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The New York Film Festival is known for often leaning toward obscure foreign films rather than the mainstream American stuff opening in the fall, but this year they've planted themselves firmly in the zeitgeist by choosing to open with The Social Network, a.k.a. "The Facebook Movie." David Fincher's film will kick off the festival on Friday, September 24th, just a week before it hits theaters nationwide on October 1.

Presumably The Social Network will be followed by the familiar slate of obscure auteur masterpieces from around the globe, but it's great to see the New York Film Festival embracing a potentially great film stateside, simply for the fact that people might actually care about this one. Yes, it's great that this festival highlights films that will otherwise be overlooked, but as a New Yorker perennially wishing I could go to the Toronto Film Festival instead, it's frustrating to observe the fall festival circuit from a distance as our hometown festival picks only the obscurest and artiest titles they can find. There's an ideal balance between the popular and the elite that the NYFF sometimes hits upon, and choosing The Social Network to kick things off looks like a very good step in the right direction.
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