IndieWire says that Joker may be getting Oscar buzz and winning festival awards and may be the next great clown movie since ever, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t getting the other end of the stick. People have been calling it out for “glamorizing” the main character of Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who goes from lonely loser with probably a mental disorder, to full-blown murderous psychopath who you should feel bad for because society ignored the poor, lonely crazy dude. Even the families of the Aurora shooting victims have written letters to Warner Bros. about the violence in Joker. Well, Joaquin obviously can’t really handle the question about that, because he walked out on one interview after being asked about the movie’s violence.
In an interview with The Telegraph’s film critic, Robbie Collin, Joaquin was asked if he’s worried that Joker might “perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it’s about, with potentially tragic results.” Joaquin was shook. He is trying to win an Oscar, and he can’t win one if there’s a narrative circling that his movie turns people into mass shooters. He replied, “Why? Why would you…? No, no,” and then picked up his purse and left.
Joaquin talked for an hour on the phone with a press agent from Warner Bros. before coming back and saying that he “panicked” from the question, which is a great sign. He also then never really answered the question in the rest of the interview.
So one of the reviews of the movie says this:
“There are moments of shocking violence, but mostly Phillips is swept away by Arthur’s newfound power. There’s a fundamental difference between telling a story like this in the form of a dingy, misanthropic art film like ‘Taxi Driver’ and telling it in the universal language of a superhero movie that’s going to open in multiplexes the world over. In this context, that story can’t help but feel aspirational. And Phillips is the first person to be seduced by its pull–to be helplessly pulled along by an innate desire to see Joker at the height of his power.”
In an interview with IGN’s Jim Vejvoda Joaquin was again asked about the pro-murder aspect of Joker. But this time he was ready:
“I don’t think it’s the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the audience morality or the difference between right or wrong–to me I think that that’s obvious. I think if you have somebody who has that level of emotional disturbance they can find fuel anywhere. …The truth is: you don’t know what is going to be fuel for somebody, and it might very well be your question. It might be this moment, but you can’t function in life saying: ‘well I can’t ask that question for the small chance that someone might be affected by this question’, right?”
The director, Todd Phillips, also defended it saying the movie makes:
“Statements about a lack of love, childhood trauma, and lack of compassion in the world. I think people can handle that message.”
He also compares the backlash to Spike Lee‘s movie, Do The Right which is about racial tensions in a city over a mural. Todd also thinks Joker may be just too complex for you:
“To me, art can be complicated and oftentimes art is meant to be complicated. If you want uncomplicated art, you might want to take up calligraphy, but filmmaking will always be a complicated art.”
What a fucking snob. Calligraphy is complex. Watch a YouTube video, you reprobate!
Here’s hoping that Joker only inspires douche-bros to dress up like clowns in nice suits for Halloween and start calling their girlfriends their: “filthy dragon”. And let’s be real if they do get inspired by the movie, I think it says more about them than him. Were they out here getting stupid ugly beards when he did it? So why now, hmm?