Alone in a Crowd
The 2010 film The Social Network by director David Fincher presents a dramatized history of the founding and development of Facebook, the most populated social networking site in the world. One of the primary motifs in the film is the irony of isolation among so many “friends”. Through the use of isolation shots, body posturing and character placement, the director portrays Mark Zuckerberg as secluded and lonely despite his digital popularity.
In the opening scene of the film, Mark is having a conversation with Erica, the girl he is dating, in a crowded bar. In the first shot of this scene, Mark and Erica are shown sitting across from each other at a table amidst the crowd. As the conversation moves along, growing more contentious by the word, Erica is shown leaning further and further away from Mark. This progresses until he crosses the final verbal line and she ends the relationship and leaves the bar. Mark is then shown in a similar shot to that at beginning of the scene, only now he is alone at the table and the camera angle is higher. This perspective makes him seem smaller and the crowd is only visible from the neck down; they are no longer people, just background. Although other people surround Mark, he is separate from them and alone.
This type of isolation imagery continues throughout the film, and becomes increasingly obvious during the two legal mediations through which the story is told. In these scenes, Mark is seated at a large conference table with his lawyers to one side of him. The lawyers are always leaning away from him, leaving a distance between them. To contrast this, the Winklevoss twins and Divya are shown, during their case, sitting quite close to each other, appearing to be touching elbows. Their physical proximity amplifies the solitary images of Mark. In addition, in a later scene of the mediation with Eduardo, Mark is shown in an isolation shot sitting in a black chair wearing a black sweatshirt...