New Trailer is a hit on YouTube and Fans are Talking Oscars…
First, there was a Standing Ovation that clocked-in, reportedly, at over eight minutes. Now, critics at the Venice Film Festival, where the world premiere took place last night, have had nothing but raves for the film, it’s director and star. It appears that the promise that could clearly be seen in the two trailers released so far (see above and below) has carried over, with a big bang, into the reaction to the full length film.
As one surveys the two trailers, so far released for the upcoming “Joker” origin-story from Warner Brothers, there is a sense that this is an epic not easily categorized within the Comic-Book movie genre.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix (Oscar nominee for “Walk the Line”, “The Master” and “Gladiator”), directed and co-written by Todd Phillips (“Borat” and “The Hangover Trilogy”) and with Robert De Niro (as TV host Murray Franklin), the focus on how Arthur Fleck becomes “Joker” screams a muted, uneasy tension, that’s oozing from every pixel revealed so far.
In “Joker”, Batman’s Gotham City is a cesspool of dirt and depravity where Arthur appears doomed to live and die encircled with nothing but depression and humiliation. Mentally Ill and mercilessly tortured by the “sane” members of society all around him, he finds some respite in his chosen career of clown-for-hire and hopeful comedian wannabe by night.
We are all Clowns, Echoes of Antifa and Guy Fawkes
The potential for the story to transcend the genre of Comic book heroes and villains is hinted at in the placard with the words “we are all clowns” scrawled on it, that can be seen in a flash, about halfway through the new trailer (above).
Followed by scenes showing mobs of clown-mask-wearing demonstrators / rioters (shades of anonymous, Guy Fawkes, Antifa and Hong Kong), there’s an implication that an anti-social movement is growing up around, and identifying with, the anger and twisted humor of the emerging “Joker” super-villain character.
The real life parallels in the fictional world of Gotham City and the way many could relate, after having suffered similar fates to those that produced the madness into which Arthur descends, are scary, already in previews, and could portend a film that is, not only horrifically entertaining, but thought provoking when seen in the shadows of current events and today’s zeitgeist.
In the wake of so many “uplifting” but heavily computer assisted films where Comic book superheroes battle cartoon villains (and each other) the emphasis on live action grit and human emotions and failings is, at first look, refreshing and terrifying (in an interesting way), an that seems to have hit a nerve with the general public, well before the first public screening of the film.
Once the reviews flood out this weekend, after the Venice Film Festival World Premiere, the question of, to what degree the full length feature will live up to the promise encapsulated in these first two trailers, will have at least a provisional answer.
In the meantime we can just watch and re-watch these tender tidbits and prepare for October 4, 2019, when the film will see wide release across the USA.
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