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The tribute to director Masahiro Shinoda currently underway at the New York Film Festival will naturally make you think about Japan. But there’s no obvious reason why another Festival selection, The Social Network, should transport you to The Land of the Rising Sun.
Unless David Fincher’s movie about the anthropoids who created Facebook reminds you of Iwatayama Monkey Park.
At least that’s what came up for me. Wild monkeys have free run of this nature preserve in the woodsy mountains of Arashiyama, just outside of Kyoto. There, as if to dramatize the relative moral status of animals, it’s the human visitors who are caged. Not that people can’t wander around the grounds, but behind bars is the only place the Park approves for giving the furry tree swingers food. The rules go: “Don’t feed the monkeys outside: This encourages them to misbehave.”
Amid the bog of current movies examining where we are today in primate evolution -- includingWall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Catfish and the documentaries Inside Job and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer – The Social Network perhaps best captures human society in its natural states of aggression and affiliation. To encourage more of the latter, maybe Zuckerberg could come up with some code for grooming.
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