I've not seen The Social Network yet, though I do intend to, maybe this weekend. But I've read a great deal about it and the more I read the more puzzled I get.
Because here are all these movie critics, mostly starry-eyed fans of Aaron Sorkin, banging on about Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg's moral turpitude in allegedly double-crossing his best mate, and allegedly cheating the Winklevoss twins, and being a vilely sexist little arse, and so on and so endlessly on. (And no doubt some of this is more or less true. I've just Googled Zuckerberg to confirm my sense of his age and was a bit horrified to discover that he is my astrological twin. Him, David Byrne, Cate Blanchett and me. Go figure.)
But what I have not yet seen one film critic do, not one so far, is question -- or even mention -- the ethics of making a film 'about' a 26 year old man that makes him look as much as possible like a dishonest, unpleasant little schmuck, but that Sorkin defends by saying it's not a documentary, it's a 'story'.
I don't know much about Sorkin, but I know enough to know that he knows perfectly well that most people are actually not all that sophisticated about these things, and that 95% of the people who see that movie will come out of thinking that they now know the whole truth about the real Mark Zuckerberg.
Imagine if an idolised and influential screenwriter nearly twice your age who'd decided he didn't like you, thought you were a moral midget, and held your invention in contempt (as Sorkin has made it clear he does, despite the fact, of which he seems proud, that he's more than happy to despise Facebook while knowing almost nothing about the uses of it) made a movie about a character with your name who invents your invention and is sued by the same people you've been sued by, and in the process makes you look as bad as possible -- and then says loftily, no, no, it's not a documentary, it's a story about great themes, so I'm allowed to make stuff up and leave stuff out and gaily mix up fact and fiction as much as I want.
Imagine if somebody did that to you. At all, much less when you were still only 26 and had to carry it for the rest of your life. What would you call that, if not unethical?
In which the pond turns to the Caterists and Dame Groan ... - The pond is never sure whether the reptiles are mocking the Donald, or mocking themselves for admitting that they're the Donalds of down under journalism...
17 minutes ago