The antisocial movie

Jeff Jarvis has been to see ‘The Social Network’. He didn’t like it. Here he explains why.

The Social Network is the anti-social movie. It distrusts and makes no effort to understand the phenomenon right in front of its nose. It disapproves—as media people, old and neonew, do—of rabblerous or drunk or drugged-up or oversexed masses doing what they do. Ah, but its fans will say, it’s really just a drama about a man. But that’s where it fails most. It can’t begin to explain this man because it doesn’t grok what he made—what he’s still making “We don’t even know what it is yet,” Zuckerberg says in the movie, “It’s never finished”.

The Social Network is the anti-geek movie. It is the story that those who resist the change society is undergoing want to see. It says the internet is not a revolution but only the creation of a few odd, machine-men, the boys we didn’t like in college. The Social Network is the revenge on the revenge of the nerds…

Bang on cue, here’s the WSJ [old media] piling in to make Jeff’s point. The paper just loves the movie. “The film’s substance”, it gushes,

lies mainly in its convoluted tale of vast ambition—an ambition oddly disconnected, in Mr. Zuckerberg’s case, from a desire to make money—spectacular success and bitter betrayal. Not since “Apollo 13” has a mainstream motion picture conveyed so much factual as well as dramatic information with such clarity and agility. First Mark moves beyond—or pilfers the intellectual property of—three upperclassmen who’d approached him for help on a website they called Harvard Connection. Later the newly-minted young magnate has a painful falling out with Facebook’s original business manager, Eduardo Saverin: he’s played with great subtlety and rueful charm by Andrew Garfield, who’ll be seen as Peter Parker in the next “Spider-Man.” While the movie’s prevailing mood is excitation—hardly a moment goes by when someone isn’t having a brilliant idea—its dominant mode is litigation, thanks to one suit on behalf of those Harvard upperclassmen, and another brought by Eduardo.

Dave Winer went to see the film. His typically sensible notes are here.