My tutor recommended something that made computers interesting – a 2010 documentary called Catfish. I watched it just now, and it’s astounding and fascinating.
It’s by three happy and good-looking young New Yorkers. Two of them decide to make a documentary about the third, Nev, a photographer who has received in the mail a painting of one of his most well-known photographs. The painting is by an 8-year-old girl, and on Facebook Nev begins an innocent friendship with this cute child prodigy and her mother and her beautiful older sister.
As much as I’d love to ramble about what follows in massive obsessive, gleeful depth, I can’t, it needs to be watched (and no trailer, review, clip or Wikipedia page can even begin to do it justice). But it’s amazing. It’d be unbelievable if you couldn’t see the reality in all their faces.
At times there’s a feeling of exploitation, but the filmmakers are three extroverted young guys, so of course their priority is entertainment and curiosity at times. There’s one scene that’s especially hilarious, and it wouldn’t be if it wasn’t a documentary. No scriptwriter would ever think of it. But there’s an amazing array of emotion, and there’s no sense of maliciousness. No kicking up dust for the hell of it, no fierce interventions, no showdowns. There's nothing sinister about it, though because the subject is the internet you'd expect there to be. In fact, the film is gentle and benign despite being extremely suspenseful, and its message isn’t anywhere near what you’d expect it to be.
As much as I liked The Social Network, Catfish is the other film about Facebook that came out in 2010, and I don’t know how long we have to wait for it to be revered.