CINEMA: The Friendster

WALL STREET JOURNAL: The film—which premieres Friday night and will be widely released Oct. 1 by Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures—takes as its narrative framework two lawsuits over the company’s origins. Facebook later settled the cases. On Friday, Mr. Zuckerberg will announce on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that he is donating $100 million to the public schools in Newark, N.J.— his first major act of philanthropy. Facebook’s efforts to combat the film stretch back to the 2009 publication of Ben Mezrich’s book, “The Accidental Billionaires,” upon which the film is based. “Ben Mezrich clearly aspires to be the Jackie Collins or Danielle Steele of Silicon Valley,” Facebook’s top communication and strategy executive, Elliot Schrage, told several news outlets in a statement last summer. Mr. Mezrich defended his book Thursday, saying, “They haven’t pointed out anything that isn’t true.” The movie’s producers made the film without attempting to secure rights to Mr. Zuckerberg’s life story, because they felt they had enough research to back up the film without his cooperation. The company didn’t formally cooperate, either, but at least one executive engaged in detailed negotiations with the filmmakers over the script, an attempt to mitigate the damage the film could do. MORE

[Photo by PLATION]

W: “Sean may be the devil,” [Aaron] Sorkin said at lunch, “but he gets that Zuckerberg is lonely. The common denominator in all my writing is, it’s okay to be alone, if you can find family at work. It’s the romance of being good at your job and being committed to it.” Sorkin [pictured, above] paused. It was hard not to think he was speaking about himself. From his first full-length play, A Few Good Men, in 1989, to The West Wing and The Social Network, writing has been, in a real sense, his salvation. “It’s like an on/off switch,” he explained. “Everything can be going well, but if I’m not writing, I’m not happy. When I’m writing well I’m like a different person.” He paused again. “I should be dead,” he said matter-of-factly. “I should be dead five times now. I did things that should have killed me.” When he lived in this hotel, Sorkin was a crack addict. After A Few Good Men was a hit on Broadway and was sold to the movies, Sorkin, who has a B.F.A. from Syracuse University, flew to Los Angeles to work on the screenplay. Although he initially wanted to be an actor, Sorkin has a gift for dialogue (who can forget Jack Nicholson bellowing, “You can’t handle the truth!” in A Few Good Men), and his first script earned an Oscar nomination for best picture. That success led to other screenplays, and in 1993 he was living in a suite at the Four Seasons, writing The American President and taking drugs.“I had what they call a ‘high bottom,’” he explained. “My life didn’t fall apart before I got into rehab. I didn’t lose my job or run over a kid or injure anyone when I was high. But the hardest thing I do every day is not take cocaine. You don’t get cured of addiction—you’re just in remission.” MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *