[4 minute read]
Run-time: 2h1mBy Natalie Grace Sipula
While on my phone the other day, I accidentally scrolled to the menu that records my daily screen time. To put it lightly, I was shocked by the amount of time I have been spending on my phone lately. I think most of us can relate to an increase in screen time occurring in our daily lives since quarantine began. Technology and social media have connected us in ways that were never thought to be possible, and they allow us to stay contributing members of society even from home. It makes me wonder how we would have reacted to quarantine 15 or 20 years ago, but then, one doesn’t miss something which is unknown to them. That transition to global interconnectedness through technology is truly unique to this generation, and social media has played a large role in that transition. If you are looking for a film to watch at home that explores this very topic, look no further than The Social Network.
Academy award nominated film The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and many others, directed by David Fincher, traces the development of Facebook from its humble beginnings: Mark Zuckerberg’s college dorm room at Harvard. The film employs a variety of timelines to chronicle the story of Facebook’s creation, the personal lives of its founders, and the ensuing intellectual property lawsuits that plagued Zuckerberg’s young career. It is fast-paced, exciting, and rife with witty banter.
The first time I watched this movie I was struck by the impressive dialogue and pacing. The director shot this film in a way that moves almost as fast as the connections millions of people make on Facebook every day. The dialogue is rapid, the interpersonal relationships between the characters are complex, and the story weaves between the business and personal narratives of its subjects, which are as intense and messy as anyone would expect from college students finding themselves at the forefront of a multi-million dollar idea. Prior to watching, I expected the movie to be more similar to a biopic of Mark Zuckerberg’s life, but it focused on the narrative of his life objectively from multiple perspectives, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the series of events. This, along with the variety of short scenes taking place in different locations in a non time-sequential order, truly makes you feel like you are piecing together Zuckerberg’s story from pieces of information found in various places on the Internet. It surely leaves a strong impression on the viewer along with questions about the influence media has on our lives.
Main takeaway: The Social Network is entertaining, high quality, and a perfect quarantine watch. Focusing on the lives and ambitions of college students, it is relevant to a young, motivated audience, and part of the movie was even filmed on campus at USC (see if you can figure out which buildings!). In this time where interpersonal connections have become more important than ever, you might find this film striking a chord with you more personally than expected.
Natalie Grace Sipula is a Philosophy, Politics, and Law major with a Spanish minor and plans to pursue a career in law or research science. She is a rising sophomore from Cleveland, OH and is a Presidential Scholar studying in Thematic Option. Natalie is an active member of Phi Alpha Delta (Director of Recruitment) and QuestBridge Scholars. Growing up she was dedicated to theatre, including studying and performing at Cleveland Play House. She graduated high school as a Global Scholar, Mock Trial state competitor, and Varsity Cross Country team member. She is a volunteer camp counselor with Mi Pueblo Culture Camp in Cleveland. Since arriving in Los Angeles she has enjoyed volunteering with City of Angels Pit Bull Rescue and in her free time enjoys reading Russian and ancient Greek literature.