Joker

luc

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Ok, if it is social satire, it may be worth seeing then. But I don't get why PJW thinks 'the establishment hates this movie and doesn't want you to see it'; they're all talking about it, which - negative or positive reviews - is 90% of marketing!
Haven't seen the movie (and don't really plan to, since I'm kind of allergic to such dark movies - makes me miserable), but I agree with Niall: it seems that some in the media have simply recognized the market forces. One of the advantages of capitalism :) So this might drive some who look at the bottom line to somewhat cater to the large anti-woke audience, and/or use the culture wars to create buzz. It's probably a mixed bag and will be for some time - they will try to play it safe, satisfying both sides, but I'm sure many think twice before going full-woke at this point.

This fits with another observation: I noticed how there is an increasing number of somewhat conservative articles in the mainstream press, including here in Germany. You know, semi-critical of AGW, gender ideology and so on. The kicker: these are almost ALL behind a paywall! They use it as bait for selling their subscriptions! The reason is obvious: such articles are the only reason anyone would pay, but nobody will pay for the latest woke hit piece. Also says something about where the majority stands, or at least the majority of those who are politically interested at all. Interesting!
 

genero81

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Yeah, I like PJW but I think his analysis was a bit off on this one. The movie has many psychological and social nuances. I think this is a case where what's most important to him personally has magnified one element the movie in his mind. I've seen a lot of movies. It would be a stretch to say this is one of the best movies ever made. It obviously resonated strongly with PJW because of his personal take on what the main issue is with what's wrong with the world. OSIT
 

Approaching Infinity

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Yeah, I like PJW but I think his analysis was a bit off on this one. The movie has many psychological and social nuances. I think this is a case where what's most important to him personally has magnified one element the movie in his mind. I've seen a lot of movies. It would be a stretch to say this is one of the best movies ever made. It obviously resonated strongly with PJW because of his personal take on what the main issue is with what's wrong with the world. OSIT
Jonathan Pageau (JBP's Orthodox icon carver friend) has a take on it that's a bit more insightful. It's a bit off-the-cuff, but he makes some very good points, IMO (spoiler alert for those who care about spoilers):


The top comment he liked kind of says it all:
Postmodernists: "We want deconstruction!"

The Joker: exists

Postmodernists: "TAKE IT BACK TAKE IT BACK"
The way Pageau sees it, the film is constanting building up, then tearing down assumptions about the way the world is, and the way it should be - making it extremely psychologically uncomfortable for pretty much anyone, but especially leftists with very particular views that are directly challenged by the narrative of the film. So you want to "kill the rich"? Well, here's what that looks like. So you think victims should always be believed? Well, what about when they're crazy? You want a revolution? Well, here's your revolution, inspired by a non-racist white 'incel'. Arthur Fleck (possible allusions to King Arthur, and 'fleck' being a speck of something worthless and insignificant) becomes a king of chaos, and like a true joker, tears down and exposes your unexamined assumptions. Or something like that!

Another point he makes: the borderline hysteria about the violence of the movie says something. The IT sequel just came out recently - in which a homicidal clown kills children - but no one batted an eye about that one. There's something else about this film that's pushing people's buttons. He thinks it's the fact that the way it deals with those above-mentioned assumptions causing a lot of cognitive dissonance.
 

genero81

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The way Pageau sees it, the film is constanting building up, then tearing down assumptions about the way the world is, and the way it should be - making it extremely psychologically uncomfortable for pretty much anyone, but especially leftists with very particular views that are directly challenged by the narrative of the film. So you want to "kill the rich"? Well, here's what that looks like. So you think victims should always be believed? Well, what about when they're crazy? You want a revolution? Well, here's your revolution, inspired by a non-racist white 'incel'. Arthur Fleck (possible allusions to King Arthur, and 'fleck' being a speck of something worthless and insignificant) becomes a king of chaos, and like a true joker, tears down and exposes your unexamined assumptions.
I would say that's a very good analysis. If you haven't seen it already then I hope you do. I would love to hear your take on it. I mean if I hadn't seen it, and wasn't planning on seeing it, I would definitely want to see it now to find out for myself what it's really about.

It just emphasizes what we already know. There are no simple solutions.
 
Jonathan Pageau (JBP's Orthodox icon carver friend) has a take on it that's a bit more insightful. It's a bit off-the-cuff, but he makes some very good points, IMO (spoiler alert for those who care about spoilers):
I was about to post the same. He got me interested in watching it.

Some cleaned up subtitles from YT (spoilers):

10:26
You know the way that people view incels today in terms of the the media is very similar to the way that some guy, some racist white guy in the 1930s would have viewed african-americans, who would have thought oh those those black people are gonna come and get us you know, they're dangerous. And so we have this very similar narrative today where it's like, now all these oh there's an army of incels out there that is gonna come and get us.

19:24
The ultimate thing that I think is making people crazy is how it crosses the different narratives together and gives us something which seems impossible but that people just can't stand to watch, which is that Joker is this bitter incel character but then he ends up becoming the figurehead for a type of Occupy Wall Street movement where everybody's wearing a mask, it's a clown mask instead of a Guy Fawkes mask but you can see that it's all related to the same thing. There are little scenes of the movie where for example people hold up signs and it says Wayne fascist and they have resist signs and so here's the new bad guy of contemporary culture, this clown incel lonely guy who lives with his mother and he is the cause, he is the inspiration for a movement which is an Occupy movement of resistance and anti-fascist movement. So, it's like smash the two narrative together and no wonder people cannot stand it.

Now mind you the movie is extremely disturbing, the need to watch this character become crazy, to watch him kill his mother, to watch him you know become this brutal character is extremely unsettling. But in terms of the actual violence it is no less unsettling than any other movie that has that type of story in it.

21:26
We are in the month of October, we know this is the month for horror movies but somehow this movie is the one that is freaking people out. And what's so unsettling about the movie is that everything must go, the whole thing, all the narratives are thrown up in the air, smashed together and broken down and very few people can handle that.

And I understand why they can't handle it but what it can help us see, if we are attentive, it can help us understand what kind of narratives we are attached to, what are the stories that we think are the stories which are unfolding before us, what is holy to us. And that's what a clown does a clown is always pointing and taking apart the things that you care about, the clown is always turning things upside down, he's always making fun of the things that we hold dear, that is the role of a clown and just because some people think that they're right and that their narrative is the only narrative doesn't mean that there won't be a clown there to poke at it.
 

kenlee

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21:26
We are in the month of October, we know this is the month for horror movies but somehow this movie is the one that is freaking people out. And what's so unsettling about the movie is that everything must go, the whole thing, all the narratives are thrown up in the air, smashed together and broken down and very few people can handle that.
I just left the the theater after watching this movie and I'll just give some quick observations fwiw. I think that the reason that it makes people uncomfortable is because it taps into something very real and horrible within the collective unconscious and brings out things that people don't or won't talk about and this makes them uncomfortable.

In other words it taps into that part of the collective psyche where people all share a common pattern of thoughts (i.e, the reality of psychopathy and the influence it has on them) but nothing is exchanged between then regarding this. The movie taps into something that is (unconsciously) shared but not exchanged. If exchanged via common discussion and acknowledgement then people will have to wake up to the psychopathic reality that influences them (thru ponerization) and people know, collectively, at some deep level that it influences them but most are asleep to this since people think that they are in full control of themselves, have a waking conscience already and that they more or less know everything because they think their opinions are objective facts. To realize otherwise makes them feel powerless and stupid, a feeling they don't like.

Hence you have the comedian in the film who makes people laugh when he talks about things that everyone is thinking but won't talk about and then you have the joker who goes one major step below that and gets his power and entertainment from the shock and awe from total chaos and destruction via psychopathic influences that people will never discuss and are unconsciously mired and participate in via their ignorance and non action.

in my view it's quite possible that the psychopathic influences that affect people and makes them unconscious participants in this horrible psychopathic reality probably has negative repercussions even in the higher worlds and gets reflected back to us in catastrophic events so as to wake us up. I'll stop here since I'll have to think more about this and I'll be reading others observations.
 

genero81

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The movie taps into something that is (unconsciously) shared but not exchanged. If exchanged via common discussion and acknowledgement then people will have to wake up to the psychopathic reality that influences them (thru ponerization) and people know, collectively, at some deep level that it influences them but most are asleep to this since people think that they are in full control of themselves, have a waking conscience already and that they more or less know everything because they think their opinions are objective facts.
I think you're on to something here. I don't know that's it's specifically psychopathy that's the sole 'elephant in the room,' but definitely their carefully constructed narratives that 'buffer' what should be constant shocks they receive from this clearly hysterical period that humanity finds itself in is stepped on, like dude said. It takes away their comfort zone. It demands they see something they're trying very hard not to see. And so they lie to themselves about the reason for their discomfort. It's too dark. It's violent...

Heck, I just saw the most recent Rambo earlier this evening and Joker didn't hold a candle to the violence in that movie. But there won't be any discussions about that, I can assure you.
 

JEEP

The Living Force
Vigilant Citizen weighs in on Joker:
The Actual Reason Why “Joker” was Bashed by Mass Media

Although “Joker” was praised by most “serious” movie critics, mass media sources bashed the movie in all ways possible, even deeming it “dangerous”. Is it because the movie is actually bad? Or because it goes against their agenda?

Warning: Major spoilers ahead!

[below, emphasis mine]

In this day and age, mass media critics do not evaluate movies by their artistic merit, but by the direction of their political message. To be deemed “good”, a movie needs to check a list of “agenda” boxes. Well, Joker does not check any boxes and it also goes against the grain. It is an uncompromising piece of art that is more akin to a low-budget auteur film than a DC Comics blockbuster. And, through its deeply unsettling character study of a “loser” who turns into a famous murderer, the movie provides a scattering critique of mass media.

Apparently, media sources did not appreciate the subversive messages in the movie and were quick to deem Joker “problematic”. Even before the official release of the movie, countless news articles associated Joker with “angry white men” and feared it would inspire Joker-copycats who would perpetrate mass shootings. Judging by the insistence of these articles, it was as if mass media was actually looking to speak into existence such as shooter by guaranteeing immediate and worldwide coverage of such an event. Appropriately enough, the movie addresses this exact brand of mass media perversion.

Indeed, on several occasions, the movie highlights the role of mass media in the creation and the validation of the monster that is Joker. And, on a wider scale, the movie links this media coverage to an uprising of the masses who identify the Joker as their hero and leader. In fact, while Joker is a bad guy, the bigger bad guy in the movie is mass media.

And real-life mass media did not appreciate the critique.

Media Backlash

While most “serious” movie publications praised Joker, mass media sources bashed it senseless. They really did not want people to watch it. Here are some examples:

The Actual Reason Why Joker was Bashed by Mass Media
A headline from VICE.

Vulture.

The New Yorker.

Slate.

The Guardian.

The Guardian again.

Can they make this clearer?

Refinery 29.

As it is often the case nowadays with new releases that do not “agree” with the agenda, there’s a wide gap between ratings from media critics and regular viewers.



If one actually spends time reading these critics, one cannot help but sense intense insincerity and hypocrisy from its authors. Because, whether or not one agrees with the movie’s message, Joker is, objectively, a well-constructed movie. It is well shot, well-acted and it excels in whatever other criteria movie critics are paid to analyze. However, all of this objective analysis is bypassed because the message of the movie does not follow the narrative sold by these news publications on a daily basis.

It is as if the bosses of these movie critics barged in their cubicle and yelled:
” – Write an article about Joker and say that it is bad. And dangerous. Destroy it.
– I actually have other things to say about that movie.
– Shut up and start typing, word monkey.”
So, why exactly does mass media hate Joker? Because Joker hates mass media.

Joke’s On Them

Joker is mainly about Arthur Fleck, the human behind the makeup. And Arthur is a sad, aging man whose life has always been characterized by abuse, rejection, and humiliation – all of which are amplified by a debilitating mental illness.

However, Arthur’s status as an eternal victim changes drastically when two events happen in his life: He stops taking his medication and, more importantly, he obtains a gun. After getting severely beat down by three drunk Wall Street types in the subway, Arthur pulls out his gun and shoots them all.

Mass media immediately picks up the story and builds up Joker as a “vigilante hero” who stands up to the rich and powerful. Of course, Joker revels in that attention as he finally gets an audience for his unique brand of “performance art”. In one scene of the many scenes that emphasize the role of mass media in creating a monster, Arthur is surrounded by people reading the newspaper with Joker on the front page. Soon after, Joker becomes the face of a widespread uprising in the city as legions of people riot while wearing clown masks.

Joker’s notoriety then reaches yet another level due to mass media. A popular TV talk show invites Arthur as a guest to make fun of his disastrous stand-up performances. Arthur goes on stage as Joker and ends up shooting the host (played by Robert DeNiro) live on TV, prompting massive media coverage. This leads to further notoriety and adulation by his legions of fans.

This is where things become “problematic” for the real-life mass media: The rioters in the movie, those who worship the Joker, are clearly associated with specific real-life groups. In several scenes, the protestors hold signs that say “Eat the Rich” and “Resist” – two slogans that are heavily used in actual protests by groups such as Antifa, Occupy Wall Street and others. The problem is: The media sources mentioned above are sympathetic to these movements because they are owned by the same globalist entities. In short, it makes them look bad.


A “Eat the Rich” banner at a student protest in Austria.


“Resist” banners at a protest against Trump after his decision to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals’ serving in the military in 2017.

Therefore, the rioters in the movie are associated with real-life globalist movements. And, as they walk around wearing clown masks, they hail Joker – a mass murderer who believes in nothing – as their hero. This is all due to mass media who built up the actions of a deranged man into something much bigger. To make things worse, these masked rioters even end up killing the parents of Bruce Wayne (who would end up becoming Batman) right in front of his eyes.

Considering these messages, one can begin to understand why sources such as The Guardian hated the movie. It goes against its entire narrative.

The movie also makes it clear that Joker is not, in any way, a hero. While most of the people he kills have wronged him in one way or another, these people still did not deserve a violent death. Also, he kills his own mother.

It is, however, the final scene of the movie (which happens immediately after he is lifted as a hero by the rioters) that cements Joker as an “evil” character. As we see him walking in a hospital hallway with blood under his feet, we realize that he killed a sweet social worker who did absolutely nothing to him. The hero of the protestors is actually a heartless monster.

In Conclusion

Although Joker is a quintessential comic-book villain, the movie focused on his human side and portrayed him as a product of a toxic environment. The true villain in this movie is mass media which gave Joker all the praise and attention he always craved – but only after he murdered people. Media turned Arthur – a nobody – into Joker – a somebody. And the gullible people, those who consume mass media with no discernment, turned that Joker into a political leader.



With that being said, is Joker actually a full-fledged anti-elite and anti-establishment movie? Not really. Although it criticizes mass media, Joker remains a mass media product distributed by a major corporation. The story follows a wider trend in entertainment where the relatable protagonist is actually the bad guy whose past hardships somehow justify committing heinous acts of pure evil. In Joker, murder is performance art – it is a cathartic and liberating experience that is often immediately followed by big laughs. In short, the movie gives us more of the “fighting evil with more evil” narrative that’s been going on for years.

In the end, Joker offers an effective mirror of present-day society. Looking back at that mirror is a sad, mangled and depressed clown who believes in nothing and who needs tons of pills to function correctly. In this toxic environment, this clown only finds joy and liberation by sinking deeper into the moving sands of evil and depravity, under the constant encouragement of mass media. And, while this evil and depravity appear to bring him much-overdue glory and justice, all it truly accomplishes is to destroy all of the humanity that was left in him.

This review tells me all I need to know about this movie - no need to pay to see it. Downton Abbey or JUDY is more my speed anyhow! ;-)
 

Scottie

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Well, I must see it now. After reading the horrible reviews followed by a plot synopsis with spoilers, I went, "Huh?! They doth protesteth too mucheth."

And after everyone's comments here, it's pretty clear that the mainstream REALLY doesn't like something - or several things - about the movie.
 

Turgon

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Well, I must see it now. After reading the horrible reviews followed by a plot synopsis with spoilers, I went, "Huh?! They doth protesteth too mucheth."

And after everyone's comments here, it's pretty clear that the mainstream REALLY doesn't like something - or several things - about the movie.
I wasn't interested in seeing Joker at all, mainly because I don't see the appeal of psychopathic clowns in popular culture or the character itself, but with all the controversy surrounding the movie I'm like a moth to the flame and want to see what all the fuss is about... :halo:
 

genero81

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The movie mirrors that there are no winners in the current environment. The elites represented by the three business men are gunned down. The talk show host representing the media gets shot in the head. The unreflective and reactionary crowd ends up following something worse than what the were angry about in the first place. The Joker himself, although exalted, becomes a caricature of himself and a monster after losing all his humanity. The Wayne's are gunned down again representing the elites. Even the woman on the train who's trying really hard just to keep to herself isn't immune.

It certainly makes a statement. Reminds me of what the C's said about things coming back into balance by way of suffering on a mass scale.
 
I wasn't interested in seeing Joker at all, mainly because I don't see the appeal of psychopathic clowns in popular culture or the character itself, but with all the controversy surrounding the movie I'm like a moth to the flame and want to see what all the fuss is about... :halo:
It's definitely worth watching, and it's definitely not about some crude psychopathic clown. The movie begins with Arthur mentally ill, but not psychopathic. He his very empathetic and isn't manipulative, cares deeply for his ill mother obviously out of care and not a desire for personal gain. Despite his debilitating condition, he doesn't play victim, keeps trying to be responsible, to work, to do therapy, keep a journal, take medications, etc. He's trying, he's human and worn down. He doesn't "obtain" a gun, one gets pushed on him. He progressively snaps and dissociates, acquires secondary psychopathy, but he was led there by the human condition, not on virtue of being born a psychopath.
One of the most harrowing scenes is before he snaps, Arthur's laughing uncontrollably at his own pain, not only his own but at the pain of society turning against itself, he cannot help but laugh at the pain, even as it makes him a target, laughing at the irony of it all. Truly a stunning sequence.

This is not a story about a psychopathic clown. This is a story about the human condition, how anyone might be vulnerable to such disintegration, given proper circumstances (and improper Work}, how anyone's mind is vulnerable. That's likely why it seems so uncomfortable to normal people.
 

duyunne

Jedi Master
I watched a bit of a low quality cam version and will wait for higher quality to leak before I resume, but it was an interesting and sad look at the bleak desolation special needs people face who have little in the way of support around them in an inner city as they age alone. Some of the scenes reminded me of some of the stuff I witnessed in the Hastings region of downtown east end.

The film also had scenes where the only other type of film that matched the dark tone besides Taxi Driver that I could think of was The Crow, a movie that took the life of Brandon Lee, where a man also loses everything and takes to becoming a face painted gothic mime looking vigilante who takes out a street gang and drug lord.
 

Alejo

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I liked Pageau’s take on it, he was very precise analyzing why the movie creates such dissonance, which at the same time embodies the nihilism characteristic of the Joker as a figure, maybe that was on purpose, maybe it wasn’t, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

As mentioned in my previous post, besides that... it’s a good depiction of the criminal mind in my opinion.
 
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