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October 01, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, October 1, 2010 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, October 1, 2010 - 7

A 'Social' sensation

An examination of e-love

While controversal,
this storytelling risk
pays off for Sorkin
By ANKUR SOHONI
Daily Arts Writer
If you considered a movie about
the creators of Facebook an awk-
ward and likely
unsuccessful
prospect, you
weren't alone. The Social
The controver-
sies surrounding Netwk
the inception At Quality 16
of Facebook are and Rave
well docu- a
mented, and it's Columbia
rare that such a
contemporary character profile
works as both a bold, true portrait
and as an entertaining film.
"The Social Network" is that
rarity. Inherently - and legally -
the film must be a careful depic-
tion of recent and true events, and
it succeeds brilliantly. While based
on a true story, artistic liberties
were taken when necessary.
The center of the film is Mark
Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg,
"Zombieland"), the now well
known billionaire founder of
Facebook. The story starts back
in his college days at Harvard,
where he's dumped by his girl-
friend and retaliates by blogging
about it. Then, in a single night,
he programs a Harvard "hot or
not" imitation site called "Face-
Mash," generating 22,000 hits
in two hours and singlehandedly
taking down the internet access
on campus.
Early on, it's clear how brilliant
and yet relationally inept Zuck-
erberg is. The more ambitious he
becomes with his social network-
ing plans, and the more successful
he is, the more the audience must
sit painfully through his fail-
ures in friendship and watch him

By ANDREW LAPIN
Senior Arts Editor
"Catfish" is ostensibly a movie
about a New York photographer
who tries to
uncover the truth
behind a girl he
meets over the Wish
Internet, but
the film is really At the State
about the nature Universal
of imitation.
There's a Google
Earth-inspired riff on the classic
Universal logo at the movie's out-
set, and from there nearly every
element of the documentary feels
like it was artificially constructed
from loose blueprints of real human
experience. But here, that's a com-
pliment. "Catfish" is a movie of our
times precisely because it shows us
how fake many aspects of our lives
really are.
The film'sprotagonist Nev Schul-
man gets roped into the world of
an Ishpeming, Michigan family
when an immensely talented eight-

year-old artist named Abby sends
him her own painted depictions of
photographs he's published. over
a montage of their correspondence
we hear a cover version of the Beach
Boys' "Good Vibrations" sung by a
children's choir - like the paintings
themselves, it's a clever and skilled
replication of an already-existing
work of art. Nev also begins talk-
ing to Abby's family, including her
half-sister Megan, who quickly falls
in online lust with him. Megan is a
self-professed musician too, though
the "original" songs she sends Nev
should tell you all you need to know
about the deceptive role she's play-
ing in all of this.
It used to be common knowledge
that online impersonators were
trying to elicit something illegiti-
mate out of their efforts: a financial
scheme, say, or underage sex like
everyone on "To Catch a Predator."
In "Catfish," the means are also the
ends: The thrill of communicating
vicariouslythrough invented perso-
nas is in itself a reward.
In the second half of the film,

Nev, along with co-directors Henry
Joost and brother Ariel Schul-
man, heads out on a road trip with
the goal of showing up on Megan's
doorstep unannounced and finally
getting to the bottom of who she
is. Both the structure of "Catfish"
and its marketing materials high-
light a secretive twist ending, but
Real or fake,
'Catfish' says a
lot about us.
in doing so the people behind the
film have wrongly constructed a
selling point based around trickery
and deception. Twists are meant for
audience-goosing stories that place
all their stakes on a big reveal, and
that's simply not what the narrative
of "Catfish" demands. Rather, the
true nature of the movie lies in what
See CATFISH, Page 8

"I would totally poke that."
quickly gather enemies, both legal
and personal.
All the while, we witness the
ironic creation of The Facebook
and the beginning of the social
revolution every college student
in the world has experienced in
some capacity. We watch its rapid
expansion across the world, and
its subsequent evolution from net-
working site to social institution.
"The Social Network" hits a
current college environment full
of Facebook veterans accustomed
to the complex, app-filled Face-
book with "Like" buttons and
news feeds. Watching Zuckerberg
discover the idea for "the Rela-
tionship Status" and discuss the
idea for "the Wall" is made surre-
al by a palpable sense of dramatic
irony in the theater. The chorus
of viewers snicker collectively at
how real this movie-going experi-
ence truly is.
Aaron Sorkin, one of the most
revered writers in the business,
puts on an absolute clinic. "The
Social Network" is just as much
proof of his brilliance as "A Few
Good Men" and TV's "The West

Wing." With his ample research,
he handles Zuckerberg's technical
terminology with ease. Maintain-
ing his characteristically rapid
and sharp dialogue, he conquers
the greatest challenge of the film
with tact and yet dares to fully
explore controversy.
Jesse Eisenberg is the ben-
eficiary of a well written main
character, but his performance
adds a boyish, sensitive charm
to the role. His character is more
Eisenberg than it is the real Mark
Zuckerberg, but he executes
his script with fine attention to
detail.
David Fincher ("Fight Club")
uses appropriate stylistic ele-
ments - montage and tightly
bound editing - to keep the mise-
en-scene young, fresh and far
livelier than the average based-
on-true-events movie, appealing
to the generation most familiar
with Facebook.
He and Sorkin together handle
the film's flashback/flash-forward
structure in expert fashion. The
film depicts a pivotal meeting
See SOCIAL NETWORK, Page 8

Despite going gray,
BSS still rocks on

ByKRISTYN ACHO
Daily Music Editor
Broken Social Scene drummer
Justin Peroff has some explaining
to do.
Last April, Bwkn
eager fans of the
15-plus Toronto Social SCee
pack were left Tonight at
dissatisfied and 730 p.m.
understandably
a bit bitter when Michigan Theater
the BSS show at Ticketsfrom $24
The Michigan
Theater was abruptly canceled.
Fans became even more frustrat-
ed when rumors circulated that
the cancelation was due to the
vague excuse of "illness."
Inlight of the recentlyresched-
uled show presented by Universi-
ty Union Arts and Programs, The
Michigan Daily spoke with Per-
off about the reasons behind the
bail and where the band stands
eight years after their critically
acclaimed release You Forget It In
People.
"I was actually sick. So that's
a legitimate thing. In our entire
career, standing close to ten years
now, we've only ever canceled
two shows and they were both
due to actual legitimate illness-
es," Peroff said.
There was speculation that
2006's Ann Arbor show would be
BSS's last show ever. But again,
Peroff set the record straight.
"I think perhaps what might
have happened through the clas-
sic game of broken telephone is
that we wanted to take some time
off. It was our last show before
taking a one-year hiatus essen-
tially where we just wanted to
recharge.
"I guess we finally decided to
grow up and get our shit together,
and it's working out OK." Peroff
said.
Peroff elaborates, explaining
that the band needed time to just
be nornial.
"We didn't want to end up hat-
ing each other or what we do ...
so we decided to stay home for a

while,"
marries
has kid
cally s
those b
have tc
ship w
decided
with fa
in thei
your w
ing."
With
it In P
the mo
the dec
he feels
such at
"It c
person
wrecki
was be
people
air. It w
lot of p.
the ban
Think3
an aud
An
the
C
story of
This
to do v
Social1
made u
"We
who fo
decided
not ant
pen aft:
Altha
is a col
membe
stayed
band to
"Asf
a tourii
refined
bandsli
have cl

he said. "Some of us are bands and we're proud of watch-
d and Charlie (Spearin) ing their successes grow ... so
is, so we wanted to basi- really there's a core membership."
ave various relationships, This core membership includes
eing the relationship we Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning,
ogether and the relation- Sam Goldberg, Lisa Lobsinger,
e have at home. So we Andrew Whiteman and Charles
Ito take 2007 to reconnect Spearin, and while Peroff can't
mily life and, to wake up confirm any new members of the
morning at home and hug band, he did have some light to
ife. It's kind of a nice feel- shed regarding recording another
album.
the 2002 release of Forget "As far as BSS making music
eople, BSS became one of until we're old and gray - some
st celebrated indie bands of of us are already getting there.
ade. Peroff explains why I mean I've got some gray goin'
the record resonates with on in my head. But if it all ends
wide audience. tomorrow I would be satisfied. I
ame at a time that we never anticipated making music
ally felt that there was a this good for this long. So I'm
in the type of music that already satisfied. In 10 years I'll
ing created. And a lot of be ecstatic."
saw it as a breath of fresh Broken Social Scene has been
was something unique to a busy touring since September to
eople and the story behind promote their latest album For-
d was strange and cool. I giveness Rock Recordreleased last
You Forget It In People was May.
ible version of what the "We got to play some shows
with The Wooden Birds and now
we've got The Sea and Cake with
us. We've all had some good times
apology for and we're all in good company."
And it seems as though their
April concert latest tracks are being well
-ancelation. received, including the latest
hauntingly trippy track, "Chase
Scene."
"People are really taking a
f Broken Social Scene is." shining to the new songs both
strange coolness may have on record and in a live setting.
with the fact that Broken We've most recently been playing
Scene is essentially a band 'Chase Scene' live which has been
p of other bands. a bit challenging, but the payoff
were a music community has been really satisfying - just
und each other and just getting through it and getting a
Ito make music as a whole, response. That's been a blast."
icipating what would hap- Peroff is to still nostalgic for
:erwards," Peroff said. tracks on widely adored album
ough Broken Social Scene Forget it In People and he plans to
lection of artists, the core continue playing them before he's
rship of the band has over-the-hill.
together, allowing the "We try to keep it to a 50-50
play exciting live shows. split. I can't even believe You For-
far as keeping it alive as get It In People is going to be eight
ng thing, we sort of have years old this year. It'll be nice to
it because our friends in play the album before we're old
ike Metric and Lesley Fiest and gray and our kids are all in
early established their own high school."

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