One of the most anticipated films coming this Fall is Mank,David Fincher’s take on Herman J. Mankiewicz writing Citizen Kane, from a script penned by Fincher’s own father, Jack. Also back in the news is plausible talk of Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin joining forces (again) for a sequel of The Social Network. October 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Facebook’s origins story, as seen by the director of Seven. With an upcoming election, in which Mark Zuckerberg’s company will play an outsize role, and with more sparring between Facebook and Congress to come, The Social Network makes for a very good Movie of the Week. Something to definitely revisit.
Less insightfully ferocious than Mike Judge’s brilliant satirical series Silicon Valley and less an investigative exposé than Alex Gibney’s The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (both highly recommended), Fincher’s film has the dark grandeur of a nineteenth century novel, with a third millennium plot. Its tone both exhilarating and sobering. A twentysomething visionary with a killer instinct, an antisocial kid who reinvented social relations on a global scale, Zuckerberg (as played by Jesse Eisenberg) has been compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby and Budd Schulberg’s Sammy Glick. One can also add Orson Welles’ and Herman J. Mankievicz’s Charles Foster Kane. Which of course brings us back to Mank.
The Social Network can be viewed on Netflix