OSCAR: Documentary On 'Social Network'

Sony Pictures is looking for any way to focus attention back on the reasons why The Social Network was the early Best Picture frontrunner for most of the season until it got gobsmacked in the Guild awards by a certain British film. So the studio is taking out ads in Los Angeles promoting a free screening of David Prior’s new 90-minute feature documentary, How Did They Ever Make A Movie Of Facebook? (Clip here.) Prior is a frequent collaborator with David Fincher who produced docs on his films The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Zodiac, and Panic Room, and will introduce the film and do a post-screening Q&A on Sunday at the Arclight in Sherman Oaks. It is open to the industry and public and and it’s free but reservations are required at (310) 244-3901. This event takes place just as The Social Network will be learning its fate at the BAFTA awards in London where it is up for six major prizes (compared to hometown fave The King’s Speech nommed for 14). The London Film Critics just gave it a boost when it was named Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay this week so things are looking up. Or is it just a case of more critics trying to friend the movie again? With news reports crediting Facebook as a major factor in the Egyptian revolution that pushed out its President, I would say it is certainly not a bad time to turn the spotlight on the importance of the whole Facebook phenomenon that inspired The Social Network. With ballots out for another 11 days, bringing attention to this documentary is one way to keep the contemporary relevance of the film top of mind, even though Academy rules forbid the studio from sending the doc directly to members or inviting them directly to the screening. The doc can also be seen on IMDB and clips from it are also running as interstitials on Time Warner Cable.

  1. Social Network certainly deserves to win Best Picture but it won’t because the older Academy voters don’t understand its relevance. They still don’t get the internet at all. Sony should try outright bribery with cash under the table to get those older voters.

  2. David Prior also directed one of the best short films I’ve ever seen…”AM1200″…if you can find it, well worth the time

  3. I hope that’s not true. I have no connection to either film, but I think The Social Network was so much fresher, riveting and powerful. The King’s Speech was well done, but small. It really could have run on HBO rather than theatrically. I’m gladit got nominated, but it’s not the best picture of the year by a long shot.

  4. TSN is a very good movie but it has one fatal flaw–it has no protagonist. And THAT’S why it won’t win Best Picture.

    1. Conditioned much? Seriously, can’t a film / filmmaker take a risk / break the so-called “rules” that no one really invented to create something fresh and altogether riveting?

      NO PROTAGONIST? Are you kidding? This is EXACTLY why people seriously need to stop reading McKee and all these other “writing gurus.”

      Not everything that comes out of the Hollywood machine needs to be cookie-cutter. That’s what derailed good filmmaking in this country in the 80s.

    2. It has a protagonist – he is staring at you from the poster right there next to this article. What it doesn’t have is a hero.

  5. It should also win Best Picture because it was simply the best movie of 2010. Loved Inception, thought King’s Speech was a solid drama, but Fincher’s movie was so alive, so intelligent and so damn entertaining that 120 minutes feels more like two. And David Prior’s documentary on the making of the film is terrific as well.

  6. I think the Oscar comes down to what film will people look back on in 10 years and think mattered..
    and Social Network is that film…not ‘King’s Speech’

  7. I may never again be permitted to post on this or any other industry board, but I have to finally say I simply do not understand how or why this film is considered “Best Picture” caliber. Yes, of course I realize this puts me far outside the mainstream, and even the more haughty film critics. But I just don’t get it. And, yes, it has had me considering there’s suddenly something wrong with MY critical faculties, but a lengthy self-review going back for years leads me to believe I’ve not thrown a flywheel or stripped a gear. My favorite hasn’t always won, but I was in the running and I at LEAST understood why the ones on the list got on the list.

    I have no real gripes about “Social Network,” but I think the suggestion that this is a film that will be remembered well into the future, a hallmark for the industry, that it’s a standard-bearer, strikes me as ludicrous.

    OK, got that off my chest.

    Thought the story was interesting, the Zuckerberg character one worthy of study – really, no hates or howls. It was a pretty decent movie, and I adore the Sorkin “style.” But BEST PICTURE?

    A Hurt Locker? No Country…? Beautiful Mind? Gump? Schindler’s List?

    I just don’t get it.

    1. Don’t forget the “it defines a generation” hype…please! Facebook may define a generation; however the movie will not. I’m not a hater though, it was a good movie, just not Best Picture.

    2. I’m with ya. Even watched Social Network twice because I just could not see how this could (at the time) be the front runner. Thought the dialogue was snappy and fresh, but found the film so manipulative, empty, and did not care for a single person on that screen. King’s Speech, on the other hand, stayed with me, mostly because of the strong acting, but also because of the interesting story and the fact that it has heart.

  8. I do applaud The King’s Speech for the manipulative piece of melodrama that it is (I enjoyed it), but it is not even close to being in the same league with The Social Network.
    People need to stop seeing it as ‘that Facebook movie about the Internet’ and realize that it is more broadly about human social networking in general (you know, relationships between people).
    Even if it wasn’t about the creation of one of the most influential cultural tools of our age, I don’t think its quality writing, direction, and acting is lost on people of all ages.

  9. The Social Network definitely deserves Best Picture.

    Loved King’s, too–it was my second fav on 2010–but Social Network was a tour de force from the first frame. It actually shocked me how great it was.

    I have a feeling, however, that The King’s Speech is going to run away with awards, which I think speaks volumes about the lazy thinking in Hollywood.

    It will be interesting to see this play out.

  10. David Prior is truly an artist who will be discovered very, very soon. His short, ‘AM:1200’lives up to the buzz and then some. A rarity in this city – a smart alec who backs up the wise-crack with the wisdom. He’s scary smart and gifted with genius and madness too — watch out. There’s little wonder Fincher enthusiastically touts his efforts – Hollywood, take note.

  11. It will be a memorable movie because it’s a movie that wide open to interpretation and projection.

    It has NewsweeK’s Jeremy McCarter arguing that it is about a bunch of people who don’t know how to live because they don’t know how to cope with loneliness, it has The New York Times’ Zadie Smith saying it’s about someone who’s too hyped up on the idea that he’s in Heaven to notice that he’s in Hell. It has people saying that it is very uncomplimentary towards its subject, and it has other people saying the way the movie makes Erica Albright Zuckerberg’s entire motivation for everything makes it the kind of lie Zuckerberg would tell himself to get laid. I know some people who thought it was unrelentingly bleak and cynical, and I know others who laughed their pants off. I’ve seen comparisons to Citizen Kane, Hamlet, and the Star Wars prequels.

    Whatever this movie is it will continue to elude an easy definition of its meaning, its genre, its tone. It will continue to be whatever people see in it. Movies that keep people not only guessing but also allow them to project their own ideas and interpretations onto them tend to be very memorable. Not necessarily universally beloved but memorable.

  12. …why do they award a film for “Best Picture”?
    relevance = the social network
    film making = Inception
    coherence (character, dialogue, music, set + camera work) = Black Swan…
    so wat really is it?

  13. The movie is relevant, but that does not mean it is a movie worthy of an award, it is more of a biopic and introspective into dichotomy of the lawsuits involved in the aftermath of it’s success. But an enjoyable movie nonetheless.

  14. You can’t on the one hand say this film is not “about Facebook” and on the other say it “defines a generation.” The characters here are cutthroat, Harvard-educated businesspeople. Which generation does this movie supposedly define? Baby boomers? Because all I see when I look around at today’s 20-somethings is a bunch of undereducated celebrity-obsessed texting doofuses who think they’re going to be the next Zach Efron but will just be serving me lattes for the next 20 years.

    Good movie though.

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