News / Arts & Entertainment

'The Social Network' Tells True Story of Worldwide Phenomenon, Facebook

Andrew Garfield, left, and Jesse Eisenberg in Columbia Pictures'
Andrew Garfield, left, and Jesse Eisenberg in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network."

Multimedia

Audio

In less than a decade, Facebook has become a worldwide phenomenon; but despite its overnight success, the creation of this Internet-based community was not without controversy and a new film, The Social Network, is based on that true story … or, actually, the various versions of that true story.



"People want to go on the Internet and check out their friends, so why not build a website that offers the friends, pictures, profiles …"
"This idea is potentially worth millions of dollars."
"Millions!"


Getting dates, not making money seems to have been the motivation for Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 when, smarting from a break-up, the Harvard student and computer whiz sat down at the keyboard with his best friend Eduardo.

Their "Facemash" website became an instant hit on campus. It took a few refinements to expand the scope and turn it into something that captured the attention of the world just by posting information members want their friends to know.



"You don't know my name, do you? How do you go to a party and you meet somebody …"

"Amelia Ritter, but you prefer Amy. You're from Orinda. Your father is in commercial real estate and your mother is 10 years sober."
"What's my major?"
"French. Your major is French."

Facebook quickly grows into a global connection with some 500 million 'friends;' but, as the movie's advertising points out, you don't get that many friends without making a few enemies.

"You stole our website!"
"They are saying we stole the Facebook …"
"I know what it says."
"So did we?"


The legal battle pits friend against friend and shatters relationships. English actor Andrew Garfield, who plays Eduardo Saverin, says the technology they invented is not the story.

Andrew Garfield in Columbia Pictures'
Andrew Garfield in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network," also starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake.

"Facebook is just a backdrop to these incredibly universal themes that are playing out between people," explains Garfield, "like brotherhood, love, betrayal, power - all of these Shakespearean, Greek things."

Jesse Eisenberg stars as the computer genius at the center of the tempest, but he never spoke with the real Mark Zuckerberg (who, like the other principals, did not cooperate with the making of the movie).

Jesse Eisenberg stars in Columbia Pictures'
Jesse Eisenberg stars in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network."

"I spent six months thinking about him every day," says Eisenberg. " I developed a great affection for my character and, of course, by extension, the man. I'd be very interested to meet him."

The Social Network script is by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who says the multiple (and conflicting) versions of the truth challenged and intrigued him.

"The antagonist and protagonist in this story shifts as we go along," notes Sorkin. "I don't think this movie belongs to any particular drama, but the one that it is most closely related to is actually courtroom drama, where we are certain of someone's guilt or innocence at the beginning and we change our minds five times all the way through. Strictly speaking, Mark is the anti-hero for the first hour and 55 minutes and the final five minutes being the tragic hero, which means that he has paid a price and is experiencing remorse. Protagonist and antagonist in this case don't relate to 'good guy' and 'bad guy.'

Sorkin insists his script is fair to all sides in the ongoing argument; but star Eisenberg says it is important to keep in mind that The Social Network is the dramatized version of events, not a documentary.

Justin Timberlake, left, and Jesse Eisenberg in Columbia Pictures'
Justin Timberlake, left, and Jesse Eisenberg in Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network."

"In the movie that Aaron created is a guy that is desperately trying to fit in and doesn't have the social wherewithal to do so. I could certainly relate to that," admits Eisenberg. "Almost to cope, he creates this incredible tool to interact in a way that he feels comfortable. Because of his incredible insights, 500 million other people also feel comfortable using that tool. It's just a fascinating character, complicated in all the right ways, so even though he acts in a way that might be hurtful to other characters, by the end of the movie it's totally understandable.

The Social Network, directed by David Fincher and executive produced by Kevin Spacey, also features pop star Justin Timberlake as an early Facebook supporter, Sean Parker, founder of the Napster file-sharing website. The eclectic, electronic-themed soundtrack is composed by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.