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February 2020, arsenal cinema

70 mm: JOKER

JOKER, 2019

As part of our continuing series of analogue large-format screenings, we are showing Todd Phillips’ JOKER (USA 2019). Based on DC Comics characters, the controversial winner of the Golden Lion in Venice tells the story of Batman’s arch-rival, the Joker, aka Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a mentally fragile man and wannabe stand-up comedian trying to make a name for himself in grimy Gotham City (which looks like 1980s New York). “Todd Phillips narrates the evolution of the title character without referring to super hero cinema. His clear inspirations are the dark character studies of Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy in the 1970s and 80s. But the virile energy of the sociopathic Scorcese films yields in Joker to the apathy of profound depression, which finds a visual correspondence in the rotting brown, ochre and orange shades and a sickly blue light.” (Esther Buss) (5. & 6.2.)