The Wikileaks Network

David Fincher recently completed a film about Facebook (The Social Network) and is currently in Sweden shooting a conspiracy thriller (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

Think about it: computer hackersSweden and intrigue.

Maybe his next film should be about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange? 🙂

> The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) at the IMDb
> More on the recent leaking of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks at Wikipedia

Lists News

Sight and Sound’s Top Films of 2010

Sight and Sound have selected their best films of 2010 and it has been topped by The Social Network.

They asked 85 critics from across the globe to select their five favourite films of the past year and the titles that appeared the most were then selected for this list which will appear in their January 2011 issue.

(Note that the list can be a little out of sync with US and foreign release dates).

The final selection has already reached the magazine subscribers, although it won’t be on the Sight and Sound website until December 7th.

Here is the list in full (with some ties):

1. The Social Network (Dir. David Fincher, USA)

2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)

3. Another Year (Dir. Mike Leigh, UK)

4. Carlos (Dir. Olivier Assayas, France/Germany)

5. The Arbor (Dir. Clio Barnard, UK)

=6. I Am Love (Dir. Luca Guadagnino, Italy)
=6. Winter’s Bone (Dir. Debra Granik, USA)

=8. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Dir. Andrei Ujică, Romania)
=8. Film Socialisme (Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, France/Switzerland)
=8. Nostalgia for the Light (Dir. Patricio Guzmán, France/Germany/Chile)
=8. Poetry (Dir. Lee Chang-dong, South Korea)
=8. A Prophet (Dir. Jacques Audiard, France)

=13. Certified Copy (Dir. Abbas Kiarostami, France/Iran/Italy)
=13. Meek’s Cutoff (Dir. Kelly Reichardt, USA)

=15. Dogtooth (Dir. Giorgos Lanthimos, Greece)
=15. Enter the Void (Dir. Gaspar Noé, France/Germany/Italy)
=15. Mysteries of Lisbon (Dir. Raúl Ruiz, Portugal/Brazil/France)
=15. Of Gods and Men (Dir. Xavier Beauvois, France)

=19. Aurora (Dir. Cristi Puiu, Romania/Switzerland/Germany/France)
=19. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Dir. Banksy, UK/USA)
=19. Four Times (Dir. Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy/Switzerland/Germany)
=19. The Ghost Writer (Dir. Roman Polanski, France/Germany/United Kingdom)
=19. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (Dir. Sophie Fiennes, UK/France/Netherlands)

> Sight and Sound (follow them on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook)
> MUBi and InContention on this year’s list
> Wikipedia on 2010 in film

Behind The Scenes Interesting

The Sounds of The Social Network

Soundworks have released a video showing how the sounds for The Social Network were created.

Ren Kylce (Sound Re-recording Mixer and Supervisor Sound Editor) along with Michael Semanick (Sound Re-Recording Mixer) discuss various aspects of the audio soundscape they created for David Fincher’s film, including:

  • The importance of dialogue
  • How they captured ambient sounds from Harvard and Silicon Valley
  • The volume of Ruby Skye club sequence
  • How sound helps signify shifts in time
  • Working with Trent Reznor an Atticus Ross to incorporate the electronic score into the film.

“The Social Network” Sound for Film Profile from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

> Read our review of The Social Network
> How the Henley Regatta sequence was filmed


Mark Zuckerberg on The Social Network

Mark Zuckerberg recently spoke to a group of budding entrepreneurs at Stanford University where he gave his opinions on The Social Network.

Although he initially said that he wouldn’t see the film, he relented and then booked out an entire cinema for the whole of Facebook to see it on the opening day of release.

So what did he think of Hollywood’s version of himself and the company he founded?

He was impressed with the costume department:

It is interesting what stuff they focused on getting right. Every single shirt or fleece in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I actually own.

But he was not happy with the opening sequence and the ‘framing’ of the story:

The whole framing of the movie, the way that it starts is that I’m with this girl who doesn’t exist in real life, who dumps me – which has happned in real life a lot.

And basically they frame it as if though the whole reason I invented Facebook and building something was that I wanted to get girls or get into to some social institution. The reality for people who know me is that I’ve been dating the same girl since before I started Facebook.

But I think its just such a big disconnect I think from the way people who make movies think about what we do in Silicon Valley, building stuff. They just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things.

The geeky call to arms elicited some wildly enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Aaron Sorkin might disagree with this version of events as Zuckerberg did blog about a girl named Jessica Alona whilst he created the FaceMash (the hacking prank which led to TheFacebook) and this was incorporated into the film.

Below is the transcript which Sorkin based the scene on:

Mark Zuckerberg’s Online Diary

However, Sorkin changed Alona’s name to ‘Erica Albright’ (the character played by Rooney Mara) and has explained that he did this for a reason:

“There was nothing in the movie that was invented for the sake of making it sensational. There was nothing in the movie that was Hollywood-ized. There are a couple cases where when it didn’t matter at all, I conflated two characters. There are three cases where I changed a character’s name. One of those characters we never actually see; it’s an off-screen character. In the other two cases it’s just there was no need to embarrass this person more. You have the exact same movie and the exact same truth if you don’t do that. So don’t do that.”

So, whilst there almost certainly was a Jessica Alona, she remains an enigma and has never gone public or given an interview.

As for Zuckerberg’s claim that he was dating his current girlfriend before Facebook even started, that has been hotly disputed.

You can watch the full Stanford interview with Zuckerberg here:

Mark Zuckerberg at Startup School from Wade Roush on Vimeo.

> My review of The Social Network
> More on Facebook at Wikipedia
> /Film on the truth of The Social Network
> Business Insider on the leaked transcripts that revealed more about the early years at Facebook


UK Cinema Releases: Friday 15th October 2010


The Social Network (Sony Pictures): David Fincher’s latest film is an absorbing drama about the battles amongst the founders of social networking website Facebook.

It begins with Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) getting dumped by a girl (Rooney Mara) which prompts him to hack in to the campus computer network as revenge, whilst blogging about his reasons for doing so.

This brings him to the attention of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (played by Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella), who approach him with the idea of a social network site, but Zuckerberg opts to create his own version with the help of his friend Eduardo Severin (Andrew Garfield).

Originally called TheFacebook it is an instant success at Harvard and campuses across the US, which leads Zuckerberg to California where entrepreneur and Napster co-founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) helps him approach investors.

The narrative is intercut with flashforwards to various legal depositions, in which characters explain the conflicts which would later arise, with the Winklevoss twins and Narenda claiming Zuckerberg stole their idea, whilst Severin (who initially bankrolled the site) falls out with Zuckerberg over Parker’s influence.

This might not initially sound like the most exciting or dynamic material for a film, but with an A-list roster of talent behind the camera – director Fincher, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and producer Scott Rudin – the end result is a stimulating tale of human relationships gone wrong and a wonderfully crafted production.

It has already got rave reviews in the US and a wave of Oscar buzz, which is richly deserved as it is one of the best films to come out this year. Sony will be hoping there is enough buzz and anticipation to fend off competition from Despicable Me but this is likely to draw audiences over the coming weeks. [Nationwide / 12A]

*Read my full review here*

Despicable Me (Universal): An animated film about a supervillain named Gru (Steve Carell) who tries to use three orphans girls as pawns for a grand scheme, only to find that their innocence changes him.

Featuring the voices of Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, and Miranda Cosgrove it was a big success in the US earlier this summer, scoring solid reviews in the process and marks the first CGI feature produced by Universal. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / Scotland from October 11th]

Vampires Suck (20th Century Fox): A parody of the Twilight series from the people who brought us comedies such as Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, and Disaster Movie.

The critical revulsion that greeted this film in the US will likely be repeated over here. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / 12A]


Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (Artificial Eye): A documentary about artist Anselm Kiefer’s studio in Barjac in France, where he bought a derelict silk factory and transformed it into an existing artistic centre. Directed by Sophie Fiennes. [Cine Lumiere, Gate & selected Key Cities / U]

Aakrosh (Eros): Action-thriller film directed by Priyadarshan and starring Ajay Devgn, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Paresh Rawal and Reema Sen. [Cineworlds Feltham, Ilford, Shaftesbury Ave., Wood Green & Key Cities]

Knock Out (Eros): A Bollywood film – that may or may not be a remake of Phone Booth – directed by Mani Shankar, and stars Sanjay Dutt, Irfan Khan and Kangna Ranaut. [Cineworlds Feltham, Greenwich 02, Ilford, Wood Green & Key Cities]

> UK DVD and Blu-ray picks for this week including The Exorcist and The Evil Dead
> Get local cinema showtimes for your area via Google Movies