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maryann johanson | takeaway only

cinematic roots of: ‘The Social Network’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg invents Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, only to have all his friends and enemies sue him claiming he stole their ideas. This flick sprang from (among other films):

Antitrust (2001), in which Ryan Phillippe’s genius programmer runs afoul of a Bill Gates-esque corporate overlord (Tim Robbins) and runs around and types on keyboards a lot in an attempt to escape.

Flash of Genius (2008), also based on a true story, about a man who invented a safety device for automobiles (Greg Kinnear) that we take for granted today, only to see his idea stolen by Detroit.

Michael Clayton (2007), in which corporate dishonesty is business as usual and George Clooney can fix the truth to be whatever a VP needs.

The Game (1997), for more from director David Fincher; in this early effort, Michael Douglas gets caught up in an all-consuming live-action game that takes over his life, sort of like Facebook itself can do.
Where to buy:
Antitrust [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Flash of Genius [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Game [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Michael Clayton [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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