Sunday, October 31, 2010

Geil. Danke!

Met my friends for dinner at Super Mario's Restaurant
Took them back home on a date with Mr. Jack
Zombies on the last train to Cockfosters
Helped to shut a Camden Club
Lost my mind on the bus back home
long since I fell asleep with the morning sun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Comments enabled for unregistered users

Due to standard options, the commentary function has so far been disabled for unregistered users. I changed the function so anyone can post comments now.

BTW Just listened to the old Command & Conquer soundtrack. Felt like "good old times". Amazing! :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Social Network - Review

The Social Network is a mixture of teenie-movie and court-thriller which could change our view of the modern internet. Even though some actors stick out and the composition of pictures and music is amazingly well carried out, the story lacks the remarkability for a two-hour movie.

The film tells the story of facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, a person as peculiar as intelligent, marvellously enacted by Jesse Eisenberg. The character of Zuckerberg is well reflected from the first scenes onward, where viewers experience how the college student acquired a reputation for his programming skills when he - just ditched by his ex-girlfriend (Rooney Mara) - codes a page which allowed the judgement of female undergraduate students from different universities for their outer appearance, which is achieved facebook-style by writing an automated script to accumulate profile pics from university web pages.
The site is a big success, generating in just one night such a high number of web traffic that the network hub to which the site server is connected has to be shut down by university network security. Due to his following suspension and growing publicity, Eisenberg is approached by fraternity whippersnappers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer in a double role) who search for a programmer to realize their idea of an exclusive virtual network for elitary harvard university students, so they can get laid more easily. Zuckerberg falls for the appeal of the idea, realizing it with his own team and the rest is internet history.

While this story could have been told on merely one-page of script, the film develops the action in a two-hour mixture of a court thriller and teenie movie. Fraternity integration rituals take turns with conference room scenes where you experience whise guy character Zuckerberg disgracing his former fellows in their pre-court-meetings. Only a few scenes are really intrieguing, mostly notable the one in a club, where you - in Zuckerberg's first person perspective- get actually yourself tempted by the megalomaniac business model presented by co-founder of napster Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake, who seems to play himself most of the time). The craftfulness of this passage is really impressing, being superiorily arranged both in perspectives and composition of dialogue and musical background (awesome score by former Nine Inch Nails-head Trent Reznor in general, but here it is another song, Sound of Violence by Dennis de Laat).
The other outstanding scene is the encounter of the newly rich and popular entrepreneur Zuckerberg with his ex-girlfriend who in a gorgeous dialogue shows him quite insistently that even being facebook-millionaire does not make you king of the world (I heard that Rooney Mara may be nominated for an academy award as best supporting actress, which would be no overstatement at all, concerning her performance in this scene).

Except from that, the storytelling mostly stays neither exiting nor boring but unremarkable, exept from one really annoying aspect, the sex-seperated picture of women and men, being either sex-symbols running around in hotpants after a one-night stands / dumb / drug addicted (women) or business apt, computer genius megalomaniacs driven by their urge for sex / money (men). The film definetily got its lenghts and fails in its attempt to transport dramatic in most scenes, the characters not being sympathic at all in their motives. On the one hand, I really appreciated the effort taken for not making it easy for the viewer to take sides or come to easy conclusions about who's right or wrong (except for Zuckerberg's only friends, ex-GF Monica Albright and ex-CFO Olsen, who get away quite well), on the other hand the archieved originality is also a disadvantage because it uncovers the unremarkability of the original events and the persons involved and so despite its superior way of storytelling the film fails to absorb.

Overall, the movie is a good image of our time, where the inspiration and ideals of the community of internet pioneers exploring digital possibilities of expression and creativity get more and more replaced by the greed and sex-drive of selfmade millionaire business men. In its ideas, its gorgeous technique and it's way of fluffing a small story up to something big the movie occured to me as a reflection of the "Web 2.0" and the changes it brings about on our society and view of the world. Although I still ask myself if the story of Zuckerberg himself was worth telling it in a full-featured hollywood movie, I got the feeling the film might contribute to a consciousness of responsible use of new communication technology if seen in a media (-business) critic perspective, which is a quite unusual effect despite all the popcorn-movie-aspects.

It might be a small hope, but I hope that people will discover this "greater" idea of the movie and appreciate this underlying effect more than the unremarkable story itself.