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Why So Serious (er, Wrong Film): Cinephile Hissy Fit Episode 10 Takes on Joker!

Photo Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Hello all! Will Johnson here. Joker will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first film I got to see as a member of the press! You can read my review here. Just because it’s special to me doesn’t mean I like it. In fact, despite a strong performance from Joaquin Phoenix, the film is, at best, a cheap homage to other films—see some of Scorsese’s work or, as Joe Bob Briggs pointed out, Maniac!—and, at worst, well, shit (please, hold your Marvel shill arguments for the comments).

But that is why we have The Cinephile Hissy Fit podcast where one hater of a film gets his/her five minutes to make his case against one lover who, in turn, gets his/her five minutes to defend it. In the case of Joker, the lover is co-host Don Shanahan who finds Joker a lovely homage to films of a previous era and a subversive take on the “formula” of superhero/comic-book media.

This is a fun, serious dive into that lovely argument of what cinema is—something I just adore, obviously—but also how the marketing of a film works. Don’s tried and true habit of avoiding trailers possibly helped him defeat those bloody expectations word of mouth and press build upon a film creates. And I, always ready to admit I’m wrong—lookout for one amazing Oscar trivia gaffe I make in this episode! I admit that those pesky expectations may have played a role in my dislike of the film.

Joker washes the green out of his hair in front of a mirror
Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

So, without further ado, check out our tenth episode of the program and decide for yourself if Joker is truly a subversive take on the mainstream fare or a limited pretender to other cinematic tales. Also, did you watch the trailer before seeing it? Let us know by following us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook! We are very responsive there and will gladly answer any of your questions and discuss our love/hate of movies with you at any hour of the day (that we are conscious). Cinephile Hissy Fit is a 25YL production and part of the Ruminations Radio Network!

Joker (2019)

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Written by Will Johnson

Will is the author of the little-read books Secure Immaturity: A Nostalgia-Crushing Journey Through Film and Obsessive Compulsive: Poetry Formed From Chaos. Will is a film critic at 25YL but also specializes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the occasional horror review. Will loves his hometown Buccaneers and lives in Phoenix, AZ, USA with his two daughters.

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