Posted on: 21 September 2010
On September 24th the New York Film festival enters its 48th year with The Social Network, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s caustic, dramatized biography of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. This particular selection is subversive, as evidenced by the festival’s website, architected with Twitter and Facebook modules that are updated in real time. These imply an intention on the part of the festival in whole to be as contemporary as possible.
There is an issue with this intention, and although it’s the same issue that faces all film festivals, the selection of a film about Facebook is particularly anomalous for the NYFF, which otherwise confidently populates its main slate with keystones from the international festival circuit—films that are generally more nuanced and less exploitative in their allusions to the contemporary than a film about a six-year-old platform in a media that is aging more rapidly than any other. And at this, a platform so mainstream in its appeal that one ponders its intrigue to the sophisticates that strew a NYFF audience. Nonetheless, The Social Network primes this year’s festival as a forum for debate, more readily than the festival’s preceding openers.
Festival staples Julie Taymor and Clint Eastwood tentpole the main slate with The Tempest and Hereafter; the centerpiece and closing night films, respectively. Along with The Social Network, these films – all premieres, all American – frame the festival’s diversified summary of milestones at Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Toronto: Mike Leigh’s Another Year; Cristi Puiu’s Aurora, a cousin to his 2005 festival entry The Death of Mr. Lazarescu; Kelly Reichardt’s first period film, Meek’s Cutoff; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s surprise Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. As is our custom, in the coming weeks we’ll be present at each of these and others, and record our response to the films that strike us the most.
The 48th New York Film Festival runs from 24 September to 10 October, 2010. Please refer to this page for reviews of select festival films.
Introduction by Rumsey Taylor