Tag Archives: The Beatles

Baby You’re a Rich Man {David Fincher’s The Social Network}

How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people?
Now that you know who you are
What do you want to be?
And have you travelled very far?
Far as the eye can see.
How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people?
How often have you been there?
Often enough to know.
What did you see, when you were there?
Nothing that doesn’t show.
Baby you’re a rich man,
Baby you’re a rich man,
Baby you’re a rich man too.
You keep all your money in a big brown bag inside a zoo.
What a thing to do.

This classic ‘67 song by the Beatles plays over the last shots and rolls up for the final credits of The Social Network (2010). Mark Zuckerberg played by Jesse Eisenberg dreamily, desperately, maybe even stalkishly ‘refreshes’ his browser over and over again, waiting for his friend request to be accepted by a friendly lawyer lady. And why not I guess after a couple of gruelling court settlements. And I gauge that the Facebook stalker amongst most of us began with Zuckerberg himself.

Well, this unhealthy stalkish behaviour has made him a rich man, portion of which he also proposes to donate off late. Meanwhile, David Fincher’s The Social Network presents to us the figure of the founder of this network that governs our lives today in some way or the other as a super intelligent nerd in a sweatshirt and slippers but mean and unkind towards women, and sometimes, to borrow Bibek’s phrase –  an annoying turd. The film wants to tell us that some big ideas in networking happen because of a broken heart. It’s not just Zuckerberg, who gets the idea of Facebook after he is dumped by a girl, but also Sean Parker, the guy behind Napster and played by Justin Timberlake. I am wondering if it’s a male fantasy to conquer the business world after failing to ‘conquer’ a woman’s heart. Or vice versa – having successfully conquered the business world makes it easier to get attractive women by your side. Well, that is all that this film is about. And Ivy League snobbery dominates the discourse. (Not to miss a girl’s Stanford labelled undies!)

I remember logging onto Napster as a teenager. I downloaded and uploaded a lot of music there and I was sad when it was no more. It felt great to be just sharing music with a lot of people. And I remember the first time I used Orkut and Facebook. They were mostly a means to stay connected with friends while at work. To kill boredom at work. To see profiles of people you were curious about, or had a crush on. This social network brought social life to the web. But after watching the film I feel like a number, a commodity – that is saleable. I’m an account that can be marketed to. Just as we click ‘refresh’ on our news feed on the Facebook home page, the headquarters in San Fran refresh to see new hits, new members and more advertisers.

Nonetheless, The Social Network is a well-made watch (in a typical Hollywood classic-edit way) but for me it threw up many questions about how we look at our virtual lives on the internet, on Facebook. So much so, that things we do ordinarily in reality are dominated by how well they will be publicised on Facebook. Well, it’s made Zuckerberg the Time person of the year for 2010. What has it made us? A Facebook Profile.

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Take a sad song and make it better…… {The Beatles All Together Now}

Lady Madonna, Michelle, Lucy, Jojo, Jude, Eleanor Rigby, Prudence, Sadie, Sgt. Pepper…….

These and many others are characters from the world of the music of The Beatles that all of us have grown up with, or discovered at some point of our life. The Beatles and their music are such a rich heritage, that no matter how many documentaries or tributes are made, it won’t be enough. But I’d like to talk about one that I have seen, appreciated and cherish owning…and also because it was a gift from a dear friend.

I saw The Beatles – All Together Now documentary film about the making of their Cirque du Soleil show for the second time again, and this time on a home theatre system. The Grammy award winning album LOVE re-mixed by George and Giles Martin is PURE LOVE. This is a documentary that any Beatles fan will adore. I especially like the extra features on the DVD like the banter between the father and son duo of George and Giles as they lay the foundations for the album, splitting every Beatles song under the sun and re-combining and mastering songs peppered with the trademark Beatles humour here and there.

I kept telling Ringo next to me as we watched the show, that we were a fucking good band“, says Sir Paul McCartney during his interview in the film. And they bloody well are!

Every fan or even someone new will enjoy and relish the finer details of their music in this film – along with moving montages, the entire choreography bringing to life all the characters in their lyrics, the interviews of Olivia Harrison, Yoko Ono, Ringo, Paul McCartney, Giles and George Martin, or simply their lively artistic archive footage.  The interviews with the Cirque directors, sound engineers, designers, acrobats and actors are equally enthralling.

What I’m left with at the end of the film is this quote by George Martin, “Every generation grows up to find The Beatles for themselves.” … and George Harrison smiling down peacefully at you from the gigantic red flowing screen of a Las Vegas stage.

Life flows on within you and without you…….”

……like it is with all their songs and their legacy, which flows within us…..without them around anymore.

I add All Together Now to one of my favourite films about the Beatles along with Yellow Submarine and A Hard Day’s Night. Special Mention also to Julie Taymor’s musical Across the Universe which as a Beatles fan I rave over whenever I watch it. But now I badly want to own and watch The Beatles Anthology!