jesse eisenberg

PREDISPOSED’s Melissa Leo on her wild ride and Tracy Morgan’s Sundance hospitalization

PREDISPOSED’s Melissa Leo on her wild ride and Tracy Morgan’s Sundance hospitalization

“What happened to Tracy Morgan?”

That was the question on everyone’s mind Monday morning at the Sundance Film Festival after hearing the 30 Rock star had collapsed at the festival Sunday evening. He was in town promoting the ensemble comedy PREDISPOSED, but ended up at the hospital. People immediately began speculating that substance abuse was to blame—a rumor that was quickly debunked by a hospital spokesman, who said no alcohol or drugs were found in his system. Two years ago, Morgan had a kidney transplant and is a diabetic. Turns out it was the altitude.

Tracy Morgan, Sean Penn & Frances McDormand star in late additions to 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Tracy Morgan, Sean Penn & Frances McDormand star in late additions to 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Institute announced today the selection of four additional films for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The Festival will be January 19 through 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The complete list of films is available at www.sundance.org/festival.

Katharine, Jesse and Screwball Comedy in THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Katharine, Jesse and Screwball Comedy in THE SOCIAL NETWORK

I have a friend and colleague here at Ohio University who stopped me in the hall last week: “THE SOCIAL NETWORK…?” — I had just seen it — “a Screwball Comedy without the comedy.” That makes it just screwball, right? I’d agree. I cannot wrap my mind around what the freaking bubble-dy blitz is all about. According to my colleague, Professor Louis-Georges Schwartz, Film Studies, Jesse Eisenberg stands in nicely for Katherine Hepburn, who is typically read as male in classic Screwball construction, only to be rightly feminized by such a film’s conclusion. Jesse as Katharine? Feminized from the start, Justin Timberlake’s bitch by the middle, his own version of the lonely and heart broken pimp by the end (read business card, “I’m CEO … bitch!”), Jessie certainly has the same Hepburn-esque wise-cracking snaps firing from his mouth, rat-tat-tat-tat-tat.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s youngest billionaire
THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the age-old story that pits the jocks against the geeks in a power play for popularity, only this time around there’s more at stake than just getting in with the cool kids. There’s a multi-billion dollar idea up for grabs, and it takes place at Harvard, which means that everyone, even the buff, blonde crew team champs, the Winklevoss twins, are just as smart and ambitious as the king geek, Mark Zuckerberg. Played by Jesse Eisenberg (THE SQUID AND THE WHALE) as supremely nerdy, even witheringly so, Zuckerberg is seldom without his uniform of baggy sweatshirts and Adidas sandals with white socks, all items of clothing not seen much in the Harvard final clubs (Fox, Phoenix, Porcellian) Zuckerberg is obsessed with. When he finds himself unable to get into any of them, and his girlfriend dumps him for his pathetic obsession with Harvard’s social elite, Zuckerberg and his roommates write an algorithm that soon spawns Facebook, or The Facebook, as it was originally called.

Was Facebook created just to help a geek get a girl?

Was Facebook created just to help a geek get a girl?

According to the movie THE SOCIAL NETWORK (in theaters October 1st; we got a sneak preview last week), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg –portrayed brilliantly by Jesse Eisenberg — was just trying to prove himself cool when he created the site while he was still a student at Harvard. He was a geek who couldn’t get the girl and couldn’t get into Harvard’s most exclusive social clubs and parties, and so he sought out to accumulate friends — or “friends” — the new-fangled way. Oh, and also, he might have kinda sorta “appropriated” the idea from some rich jock guys at Harvard. Though the best line in the movie, in Zuckerberg’s defense, spoken by Eisenberg (and possibly invented by script writer Aaron Sorkin), is this: “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”