“Catfish”…the Other Facebook Movie

10.21.2010

Most of us when we think of “The Facebook Movie,” likely think of David Fincher’s The Social Network (see our review here), based on the controversial book, The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich. It spent two weeks at the top of the box office, and has generated a considerable amount of Oscar buzz, and rightfully so.

However, there is another Facebook film  out there as well which has stirred up some controversy of its own. The film I speak of is Catfish, a recent documentary that has left many asking “What did I just see? Was that real?”

For those unacquainted  with it, Catfish follows a young photographer whose two buddies begin documenting his online relationship with an eight year old art prodigy, her mother, and her nineteen year old sister who he may have been beginning to fall in love with. However, after a certain point certain details about the lives of the subject’s long distance friends begin to not add up, leading the photographer and his buddies on a road trip to confront his Facebook friends that leads to a series of twists and turns that are first weird, then creepy, and ultimately Hitchcockian, exploitative, or heartbreaking depending on your interpretation.

Initially the general consensus was that this was all a hoax, even leading the likes of David Fincher and Zach Galifianakis to pat its creators on the back for their mass deception. But the filmmakers insist it was true, and emerging evidence seems to concur. Yet, regardless, it is an interesting journey, and reveals a side to Facebook far darker than the legal battles, shattered friendships, and clashing egos found in The Social Network.

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