1. Joker & Jean Baudrillard?
Todd Phillips’ Joker was probably the most controversial film of 2019. Before I watched it, I thought this movie was about a deteriorating pro-second amendment, incel because that was the most popular reading of the film at the time of its release. I was shocked to learn that the most dominant form of violence in the film wasn’t gun violence, but mental and class violence. My guest and good friend Graham helps me unpack the social and political landscape of Gotham and Joker. We respond to liberal responses of Joke and criticise class reductionist leftist reviews of the film. Graham also introduces the complex work of Jean Baudrillard in a very accessible way and shares how the renown French scholar’s work relates to Joker.
Avengers Age of Ultron (dir. Joss Whedon, 2015)
Requiem for a Dream (dir. Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
The Dark Knight (dir. Christopher Nolan, 2008)
The Dark Knight Rises (dir. Christopher Nolan, 2012)
Liberal Criticisms of Joker:
Abad-Santos, Alex. “The Fight over Joker and the New Movie's ‘Dangerous’ Message, Explained.” Vox, Vox, 18 Sept. 2019, www.vox.com/culture/2019/9/18/20860890/joker-movie-controversy-incel-sjw.
Wilkinson, Alissa. “The Joker Never Needed an Origin Story, but Especially Not This One.” Vox, Vox, 10 Sept. 2019, www.vox.com/culture/2019/9/10/20858765/joker-review-joaquin-phoenix.
Leftist Criticisms of Joker:
“Film Review: Joker.” The Communists, 2 Nov. 2019, thecommunists.org/2019/11/02/news/culture/film-review-joker/.
Red Fightback. “The Red Carpet: A Marxist Critique of Joker.” Red Fightback, Red Fightback, 16 Feb. 2021, redfightback.org/the-red-carpet-a-marxist-critique-of-joker/.
Other Mentioned Sources:
Baudrillard, Jean. The Consumer Society: Myths and structures. Sage, 2016.
Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. University of Michigan press, 1994.
Baudrillard, Jean. For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign. Verso Books, 2019.
Deming, Robert H. "The Television Spectator-Subject." Journal of Film and Video (1985): 48-47.
Fisher, Mark. Capitalist Realism: Is There no Alternative?. John Hunt Publishing, 2009.