Archive of films Joy of Man's Desiring / Que ta joie demeure

2014, 70 min

Section: Imagina
Year: 2014

A captivating picture by an original Québecois filmmaker who takes an intriguing look at various forms of human labor. Emphasizing the crafts, he combines stark observation with staged situations, and together these create a stimulating essay on how human fulfillment may be satisfactorily achieved.


Director Denis Côté dubs his essayistic film "an open-ended exploration of the energies and rituals of various workplaces.” It captures the work and leisure activities of various employees, whom the director shows engaged in both varied and monotonous tasks. Whether a case of machining parts or "constructing” thoughts, he reveals things to us in the process, in much the same way the film itself is a recognized intellectual process. This isn’t a purely observational documentary in that it includes many of the filmmaker’s choices. From time to time Côté poses his protagonists (in a raw stylization reminiscent of Ulrich Seidl), elsewhere he intentionally suppresses their discourse. The director finds little deficiency in the tasks he films, and with a similar precision he has constructed his cinematic meditation on the means of achieving fulfillment in life, a fundamental part of which, of course, is work. And his observation of it here is infused with the same inner tension as any intellectual contemplation.

About the director

Denis Côté

Denis Côté (b. 1973, New Brunswick, Canada) is one of Québec’s most original filmmakers. His ambitious efforts have aimed toward breaking down and blurring the lines between experiment, cinéma vérité, documentary, and fiction. He came to moviemaking through his work as a film critic and through numerous experimental shorts. His feature debut came in 2005 with Drifting States (Les états nordiques), awarded the Golden Leopard in the video competition at the Locarno IFF. His other films include Our Private Lives (Nos vies privées, 2007), All That She Wants (Elle veut le chaos, 2008), the documentary Carcasses (2009), Curling (2010), and the documentary Bestiaire (2012). Côté’s films are regularly welcomed at international film festivals: Karlovy Vary audiences had the chance to see Vic+Flo Saw a Bear (Vic+Flo ont vu un ours, 2013), which premiered in competition at Berlin.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Imagina
Director: Denis Côté
Screenplay: Denis Côté
Dir. of Photography: Jessica Lee Gagné
Editor: Nicolas Roy
Producer: Sylvain Corbeil, Nancy Grant
Production: Metafilms
Cast: Guillaume Tremblay, Emilie Sigouin, Hamidou Savadogo
Contact: Films Boutique


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