TIFF 2011:

We Need to Talk about Kevin was my favorite film of those I caught at this years’ Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2011). Directed by Lynne Ramsay and starring Tilda Swinton, the film is based on the novel by Lionel Shriver.

I also enjoyed Tyrannosaur (the directing debut of actor Paddy Considine), Take Shelter (directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon), The Hunter (directed by Daniel Nettheim and starring Willem Dafoe), and Melancholia (directed by Lars Von Trier and starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland and Alexander Skarsgård).

Photo of Tilda Swinton at TIFF copyright © 2011 Kathryn Bailey.

[T]he most frustrating bit of The Social Network is … . . its failure to even mention the real magic behind the Facebook story … . that Zuckerberg’s genius could be embraced by half-a-billion people within six years of its first being launched, without (and here is the critical bit) asking permission of anyone. The real story is not the invention. It is the platform that makes the invention sing … . . For less than $1,000, [Zuckerberg] could get his idea onto the Internet. He needed no permission from the network provider. He needed no clearance from Harvard to offer it to Harvard students. Neither with Yale, or Princeton, or Stanford. Nor with every other community he invited in. Because the platform of the Internet is open and free, or in the language of the day, because it is a “neutral network,” a billion Mark Zuckerbergs have the opportunity to invent for the platform … . The tragedy … . . is that practically everyone watching it will miss this point. Practically everyone walking out will think they understand genius on the Internet. But almost none will have seen the real genius here. And that is tragedy because just at the moment when we celebrate the product of these two wonders—Zuckerberg and the Internet—working together, policymakers are conspiring ferociously with old world powers to remove the conditions for this success. As “network neutrality” gets bargained away … . the opportunities for the Zuckerbergs of tomorrow will shrink. And as they do, we will return more to the world where success depends upon permission. And privilege. And insiders. And where fewer turn their souls to inventing the next great idea.
Larry Lessig reviews The Social Network.

David Fincher’s upcoming film (October 2010): The Social Network, about the founding and founders of Facebook.


What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become technical. Creative people are born creative – you’re lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. Its something they’ll never get. You can’t buy it, find it, study it – you’re born with it. Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? they become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that. If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.
Robert Rodriguez on film-making.

Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez’s eighty-minute film Double Take.

ArtForum on the film: “‘They say that if you meet your double, you should kill him.’ The mantra in Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez’s eighty-minute film Double Take, 2009, suggests that the real must assert itself against its image to prevent its own defeat in an ongoing battle between fiction and reality. The quotation is from the narrative that anchors the film—written by British novelist Tom McCarthy and based on Jorge Luis Borges’s short story ‘August 25, 1983’—in which Alfred Hitchcock meets an older version of himself.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 70% Fresh

Demand dips for online films

Demand dips for online films