Zoe’s Desk | Submitted For Your Perusal
@mattthomas writes a really interesting blog post about director David Fincher’s way of portraying “knowledge work”:
In a number of Fincher’s films we’re given glimpses of characters doing things like researching, writing, or coding. At some level, the bulk of his films are about characters trying to make sense of information. But such glimpses are by definition fleeting. Fincher does not so much film work as cleverly give the impression of its occurrence…
…It’s a neat trick on Fincher’s part. It’s difficult to render knowledge work cinematically (quick, what’s the last great movie about writing you remember seeing?), as opposed to physical work which more readily lends itself to Rocky-style montages, but Fincher has figured out a way to short circuit the process. Like all good filmmakers, he knows that if he gives us the signs, we will fill in the rest.
Matt then admits, “I just love images like this. I am a workspace voyeur — especially writer’s workspaces,” and then recommends Jill Krementz’s The Writer’s Desk. (The internet is the perfect place for this kind of thing: there’s a great blog that once featured my work called “From The Desk Of…”)
I like this idea of answering the question, “What do you show when you have nothing to show?” It makes me think of this great passage from Ellen Ullman’s Close To The Machine:
The disorder of the desk, the floor; the yellow Post-it notes everywhere; the whiteboards covered with scrawl: all this is the outward manifestation of the messiness of human thought.
And this line from Gay Talese: “I’m a documentarian of what it is that I do.”
Filed under: show your work