New trailer for "The Social Network" is classic scifi techno-tragedy

Illustration for article titled New trailer for The Social Network is classic scifi techno-tragedy
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There's a good case to be made that The Social Network is a science fiction movie set in the present, about the way technology transforms human life - often with tragic and unintended consequences. The new trailer delivers on tragedy.

Of course the tragic victims are us, the people who use Facebook because we want to matter, we want to feel like somebody is listening to us. We want to feel like we have friends, and that everybody can see how popular we are.


I can't wait to see this movie, which explores a relatively new kind of corporate evil: The social network mogul. It also perfectly follows the arc of tragedy, which Aristotle described as the transformation of happiness into suffering. And the tragedy is what befalls all of us, the users of Facebook. Our hopes for social happiness are in the hands of somebody who just wants to use us as pawns in his own schemes. As you can see in the trailer, Zuckerberg is represented as a kind of monstrous social climber, offering people the promise of social connectedness in order to secure his place in the techno-elite. I am completely sold on lead actor Jesse Eisenberg here - he's a weaselly creep with depth.

If you want to do a little Film Studies 101 prep for this movie, a good flick to see is the Academy-award-winning 1952 stunner The Bad and the Beautiful, which features Kirk Douglas playing a soulless Hollywood producer who is willing to destroy everyone and everything to create movies that audiences will love. I think he's the template for Zuckerberg in The Social Network - a guy who delivers mass-produced "happiness" to the world on a platform built from cruelty, deception, and egomania.

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Unrelated to the video itself, but the fact that an ad started playing AFTER the video, ONE WHICH I COULD NOT TURN OFF, made me immediately close the tab. Not the best way to keep people on your site, guys.