The theater in the 6 p.m., mostly sold out, showing of "Joker" was tense, the air in the room constricted from the possibility of... something. It did not seem like anyone knew quite what that something was, but I was shaking the whole time. I think that there was one possible reason for this: people have been entertaining the possibility of violence during a "Joker" showing. The theaters around me, at least, are taking preventive measures, staffing extra security guards and prohibiting makeup, costumes, masks, and weapons in the theater. The first time I watched "Joker", I attended a private screening, admittedly fearful of seeing it with the general public. But, the second time, I watched it in this packed theater. I must say that my first viewing greatly differed from my second.
A piece of art’s problematic-ness is subjective to the viewer who consumes the art; there is no definite arbiter--or way of deciding--just what kinds of art are inherently, objectively problematic. Only the individual can deem something to be problematic. If certain individuals agree with others, a mass of individuals with like-minds (and nuanced values) come together, then we have a basic form of society. Some things register as problematic because it goes against culture--or the ideas of a particular social group. To suggest that something is problematic because society or culture deems it so would be like suggesting that something is okay just because certain cultures deem it to be so, but I digress.
Is the “Joker” really an achievement in cinematic history or just a deeply dark look into an anarchist, his falling apart life and a city on edge. One thing is sure here, no matter if you loved it or didn’t, it’s a thought-provoking, disturbing two hour long journey, that will haunt you for a time after. The... Continue Reading →