’s failing school systems, opened the same week that co-founder of “Facebook”, Mark Zuckerberg, is about to have his reputation tarnished as a result of the way he was portrayed in the film “Social Network”. Just days before the film’s premiere at “The New York Film Festival”, Mark donated $100 million to the Newark Public School system. At the same time, at the premiere of “Waiting for Superman”, Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, American social activist and educator, Geoffrey Canada, and Chancellor of Washington D.C.’s Public School system, Michelle Rhee, discussed the need for reformation in our nation’s failing schools, the need for better leaders, finding ways to remove lackadaisical, tenured teachers, to make teaching a more prestigious career that is valued and respected, as in countries like Finland, to make public schools the same caliber as charter schools, and, above all, the importance of putting the children first.

“Social Network”, directed by David Fincher, is based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal”, and proclaims that, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”. Well, if you are a fast talking, fast thinking, pretentious, computer programming genius, who wants to set himself apart in order to get into exclusive social events, meanwhile, relates to inanimate objects and algorithms better than human beings, this is in fact the case. When Mark Zuckerberg decides to create a site similar to “Hot or Not”, Harvard classmates approach him with the idea of making “Harvard Connection”, an online community for Harvard students. Mark fine tuned that idea, went out on his own, and made, “The Facebook” instead. When “The Facebook” becomes an Ivy League success, his classmates decide to bring him to federal court on charges of intellectual property theft.

The question remains: Should Mark Zuckerberg have been sued for theft if he was the one with the capabilities to make a “Hot or Not” like site, and the social network phenomena, “The Facebook”? It might make more sense if sites like “Hot or Not”, “MySpace”, and “Friendster” were suing Mark instead.

When it comes to relationships, the highly intellectual, fast thinking, mover and shaker falls short when he insults and offends the girl he likes, gets star struck by the wrong kind, and betrays his best friend, burning every Golden Gate bridge in his path. Ironically, a man with 500 million friends is left with none.

“Dating you is like dating a stairmaster”.
“You are going to think girls don’t like you because you are a computer nerd, but it will be because you are an @&&hole.”
“I can beat him up myself. I’m 6’5”, 220 pounds, and there are two of me.”

Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Executive Producer, Kevin Spacey, Beastie Boy, Adam Yauch, Faye Dunaway, and Wes Anderson, in attendance. After party held at “The Harvard Club”.

La Biennale di Venezia 1/9/10 to 11/9/10

September 2, 2010 Comments Off on La Biennale di Venezia 1/9/10 to 11/9/10

Article by Sharon Abella

 “Black Swan”, a psychological thriller, directed by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel,  opened the 67th Venice Film Festival, at the Palazzo del Casino last night.   Natalie Portman portrays, Nina, a principal ballerina who recently landed the lead part in “Swan Lake”, and succumbs to the pressure of the demanding, competitive nature of the industry.  She is tormented, confused, and trying to find herself and differentiate between right from wrong, however, she  lives at home with a controlling ballet/stage mom, is tempted to indulge in promiscuity by collegues who secretly want her part in the ballet, and may not have her best interest in mind,  falls victim to sexual advances by her teacher, who could  either make or break her,  and  suffers from self mutilation, anorexia, and paranoia. How much is reality?  How much is delusion? Or is it all one big delusion? When asked about the complexity of the storyline,  Natalie responded, “I’m going to leave it ambiguous”.  Natalie, who started acting at the age of 12,  deserves the highest accolades not only with her flawless acting as the troubled young adult, but also as a ballet dancer, as she received training from Benjamin Millepied, a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet and a ballet choreographer who assisted Natalie to perform all of her ballet scenes on her own.

It is difficult not to compare “Black Swan” to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 classic, “The Red Shoes”.

Darren Aronofsky, Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Quentin Tarantino, (President of the Jury),  Clio and Giorgio Napolitano, (President of the Italian Republic),  Luca Guadagnino, Isabella Ragonese, Ingeborga Dapkunalte, (Jury member and actress), Guillermo Arriaga, Gabriele Salvatores, Arnaud Desplechin, and Danny Elfman in attendance.

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