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: