A cinematic essay looking at the routines and rhythms in factories. Workers toil away doing repetitive tasks with the machinery while taking some time to contemplate about how much of their lives they commit to working in these factories.
Denis Côté (Carcasses, Bestiaire) uses a mix of observational cinema and dramatizations to create a very interesting commentary about the life in factories. Much of Joy of Man’s Desiring is spent showing various factory machinery in action. While this may sound boring, the action is framed and edited in such a way that it is quite compelling to look at.
Joy of Man’s Desiring utilizes many dramatized elements to help give the film’s thesis as a cinematic essay. For instance, the film begins with a female worker seductively looking over her shoulder and reciting, what can be interpreted as, a love letter to her machine. This is supported later on by the same women commenting about how she worked on the same machine for three years and how it’s “her machine now.” These dramatizations add substance and commentary to what would otherwise merely be a “fly on the wall” depiction of factory life.