‘Man at a desk’: Prejudgment and Misconception (Analysis for Assessment)



For this post I wanted to breakdown the way that ‘Man at a desk’ is informed by themes misconception and prejudgment as the creator of the piece and ultimately how I perceive it.  There are four main areas (below) of the video which I feel play with prejudgment and misconception throughout.

The character
The scenario
The aesthetic
The audio

The character in the video is male, quite old, not too sinister looking but his features and the way it’s shot using close ups (CU) offer the viewer a certain amount of unease especially at the start of the film. There is the suggestion, unfortunately, in society where sometimes the male character is deemed in the realms of ‘perverted’. This misconception is then unrealised when we notice his job title at the end and the prejudgment is somewhat lifted but ultimately however never goes away. The character plays quite a few emotions some shocked, some entertained and some emotionless. In the video there is a real dark stereotype being established about the character because of these actions and ultimately, they do recede but before the realisation, the link between the character and the scenario are united into a piece which builds on past stigmas and breaks them at the reveal at the conclusion of the piece. The use of the character however blatantly used in this example may have had more of a different, more unexpected outcome had the character been female or young or both, the use of the older male character does if, a little of the point, feel slightly cliche.

The scenario is influenced by the 1954 Hitchcock film, ‘Rear Window’ and the power of misconception in which the scenario: one man, a dark room and a projector often triggers a different, darker more perverted outcome or viewing but with this film it is resolved in a different way that makes us feel more uneasy about how we perceive our everyday lives.

The look and feel of the set also further emphasises the nature of the topic being addressed. The minimalist room, the small amount of light, the eeriness created by the visual funnels the viewer into that awkward kind of viewing space where we are conformed to act as if something strange is going on. Another sense, audible and the non-use of anything but near silence racks up the tension to create a dark place for the viewer as opposed to anything to create a different type of judgement about what the man (ultimately nameless) is or is doing. Had a different track with any kind of major or minor key been used the viewer would ultimately be influenced heavily by the type of music that has been used at the stigmas attached to it. By using the minimal audio the director has full influence over what the viewer sees and feels throughout the piece.

Over all the video on the surface is quite plain and mundane and we can see that there are a few points to be had on the construction of the narrative behind the piece. There are a few points such as a character change which might have emphasised these to a degree higher however to make the piece go up a notch but in terms of misconception and prejudgment, these are quite clear.

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