Welcome to Pas de Joie Cinema where I will unapologetically comment on films that are without joy, challenge or kill your joy, or maybe just suck the joy right out of you.

Some time ago, I sat with a group of people and talked over dinner about opening an actual place that showed only these kind of films and that had a comfort food concession stand. People knew not to take me too seriously, of course, since most of these “projects” just go on in my head. But we did have fun with it.

One friend suggested that the logo be of someone in the fetal position and that I, a psychotherapist, consider offering exit counseling. There was talk of Lars von Trier and Atom Egoyan marathons, a dark comedy night, and there was a seemingly endless list of joyless cinema favorites over the course of the meal. The list manifested something like this:

Dinner guest: “Hey, what about ‘Last Exit to BROOOKLLYYYNNN?'”

Rest of table: “Uuuhhhhhrrrrrggghh….”

Another dinner guest: “Yeah, put that on the list.”

And so began the concept.

Well, I can’t afford to open a cinema and have not had the wherewithal to propose a Pas de Joie night somewhere. Not to mention, of all the people I’ve told about this, I can count on one hand the number who said, “Yeah! I’d go!” Go figure. It’s cool because I realize that what I most like to do is talk about films that have impressed me in this way.

When I was getting my degree, one way in which to explore concepts in human behavior was to diagnose characters in films. I earned a bunch of “A”s and found the process exciting. Which is great, considering that I’ll be paying for that degree for the rest of my natural goddamned life. But I digress into personal pas de joie.

So, here I am, joining the 21st century by becoming one with the blogosphere. Lemme tell you a little of what you might expect.

1. Film synopsis with spoiler alerts.

2. Une Èchelle Pas de Joie or scale of joylessness from 0 – 10 for each film along with the corresponding comfort food one might consider to ameliorate the situation.

3. An opportunity for you to share that punched-in-the-guts feeling you got from the film in question and to be met with sympathy from me and anyone else who might be reading.

I’m new at this, so all kinds of things may come and go because change is inevitable. Does that make you sad? Awww. So, once again, welcome and I do thank you for reading and thank you in advance for your good-natured participation.



3 Responses to About

  1. Alex says:

    Is that Bette Davis getting smacked around by Miriam Hopkins in THE OLD MAID? How is it that the two movies they made together both had the word OLD in the title? And BD wasn’t even outta her ’30s! Jeez. (BTW, if you have not seen BD fling MH onto a divan in “Old Acquaintance,” you haven’t really lived.)

    As for the project, I say, who needs joie anywhee? That punched in the guts feeling deserves a thorough analysis. And I can contribute! I’d start with pretty much any Isabelle Adjani film, but particularly POSSESSION; Michael Haneke’s oeuvre, particularly FUNNY GAMES (the original, which I walked out of); and the Japanese masterpiece THE HUMAN CONDITION. The latter might be the best nine hours I’ve spent at a movie theater, although I didn’t exactly leave singing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah!”

    See also Phillip Lopate’s wonderful essay, “Against Joie de Vivre.” MWAH! Good luck! Bon voyage! Here’s breaking a metaphorical champagne bottle against the hull of your metaphorical blog launch.


  2. Scylla666 says:

    Oh, yes, that is they. I suppose someone in her 30s would’ve been an old maid, indeed for the period that film is depicting. Something about that image just works, here. But the image of MH getting thrown into a divan? That sounds like a wonderful “yet” for me.
    I’m not sure if I could get through any version of “Funny Games” but I would agree on the Isabelle Adjani. Where to begin?
    Anyway, thanks for the well-wishes and stay tuned. Your guest authorhood is welcome here!


  3. Tom Hagood says:

    Hopkins hated Davis in a big way. The feeling was mutual. “Rupert” (Stewie’s, Rupert?….couldn’t be) says that “Their’s was a deep (sic) seeded, long standing rivalry, which began even before either woman made a single movie” …the perfect chief ingredient for a joyless cinema….(see)

    Liked by 1 person

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