Monday, September 8, 2014

Scene of the Week - The Social Network

By Sati. Monday, September 8, 2014 , , ,


The Henley Royal Regatta
directed by David Fincher

This is one of the many scenes in the Social Network that are so well directed it just takes your breath away. But it's probably also the most memorable scene for most of the people. Just what the hell is it about this scene? It's not really connected to the main narrative, it's sticks out of the movie but doesn't distract.

That's it - the scene is so well made, so well paced and so perfectly timed it just fits, although it shouldn't. It's a symbol of sorts. It shows the effort, the loss and the hopelessness while wrapping it in such an ironic bow with the choice of music.
 "He was using it as a way of saying, 'You miss by that much.' Then to have the Winklevosses miss by that much with Mark Zuckerberg, they missed by that much with Larry Summers, they're missing by that much at Henley and it's the final straw." (x)
I promised myself to connect each of those posts to Gone Girl ad I keep forgetting about it, but allow me to do this now - in the book Nick Dunne comments how much he is dazzled by his wife. So much so, that he often doesn't even register what she is saying, he just looks at her. So I'm gonna say it here - sometimes I'm dazzled by the scene and I don't even know why. I also have absolutely no idea about many technical things when it comes to how movies are made. Allow me to quote Fincher himself:
Question: I’m interested to hear your thoughts in the tilt/shift isolated focus you employed in the boating sequence. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on the big screen before and would love to learn what inspired it.
Fincher: We could only shoot 3 races at the Henley Royal Regatta; We had to shoot 4 days of boat inserts in Eton. The only way to make the date for release was to make the backgrounds as soft as humanly possible. I decided it might be more “subjective” if the world around the races fell away in focus, leaving the rowers to move into and out of planes of focus to accentuate their piston-like effort.(x)

You can watch the dazzling sequence below and study it more closely by looking at screenshots:




Previously in the series:



25 comments:

  1. YouTube just doesn't do the scene justice!

    I've been waiting for more stuff from The Social Network, and this post did not disappoint! The Social Network is my favorite movie of all time (although I've never written about it much on my blog). I absolutely agree that this scene should not work, but it is so freaking perfect!

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    1. I agree, but I couldn't find High def version :)

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  2. That is one of my all-time favorite scenes where the music is so fucked up and it features this race where the Winklevoss twins are trying to win this race so they can get back on track unaware that Mark Zuckerberg has already done something to expand Facebook to the masses. It's the moment where Winklevoss twins realize that there is no way to go but down which finally pushes them to breaking point and gut the fucking nerd.

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    1. This is such a great scene. I wonder if Gone Girl will have a crazy, odd sequence like this too. It's kinda like a thing with Fincher lately with this and Orinoco Flow in TGWTDT.

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  3. Oh nice, I was actually thinking that this was a standout omission from your previous music post. But you're right, this one sticks out and in some regards, feels like it shouldn't fit with the rest of the movie, but it just works so well.

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    1. Well it was in honorable mentions, I just didn't love it as much as the 10 I chose.

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  4. Excellent pick, that really is a scene that sticks out and is memorable because of it.

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    1. Thank you, glad you like the scene!

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  5. Definitely one of my favourites in The Social Network. Combination of In the Hall of the Mountain King and just the way that piece of music was skewed up. It does stick out, when you look at the rest of the film. It's nothing like any other scene.

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    1. It's definitely one of the stand out scenes, it's amazing that even though it sticks out, it's not at all distracting.

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  6. I liked this scene over all, but I never did care much for the music choice while they were rowing. It felt out of place to me, but everything else I enjoyed.

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    1. Yeah it can strike as odd, given all the other tracks in the film, but perhaps it was what made the scene stand out :)

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  7. Great scene! It's striking how this scene wouldn't fit in with many other movies, but somehow works here - even with the music which may or may not be everyone's cup of tea. The look on Max's face at the end is classic. :)

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    1. Haha, it was so funny :) I loved his character in the movie

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  8. The Social Network is in my top 3 of Fincher films. This is a great scene. The music starts off eerie and even ominous but then it got lighter and whimsical by the end of it. Interesting to read Fincher’s thoughts on filming this scene. Btw, I thought Armie Hammer was excellent as the Winklevosses, though not as good as Andrew Garfield’s performance.

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    1. Hammer was really great in this, it's a shame his career was kinda a false alarm and he ended up in so many shitty movies :/

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    2. Yeah it seems that way doesn't it? But he's still young so might bounce back, I do think he's more than just a pretty face. I'm actually excited for the movie he's doing w/ Henry Cavill, Man from UNCLE, boy talk about plenty of eye candy!

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    3. It's by Ritchie, right? That doesn't bode well, he is kinda a hit or miss, but hopefully Cavill's star status will help

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  9. Great, great scene. A masterclass of editing, score, and of course, directing. I am hoping Gone Girl has a scene like this! :)

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    1. Me too! i think it will, there is this one amazing sequence that has the potential to be one of the most memorable in Fincher's movies.

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  10. Jesus holy christ, that scene... I adore that scene! It's so intense and powerful. If only Gone Girl has one scene like that, it will be a success. I actually think the reason why The Social Network is one of my favourite films is precisely this very scene. Great post, Sati!

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  11. Whenever someone talks about The Social Network, this is always the scene I think of. Absolutely amazing. And you're right, it sticks out from the rest of the film, but not in a bad way. It's such a good symbol of competitiveness and the rat race. Love it. Great post Sati!

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    1. Thank you, glad you like the scene too!

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  12. Excellent choice. That scene is unforgettable, and it's easily one of my favorites in the film.

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