Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just a good story?

On my recent long flight I also watched the movie, The Social Network about the founding of Facebook. I thought it was pretty interesting but then I read the Time magazine article about their Person of the Year, Mark Zuckerberg. The article explained that the movie differed from the real story, particularly in mis-representing Zuckerberg by giving him two primary motivations: to make money and regain a lost girlfriend, Erica. In real life, he has had the same girl friend since before he founded Facebook. It is interesting to read the Wikipedia page about how inaccurate the film is. Here are a couple of extracts:
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz called the film a "dramatization of history ... it is interesting to see my past rewritten in a way that emphasizes things that didn't matter," 
Screenwriter Sorkin [who also made West Wing] has stated that, "I don’t want my fidelity to be to the truth; I want it to be to storytelling. What is the big deal about accuracy purely for accuracy’s sake, and can we not have the true be the enemy of the good?"
Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig wrote: ".... But from the story as told, we certainly know enough to know that any legal system that would allow these kids [the twins] to extort $65 million from the most successful business this century should be ashamed of itself."
Somehow, I have a problem with Sorkin's "creativity". It is a bit like Dan Brown's books. What do others think?

Reading the Time article, emphasizing how Facebook has "changed the world", actually stimulated my previous post, Masters of our destiny?

1 comment:

  1. Writers at least from Shakespeare to Bernard Shaw to Shaeffer (Amadeus) were very loose with historical accurate biographies, using real or imagined parts of historical lives that dovetailed into their own preoccupations and themes (Shakespeare criticised a lot of Elizabethan culture and politics in play form hidden behind historical characters because to do so openly was to invite execution- even so I think he sailed close to the wind). I still haven't seen SN, but from what I recall it was done with Zuckerberg's permission, if not help... and it portrayed him as a socially inept downright insulting idiot whose reasons for starting fb, at least from the girlfriend angle, was abhorrent. It would be interesting to see how different the film was from the reality- if it was me I'd consider suing if was a lie!