That’s not a joke. How do I segue into something else?
Image Via NME.com
Well, pornhub user Chris_Dorner released some clips of the new movie The Joker, staring Joaquin Phoenix, up on pornhub. This weekend there were five videos up, but as of this morning there are only two. All videos featured were/ are of bad quality and have an unidentified audience member’s head in front of the screen, making it abundantly clear that Chris_Dorner recorded them while in the theater with his cellphone.
Given that the subtitles are in Italian, it seems these clips were taken straight from the Venice Film Festival. It’s unclear, however, how Chris_Dorner got his cellphone in the theater given that most early previews have guards who take away phones from audience members, but its 2019 and this was bound to happen sooner or later.
Image Via Forbes
I can’t condone you looking up these clips by typing ‘jester interview’ and finding the video with Joaquin’s joker’s face on the previous. In fact, I discourage you from going “werewolf”.
Maybe I saw the clips, maybe I didn’t. Oh well, you’ll never know. How to end this article though? Oh! How about a joke?
What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like a trash? I’ll tell you what you get. You get what you f*cking deserve!
Before Todd Phillips sends in the clown and unveils The Joker on a silver screen this October 4th, let’s look through some of the some of the best books about absolutely losing your mind.
This movie is a tough cookie for us. Yes, it’s based partially on The Killing Joke, but what it’s taken from Alan Moore’s iconic graphic novel appears to just be a few bits and pieces (although I’m making a bet right now that the scene when the Joker goes on stage is the beginning to that horrific scene from The Dark Knight Returns), but besides that, the influences on Todd Phillips’ newest ‘comedy’ is mostly from old Scorcese films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Mean Streets, and King of Comedy.
So how do we talk about this film? Well, we’re going to do exactly what the title of this article says and go through the top eight greatest books about descending into madness. You know the meme.
Image Via ME.ME
Well, turns out that society has always been pretty terrible, a hotbed for madness. But how mad is that madness? Let’s find out. Viewer discretion is advised.
I believe that whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you… stranger. – The Dark Knight
Image Via Amazon
I know what you’re thinking: this is a book about a boy living on a boat with a tiger after a shipwreck, but is it?
Let’s start at the beginning: Pi was bullied by his peer relentlessly before writing out the square root of pi (well, as much as he could) in order to change his nickname from ‘Pissing Patel’ to ‘Pi.’ Thus, he faced society’s onslaught, and that’s only in the prologue.
Do things get better from there? Well, he was certainly one of the few survivors from a shipwreck but after that things get fuzzy.
He tells a writer he’s interviewing with that he survived on the lifeboat with a tiger, a spotted hyena, and a zebra with a broken leg. The hyena kills the zebra and the tiger kills the zebra, and Pi manages to befriend the tiger before returning to land. Pi is saved and the tiger escapes, wandering into the wilderness never to be found again.
But the official story is far worse. The survivors on the boat weren’t a zebra, a hyena, and a tiger, but rather Pi’s mother, a brutish cook, and Pi himself. The cook killed his mother and then Pi killed the cook, feasting on human remains and using other pieces as fish bait.
Which is the true story? Did Pi do the impossible and live on the water with a tiger, or did he go crazy and imagine a tiger to make himself feel better?
Maybe Pi did descend into madness and cannibalism, or maybe the tiger story is true, but either way he now lives in a world filled with those that doubt him.
They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out—like a leper. See, their “morals”, their “code”… it’s a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. – The Dark Knight
Image Via Amazon
An important early work of American feminist literature, due to its illustration of the attitudes towards mental and physical health of women in the 19th century.
Narrated in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman going through postpartum depression whose physician husband (John) decides to treat her by not treating her. He forces her to live inside a boarded up room where she is told to simply eat well and get plenty of air.
The only stimulus in this room, the only thing she can be interested in, is the room’s yellow wallpaper.
From there, her mind slowly unravels. She starts believing there are things behind or inside the wallpaper and, as she grows into madness, she starts chasing the wallpaper and creeping like a spider beside the wallpaper. Her life becomes this wallpaper.
This treatment was common during the early 19th century and, since the book was published in 1892, it shows a woman’s steady descent into madness thanks to society’s indifferent ignorance.
The mob has plans. The cops have plans. Gordon’s got plans. Y’know they’re schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. – The Dark Knight
In case you haven’t read this book, Holden Caulfield is an outsider living on the brink of society. Everyone thinks he’s crazy, a drifter, but he rightly criticizes and critiques adults for their superficiality. ‘Phony’ is what Caulfield calls them, as he dreams to be a child again when times were simpler.
After spending a novel-length amount of time floating through the town, going largely unnoticed except when he’s mugged by a pimp, he ends up in an asylum. Yes, he pledges to get his life on track, but can we really believe him?
When the chips are down, these…these civilized people, they’ll eat each other. – The Dark Knight
Image Via Amazon
Following his divorce and the death of his sister, Dr. Robert Laing moves into the twenty-fifth floor of an apartment complex. From there, he’s continually bombarded with negative events, including a costume party he’s invited to where everyone mocks and degrades him. Eventually, he goes over the edge, not to spoil the plot, but it ends with cannibalism as the once-peaceful residents of the apartment complex descend into madness.
The similarities to the film should be obvious. Laing and Arthur Fleck are both beaten down by society and eventually crack, proving that the worst monsters don’t have sharp teeth and bear-like claws, but a human face and simple words and judgmental glares.
This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. – The Dark Knight
Image Via Amazon
Rodion Raskolnikov is a law student who dreams of enforcing the law, but those morals go out the window because of poverty. Society has cast him out, and poverty forces this ex-student to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money.
After the murder, Raskolnikov is morally racked by his deed, tormented with confusion, paranoia, and disgust, forcing him deeper into poverty.
Poverty pushes him to kill, and once he’s killed his misery drives him deeper into poverty. This vicious cycle is one society forces on him, and with each passing moment he falls deeper and deeper into madness.
For some reason, there is a man who lives with an older man who has a ‘vulture’ eye. Why does he have a vulture eye? Does the vulture eye represent something? Is the man his father, his landlord, his master? Is the narrator a servant?
The exact circumstances are left unclear, but the narrator’s decent into madness isn’t.
After a carefully calculated murder, a ‘perfect crime,’ the narrator dismembers and disposes the body under the floorboards. Then the police came and they talk to the man about this unidentified old man. During the conversation, the narrator hears a a beating heart and grows concerned, then realizes that the police are openly mocking him, ignoring the heartbeat and watching him suffer.
The twist? It’s subtle, you might miss it, but the heartbeat the narrator hears isn’t the old man’s, but his own. Talk about madness.
After Delapore, an American, moves into an English estate, he and his cat start hearing the sounds of rats scurrying behind the walls. Finding himself in a society that doesn’t accept him because he’s a ‘foreigner,’ Delapore tries to find the truth about the rats behind the wall, but his psyche starts to unravel.
After a series of dreams, Delapore learns that his family maintained an underground city for centuries, where they raised generations of ‘human cattle’—some regressed to a quadrupedal state—to supply their taste for human flesh. Is this true, or is he simply mad?
Well, after, Delapore attacks and cannibalizes one of his few friends, he is locked in a mental asylum. This ends his reign of madness but he continues losing his mind, proclaiming that it was “the rats, the rats in the walls,” that ate the man.
The society that rejected him continues to do so given that the investigators of the case tear down the estate, covering it up and excluding one of their own officers after he goes insane as well. It truly is a funny world.
Does it depress you, commissioner? To know just how alone you really are? – The Dark Knight
A stockbroker in midtown Manhattan, Patrick Bateman lives in a world where people don’t talk to each other, don’t listen to each other, and don’t really know each other. People know him, but they don’t know the “real” him. He exists as a part of the crowd. He’s not rejected by society because that means they’d have to notice him.
This world of superficiality gets to him, and he turns full killer, or does he?
It’s the main question of the novel that no one, not even the author, can answer. At the end of the novel, he goes to the apartment where he’s killed numerous people to find it perfectly clean. Is this because he’s been hallucinating all these murders, or was the apartment cleaned because the owners doesn’t want a negative reputation to affect its resale value?
He killed a man, but then he’s told the man is on vacation. What’s happening here?
The answer is we don’t know because we don’t know the real Patrick Bateman, and we don’t know the real Bateman because he doesn’t know himself. It’s not a look into insanity, it’s us drowning in a world brought to us by a man who is utterly alone.
In this novel, we live and breath madness, and that’s about as close as the Joker’s world as we’re going to get…
…until the film comes out. Will you see it opening day, or will you be too busy cleaning up a murder scene that might not even exist?
Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!
It Chapter 2
Image Via Vanity Fair
A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.
Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!
Image Via Variety
An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.
Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?
We’ll find out this October 4th.
Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.
This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.
Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.
We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.
Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”
For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.
What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.
What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.
Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation ofDoctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?
The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.
The Good Liar
Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.
After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.
First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.
Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.
His Dark Materials
Image via Amazon
This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.
Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).
If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”
The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?
Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.
The Joker film is a much hyped movie of 2019, transcending beyond the notions of a ‘comic book’ to become a full blown potential for Oscar nominations. The first trailer debuted in April of 2019, to much praise and excitement, especially as Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the Clown Prince of Crime. The Joker film is the latest film from the director of The Hangoverand War Dogs,with this latest film trailer to only increase fan anticipation of the gritty super villain flick.
Joker takes place in the 1980s, telling the origin of the famous Batman villain whose failed attempts to become a comedian force him on a descent into madness that ends with him becoming the Joker. The supporting cast includes Robert DeNiro as talk-show host Murray Franklin, Zazie Beetz as Arthur’s love interest Sophie Durmond, and Frances Conroy as Arthur’s mother Penny.
The film has been described as drawing from 1970s gangster movies, specifically Mean Streets, among others. Phoenix revealed earlier this month that in order to play the role, he studied victims of Pathological Laughter or Crying. The victims suffer from involuntary laughter and crying, usually separate fro any kind of emotional trigger.
Image via Av club
This showcases in the new footage in the final trailer, where Joaquin Phoenix is clearly playing a man on the brink. Arthur Fleck, as he is known before he becomes the Joker, seems a man on the brink of madness. He confesses to his therapist that he has nothing but ‘negative thoughts’. Footage reveals he’s attempting to be a comedian, but he’s laugh at on stage, crippling his self-esteem.
Slowly, the trailer takes a darker turn as Joaquin begins spiraling towards what he’ll become. We see glimpses of him applying the white face paint, as well as Arthur instigating what appears to be a revolution. People begin to riot in the streets, wearing clown masks and holding up signs that proclaim ‘We are all clowns’.
Other tantalizing imagery includes Robert DeNiro as a comedian that the Joker idolizes and Thomas Wayne, Mayor of Gotham, punching Arthur after he refuses to stop laughing.
Warner Bros has released the official plot synopsis:
Director Todd Phillips’ Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
But the best image when Arthur, now decked in full Joker costume, asks to be introduced on stage as the Joker. We can’t wait to see this movie, as it looks haunting, surreal, and a more adult, darker movie that might even garner some nominations at the Oscars.
Are you looking forward to seeing the killer clown arrive? The Joker arrives in cinemas October 4th.
How do you give a character who’s infamous for having no definitive origin an origin? Let’s face it: Joker has stayed around long enough because he’s fascinating, but it seems that we’re afraid that fascination might leave our collective consciousness if we know anything about him. So, again, how do you give a character who’s infamous for having no definitive origin an origin?
To answer this question, let’s starts with the basics:
Although we know now that Martin Scorsese won’t be producing the new Joker movie, his touch is still prevalent in the film. Thought interviews, official statements, and just the general feel from the trailer, we can see the cinematic inspirations bubbling to the frame.
Before we dive straight into this pool, let’s start with a little background. Specifically, let’s look at who’s producing this film. There are 3 of them.
Image Via Fandom
Not them. Well, at least, I don’t think so… but let’s give a face to these three smiles.
Third, but certainly not least, is Emma Tillinger Koskoff. You may not know her name, but you’re likely to know her work. Screenplay Daily broke the news a few years back that Koskoff joined the Martin Scorsese production company Sikelia Productions in 2003 and, in only a few short years, was promoted to Production President in 2006. She was one of the producers onThe Wolf of Wall Streetand has been a driving force in Scorsese’s films for the last ten years.
Come 2017, we got news that Scorsese himself would be the producer along with Scott Silver and Todd Philips. Todd Philips and Scott Silver are now the sole screenwriters, and Scorsese himself has left. But Emma Tillinger Koskoff stayed. Now it might seem I’m hammering this point in, and I am. With good reason.
Let’s look at what we got:
Image Via IMDB
Robert DeNiro. Yeah, he’s really all we need. He’s been in a great many of Scorsese films, but his first notable one isTaxi Driver.
Image Via IMDB
Here’s the premise, courtesy of IMDB: a mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Dark. Gritty. Grim. Those three words are most often used to describe this film. It’s a descent into madness as one man slowly loses himself in the crowds of the city. The film is rife with looming shots of harsh city streets, crowds bustling around and blending formlessly together, endless cigarettes being smoked down to the filter.
Image Via Daily Mail
Sounds like anyone? Maybe you’re not convinced. Maybe the fact that Thomas Wayne is apparently running for Mayor in the upcoming film doesn’t mean Joaquin Phoenix will shoot him Tim Burton style with shots reminiscent of Robert DeNirio firing at Mayor Palantine. Maybe the fact Joaquin Phoenix ends up becoming the Joker doesn’t make you think of the movie where this guy…
Image Via Mental Floss
Became this guy.
Image Via Rotten Tomatos
You talking to me? Well, I’m the only one here.
But these people were certainly reminded:
JOKER looks fucking insane!!! Has a very TAXI DRIVER vibe to it, but def a lot more twisted. You’ll see the footage we just saw tomorrow. #CinemaCon
The absence of Batman in this trailer make Joker both hero and villain. Will Joker get taken down by a cop or just get away with it all? Whatever it all is🤷♂️… There’s a reasonable argument that Phoenix is the most underrated actor today and the Taxi Driver vibe here is chilling pic.twitter.com/DgMcdTAJt4
Robert De Niro, but in The King of Comedy, which also was directed by Scorsese. Here’s the premise, again from IMDB: Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.
Let’s replace Rupert Pupkin with “Arthur Fleck” or “The Pre-Joker Joker,” and we got our Joker movie. Seriously. Just look at these images:
IMage Via Collider
Joker, head thrown back, sporting a white polka-dot suit.
Here’s a still from The King of Comedy:
Image Via Indie Wire
They wearing the same suit! Heck, the red suit Phoenix is wearing in these leaked set photos…
Image Via USA Jacket
….looks like Pupkin’s.
Image Via Public Transportation Snob
Tomorrow you’ll know I wasn’t kidding, and you’ll think I was crazy. But I figured it this way: better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime!
Polygon summed it up with this: “The script was reported to have ‘ties’ to The King of Comedy; the latest poster should dispel any doubts as to that being the case.”
That should be obvious. The King of Comedy is about a man who tries to be a comedian but doesn’t yet know that he just isn’t funny. And you know what?
Image Via Zoom Comics
Batman thinks the Joker isn’t funny, but Batman isn’t in this movie, and that should scare us. When he kidnaps his comedic idol, played by Jerry Lewis, Pupkin doesn’t even have a loaded gun, but he’s absolutely terrifying.
“Tomorrow you’ll know I wasn’t kidding and you’ll all think I’m crazy,” Pupkin tells his idol, “but I figure it this way: better to be king for a night than a schmuck for a lifetime.”
Image Via Youtube
Throughout this film, we are entangled in Pupkin’s brain, and in there it’s nothing but ego. Pupkin is funny. Pupkin is the greatest, loved by all, hated by only the fools. He’s a man who deserves his shot at the big leagues, and if he doesn’t get it, he’s going to loose it. Maybe he does. The ending of the film shows Pupkin getting what he wanted: a show with an eager audience who can’t get enough, but the tone leaves us unsettled. Is this real? Or has he become completely lost in the narrative of his own construction?
Fandom summed up the film as: “a cautionary tale about the kinds of rewards and adulations we shower on celebrities. Don’t be fooled by the word “comedy” in the title. This flick isn’t there to make you laugh. It’s there to scare you.”
The only shot of De Niro in it is a quick glimpse of him on stage and, long before that happened, I couldn’t stop thinking about KING OF COMEDY. Todd Phillips is clearly thinking about it, too.
Plus, Pupkin even meets up with another stalker, Masha, who aids him in his quest to kidnap Jerry and blackmail the studio into giving Pupkin his literal 15 minutes of fame. Notable, IGN notes that Marsha, played by Sandra Bernhard, delivers “a proto-Harley Quinn performance.”
Image Via IMDB
Then there’s Robert De Niro, but in Raging Bull, which was also directed by Scorsese. Here’s the premise, again from IMDB: The life of boxer Jake LaMotta as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside of it.
Image Via Mubi
I hear your words, “the Joker ain’t no boxer!” Well, he can fight, but that’s not the point. The film starts off in 1964 when an aging boxer named Jake LaMotta practices a comedy routine. The film is about how this man fights and keeps fighting, ultimately realizing his life is a joke. (And what a mood.)
Image Via Robert Ebert.com
“I’m the best, I can take it more than anybody.”
It’s the internal life splattered on the silver screen, just like with Taxi Driver, just like with the next film we’re going to look at (yes, that too is Scorsese).
Image Via Digital Spy
Deadline even mentioned the film back when the movie was first announced in August of 2017:
The intention is to make a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City that isn’t meant to feel like a DC movie as much as one of Scorsese’s films from that era, like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or The King Of Comedy.
Image Via Collider
In each of these three films, the character’s internal life is splattered on the screen. They are directionless people who find a direction that leads them hurdling towards a terrifying path.
“I used to think my life was a tragedy, but I now realize it’s a comedy.”
These films are character studies, which is exactly what Joaquin Phoenix has been gunning for. He told Collider:
Three or four years ago, I called my agent and said ‘Why don’t they want to take one of these characters and just make a lower budget film about it, a movie but a character study, and why not take one of the villains?’ And I thought, ‘You can’t do the Joker, because, you know, it’s just you can’t do that character, it’s just been done.’
Oh, it will be done, and I’m screaming for this movie. These films seem to serve as a template to give this classic comic book character a fresh new origin, and hopefully this film will be new but familiar territory instead of a whirlwind of a chaos.
But I’m hopeful, and you know why?
The JOKER teaser is pretty great. Joaquin never disappoints. I’m in. #cinemacon