The New York Film Festival premiere of “The Social Network” might have gotten a little confusing on Friday night. At Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and then at the Harvard Club you could see the blond blue eyed statue of an actor Armie Hammer, who plays Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and then you could see Josh Pence, who plays the body of a Winklevoss. But across the room there were the real Winklevosses, and their mother, Carol.
Somewhere in the room was also Sean Parker, the creator of Napster and the guy who appears in “The Social Network” to have caused a lot of trouble. And there was also Justin Timberlake, who plays Parker in the film.
But no sign of Mark Zuckerberg, who Jesse Eisenberg plays better than Zuckerberg himself. Zuckerberg was on TV Friday from Chicago in what he hopes was a masterful bit of p.r.: he gave the city of Newark, where he has no ties and made no explanations, $100 million for its school system. He looked bright, fresh, and young, called the movie “fiction,” and palled around on stage with New Jersey’s Soprano-looking governor Chris Christie and Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker.
Why did he choose Newark, Oprah asked? Zuckerberg is from New York and lives in California.It’s hard to know if he’s even been to Newark ever. Why not the South Bronx? Detroit? The still-ravaged Gulf? Parts of Mississippi that are still existing in the 1940s. Why? “Because of these guys,” Zuckerberg answered blankly. Christie gave his best Bobby Baccala stare for the cameras. There’s no word about who’s going to administer and watch that money. Zuckerberg is going to get a lot of new ‘friends’ on Facebook.
But back to the premiere. Timberlake told me: “You can’t believe how many people have stories about knowing Sean Parker.” Will he do another album? “Oh…..” He just made a noise, no commitment. What about NSync? He actually recoiled when I said it. Recoiled, physically. NSync, my friends is over.
Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield just looked overwhelmed at the after party. Well, 1100 guests and well wishers will do that to you. They are still young and new at all this.
At the premiere, I sat beside Sir Howard Stringer of Sony, who is one of my favorite people. “Have you seen the reviews of our new cameras?” he asked. “The Alpha 55? The micro three fourths?” Yes, I have: they are amazing. I love gadget talk. Scott Rudin sat in front of me, happy to accept kudos for the film, with Columbia Pictures chief Amy Pascal. They are all going to the Oscars with “The Social Network.” And beaming like school kids who’ve just heard the tinkling bell of an ice cream truck.