Cinema News and Reviews for the Rest of Us

Teaser: ‘The Social Network’

The teaser trailer for David Fincher’s next film, The Social Network, has just hit the internet.  It’s a textbook example of how to construct an effective teaser.  Establish your film’s focus (in this case Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and not the network’s users or even the network itself), and then include enough bits of dialogue to give a sense of how the film will approach its subject.  It doesn’t tip its hand too much and it does an excellent job of stoking anticipation for those already excited about it.

For many, the prospect of a movie based on Facebook may seem silly and built on a rather thin foundation.  But the story behind the rise of this social network and its mercurial creator has ample dramatic notes to form a very compelling film.  Last month, I read David Kilpatrick’s nonfiction work “The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting The World.”  It’s a fascinating book about a fascinating subject, and that’s coming from someone who is a conflicted Facebook user and not exactly an afficianado or even a fan.  Whatever your own experience with Facebook, it is a connective force of nature that in less than a decade has soared past half a billion users.  Everyone knows about it, whether they use it or not.  It’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the most influential and yet one of the least understood shapers of the modern world, which makes him and his Facebook saga excellent fodder for a film, especially in the hands of the detail-obsessed Fincher. All of the words in the teaser can be aptly applied to Zuckerberg: Punk, Billionaire, Genius.  He is all of the these things and more, and all before the age of 26.

Fincher is the perfect match for the material.  He’s an ultra-focused analyst behind the camera and he’ll approach his subject from every possible angle using every bit of information he can cram in without losing narrative effect, whether that subject be the unidentified Zodiac Killer or the wunderkind mastermind behind the world’s greatest social force.  He’ll give this story the professional dress of reality and the dramatic heft of world-shaking consequence, a balancing act that lesser filmmakers find very difficult.  He won’t glamorize nor condemn his subject, though the teaser gives the impression that he will be rather critical.  Talented young actor Jeffrey Eisenberg (Adventureland) is also a promising choice to play Zuckerberg.  He has the ability to combine an endearing earnestness and passion with the grating hyperconfidence of a young punk too smart for his own good.

Oh, and did I mention that the script is written by West Wing meistro Aaron Sorkin?  So, yeah, the writing will probably be pretty solid too.

Great teaser, and I’m starting to get very excited about this project.

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