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 Post subject: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:15 am 
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Michael Moore says people should go see it.

Michael Moore Calls ‘Joker’ a Masterpiece: ‘The Greater Danger to Society May Be If You Don’t See This Movie’
The outspoken Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker has weighed in on the most controversial movie of the year.
https://www.indiewire.com/2019/10/joker ... 202179054/

Meanwhile, its supposedly apolitical director who made an apolitical film (he says) says he hates the "PC left" and "cancel culture".
Todd Phillips Left Comedy to Make ‘Joker’ Because ‘Woke Culture’ Ruined the Genre
How'd the guy who made the "Hangover" movies turn in such a dark twist on the superhero genre? Phillips blames the current culture.
https://www.indiewire.com/2019/10/todd- ... 202177886/
“Outrage is a commodity”: Director Todd Phillips bashes “far left” criticism of “Joker”
Movie has drawn both rave reviews and concerns over its realistic portrayal of a character sliding into a psychosis
https://www.denverpost.com/2019/09/26/j ... -violence/

And ... weird things are happening. I mean in the real world, not just the cinematic one of the movie.
Heightened Security, Incident in NYC Theater Leave Some ‘Joker’ Movie-Goers Unsettled
https://ktla.com/2019/10/05/heightened- ... unsettled/

Extra layers of security, intense on-screen action and a frightening incident inside a New York theater combined to create an unsettling experience for some moviegoers who went to see “Joker” on its opening weekend.

A young man who was loudly cheering and applauding on-screen murders sent some people heading toward exits in a crowded theater in Manhattan’s Times Square on Friday night. Other patrons yelled at the man, who spit on them as they left early, said Nathanael Hood, who was in the theater.

“I was scared. I’m sure a lot of other people were,” Hood said in an interview conducted by private messages.

Social media users posted photos of police, security sweeps and safety notices at theaters in California and Florida. And in Tennessee, a drive-in theater banned moviegoers from wearing costumes to a screening of the R-rated “Joker,” which scored an October box-office record with $13.3 million in earnings.

[snip][end]

I saw the film. I'm putting my own reactions below. Because some people care about that crap, I will use a spoiler box, as of course I will be discussing content of the film.

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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:38 am 
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Michael Moore loves the film. I get some of his points, but on the other hand he appears to be ignoring some reviewers who have said the film is mostly nihilistic garbage ... and which I'm more inclined to agree with.

Gonna spoiler box the rest.

Moore is absolutely right about Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) aka "The Joker". He has mental health problems, most notably some kind of tic that causes him to burst into laughter, even when he's sad, angry, or frustrated. The thing about the film that is clear - I noticed it and so did reviewers - is that he's so mentally ill, you really do wonder how much of the movie is taking place in the actual world of the movie, as opposed to just within his own head, and even the ambiguous ending doesn't resolve this problem. However, AFAICT, he does murder some people, and those murders are quite real. Besides that, he becomes the inspiration of a whole clown-faced wearing group of people - misfits and sociopaths - who go on a riotous spree of violence and mayhem, inspired by Fleck/Joker. So ... Moore is right. Thomas Wayne, Batman's father, is a definite prick, running for Mayor, not portrayed as a sympathetic figure at all, he may have been raped Fleck's mother, making Fleck ... Bruce's half-brother? (This is hinted at, but never said directly.) When he is killed with his wife coming out of a theatre playing - what else? - Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times - by a clown face wearing Joker gang loon, and his son Bruce watches both of them die, we have a new spin on the Batman origin story, though the rest of it will not be told here. (It's similar to the 1989 Burton film, which makes the Jack Napier/Jack Nicholson Joker responsible for his parents' death, rather than a random "Joe Chill" goon.)

I get Moore's point. This Arthur Fleck Joker is indeed a victim of a cruel society. He needs mental health treatment and he isn't getting it. The therapist he IS seeing seems more going through the motions than having any real interest in helping him. Yes, this is a world where the little people of Gotham are getting screwed by the Thomas Wayne 1 percenters, where a guy who at least at first just wants to play the clown and comedian and make people smile just ends up getting beaten up and abused for it, where people who need help (like him and his mother) can't get it. Where a very unsympathetic late night comedian played by none other than Robert deNiro in fact is not willing to let other people like Fleck into his spotlight. This Gotham is so clearly basically New York City of the 1980s, down to a garbage strike. The message of the film is this Joker was driven over the edge by a cruel, uncaring, cold society which only gives power and attention to people like Thomas Wayne.

So ... here's where I break with Moore. Yes, it asks uncomfortable questions about society and the social order. But then how can you claim the movie's message is to spur people into nonviolent activism? Were we watching the same movie? One of Joker's first murders is to kill a bunch of people on a subway car. It's very deliberately like the real world subway vigilante murder of Bernie Goetz, not exactly an active left winger. Essentially, you are watching a person spiral down into loss of connection with reality and malevolent madness. And yes, while the mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violence, this Joker will turn that observation on his head. Plus, are his clown-faced "followers" who go on their own spree of destruction really trying to change society, or are they more like the people who go out and steal TVs and do vandalism when a blackout occurs, i.e. just sociopaths who know this is a moment of opportunity? A lot of people Joker and his followers hurt, maim, and kill in this movie are anything but 1 percenters, they are often other people who are just in their way.

I like that this is not a conventional superhero movie. Bruce Wayne is only about 8 or 9 in the film (I believe). You will not see him become the Batman, even in a flash forward. No heroes appear in the film, and there definitely are no superpowers. Whether Joker is being portrayed as villain, or antihero - that is the curious question at the heart of the film. I agree with many reviewers that say the problem with Philips' film is it can't make up its mind ... the film attacks social problems and inequality, but offers no answers to these issues. We do have Joker and his fans' rampage, but the film doesn't really take a stance on whether this is the only answer for all these issues, and that's why I call it nihilistic.

Is this going to trigger another Aurora-style shooting? Is it a cri de coeur not for deep nonviolent left wing social movement activism, but for alt right incel shooting rampages? With the incident noted above, I can say it looks like it will trigger some antisocial behavior. I'm not sure I believe Philips' when he says that was not the goal.

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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:56 pm 
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> director babbling about the "far left"

One more reason to debunk "liberal Hollywood."

Quote:
Social media users posted photos of police, security sweeps and safety notices at theaters in California and Florida. And in Tennessee, a drive-in theater banned moviegoers from wearing costumes to a screening of the R-rated “Joker,” which scored an October box-office record with $13.3 million in earnings.


That last phrase about the October box-office record has much to do with the first part about all the security measures at theaters. This is one of the slickest ways to build a buzz on a feature. Wow, it's gotta be really really nasty or they wouldn't care, let's see it.

Those who are into Hollywood history are reminded of such hype jobs as those nurses in the lobbies for the showings of Psycho. Works every time. While I'm sure some of the exhibitors had genuine misgivings after the shooting at another Joker movie, this is one of those times when any publicity is good publicity. That's not always the case, but it can work that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:06 pm 
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Sounds like the movie is about Trump.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:27 am 
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Trump has compared himself to Batman (perhaps in terms of imaginary wealth), but I would say he is far more like the Joker.

Image

This Is the Joker the Trump Era Deserves—But Not the One We Need Right Now
Every Joker has reflected his era, and Joaquin Phoenix’s—a man who craves the spotlight and forces people to question reality—certainly fits ours.
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/20 ... -trump-era

[snip]

The most distressingly 2019 thing about Joker is not the figure at the center of it, but the person missing entirely. Ben Affleck’s Batman may have only had a cameo in Suicide Squad, but at least he showed up to try to put Leto’s Joker in check. In Joker, no one is coming to save us at all. This is only the latest onscreen comic book adaptation to question the comfort of the “might equals right” messaging of superhero stories—FX’s Legion, Amazon’s The Boys, and HBO’s upcoming Watchmen all play in that pool. But Joker’s feeling of untethered free fall into moral bankruptcy is truly its most Trump-era quality.

Throughout most of his history, the Joker has robbed, killed, and acted out for attention. Usually he’s catering specifically to a bat-eared audience of one. But Phoenix’s Joker is driven by a bottomless need for a validating spotlight. And like Trump, who was easy enough to ignore when he was just the host of an NBC reality TV show but impossible to brush off once he moved into the White House, Joker—with its glossy Venice Film Festival premiere, Oscar campaign, and veneer of Martin Scorsese–infused respectability—is impossible for even the most superhero-averse film critics to ignore.

Joker has lobbed a bomb into the discourse kicking up anxieties, culture clashes, and tribalistic responses. (Sound familiar?) It’s a film that trucks in an unreliable narrator and a distorted reality that forces its audience to question everything they see. Most chilling of all is Arthur Fleck’s ability to inspire and embolden a legion of copycats—which takes crucial shape in the film’s Wayne-centric climax. What is this Joker if not a clown sent to drive the world as mad as he is? This, without a doubt, is the Joker our era deserves—just maybe not the one it needs right now.

[snip][end]

Yes, there are definite similarities (to the JP version of Joker). The desire to live in a false reality and take everybody else there with you. The constant narcissistic need for attention and the spotlight. The desire to inflict chaos and mayhem on the world for its own sake. The inspiring of RWNJ losers and misfits to do evil in your name. I can see it. :mrgreen:

Alfred told Bruce Wayne in Dark Knight that Joker reminded him of somebody he had met during the war. "Some folks just like to watch the world burn". Is that not Trump?

Mark Hamill, who did the voice of Joker in the Batman animated series, I understand he also walks the skies :D , once read a whole bunch of Trump tweets in the Joker's voice. Ah, found it, hear tis. It sounds so oddly appropriate, that's the scary thing.

www.youtube.com Video from : www.youtube.com

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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:06 pm 
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I tend to agree. Movies are always good unconscious reflectors of their times. It's in the nature of a hyper-competitive popular medium to pick up on cultural vibes before the masses are aware of their behavior. That's one thing that makes movies so compelling, even after they become old.

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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:20 pm 
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Sounds like the movie is about Trump.

i agree.

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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:52 pm 
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those who capitalize on the human psyche when it is obviously under mega stress and do that
to profit personally are sick fuckers using a sick economic system to bring harm to the population
via a means of entertainment which can easily prey on people mentally and in a vicious manner.

why would i pay $ to watch some guy go insane in a costume. srsly. why.
i can watch that daily @WH.

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Who are these...flag-sucking halfwits fleeced fooled by stupid little rich kids They speak for all that is cruel stupid
They are racists hate mongers I piss down the throats of these Nazis Im too old to worry whether they like it Fuck them.
HST.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker Film Reactions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:55 pm 
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if they think..whatshisname..star of the joker.. is such a nifty dancer put him on DWTS.

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Who are these...flag-sucking halfwits fleeced fooled by stupid little rich kids They speak for all that is cruel stupid
They are racists hate mongers I piss down the throats of these Nazis Im too old to worry whether they like it Fuck them.
HST.


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