Tuesday, January 18, 2011
An American Myth
Just watched The Social Network again from a Redbox with my father, both my brothers, my grandmother, my aunt, and my cousins. I am even more certain the second time 'round that The Social Network is the greatest American movie I've ever seen released in my movie-going lifetime. There has never been a movie released while I was an active moviegoer that contained so much mythical weight and excitement and wit and craftsmanship and emotional power and allegorical meaning and open-ended interpretation and unsolvable mysteries within it from first frame to last. It is a world in of itself, realer than our own as all great movies are. But the world within the movie further illuminates great movies of the past from His Girl Friday to Citizen Kane to Red River to Bridge Over the River Kwai to Chinatown to Network to Amadeus to Goodfellas to The Truman Show. In its turn, The Social Network will be illuminated by its descendants and give still more light to those privileged enough to experience what it offers. I have no doubt that in forty years, this will be mentioned as a movie that defines the American experience as well as Citizen Kane or The Godfather. Facts be damned, this is an American myth as powerful as any that came before, or any that will come after. It is a movie that we will turn to so as to understand ourselves better.