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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 12 19, 7:54 am 
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That's a great example, ghost, of politics taken to an extreme in a movie, to the point that you'd be beaten over the head with it. Much like that one with Ice-T where the rich guys hunt him, just opposite politics.

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Politics is everywhere in movies. Take this shot from Do The Right Thing:

Image

This does a couple things. It assigns power to Pino in the way the camera points up, and the way he's positioned forward to be made larger. It makes him authoritative. It also puts him in white--in classic cowboy movies, the good guy is in the white hat, rides the white horse, has the white vest, and the bad guy is in black. Vito is assigned the black that traditionally goes to the bad guy and by his positioning in the shot he is assigned a weaker spot.

Except Spike Lee is black, the movie a racial powder keg. Lee does not empathize with Pino, Vito is the preferred brother. He's taken the traditional "bad guy in black" and turned it around, while acknowledging visually that Pino is the more powerful of the two, the White one, with the way the camera and actors are positioned.

There's a full array of politics in that one image in a film composed of something like 170,000 images. Good filmmakers are always telling us something on purpose, like Lee, and they're often telling us something not on purpose, like whoever made Coyote Ugly. Sometimes Lee beats us over the head with his point, sometimes it's more subtle. But it's always there and we always react to it, whether the reaction is indifference or a strong emotional/intellectual reaction. When we see Charles Foster Kane through a wide-angle lens in Kane, he's bigger than life, impressive as hell. Whether we think about it or not, we accept him as authoritative, impressive, powerful having seen that. That's politics: I'm going to make the audience see this character this way, I'm going to take part of the decision-making process from the viewer by presenting a place or person in the way I want them to be seen.

Consider for a second Face/Off. Not the preposterous plot, but the gun fetish. John Woo's camera swooping over a table full of firearms before a big shoot out, is practically gun porn. Cage slo-mo loading a clip into his ridiculously embellished handgun as he ponders his next move is gun fetish writ large. About 20% of that movie is gun porn. If Face/Off is titillating to a viewer that viewer is getting off to really lazy politics that play into gun culture. Do I think video games and Face/Off is why we have mass shootings? No. But I believe Face/Off is useless garbage that just entertains people by giving them gun porn, and we like it because we are gun nuts. ie Face/Off doesn't [expletive] up society, society is already [expletive] up and Woo/Cage/Travolta are happy to profit off our gun mania even if it means contributing.

The big difference between Joker (or Taxi Driver) and Face/Off is that the former two appear to be movies with messages, that are not all about the fetishization of guns and murder, but rather consider people committing violent acts to be sick in the head. We're too programmed, though, to let the politics of a movie pass by, and to lazily applaud something like Face/Off, to really examine what Taxi Driver or Joker is telling us.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 7:56 am 
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I guess I have to quit watching movies now.

I don't care about politics, I just want to be entertained. Whether it's a good story, funny, cool effects, etc.

Not everything has to be political or some deep [expletive] meaning. Good grief.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 7:59 am 
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Fat_Bulldog wrote:
I guess I have to quit watching movies now.

I don't care about politics, I just want to be entertained. Whether it's a good story, funny, cool effects, etc.

Not everything has to be political or some deep [expletive] meaning. Good grief.


I don’t think you have to stop watching. Some movies you watch for fun. Others to think. If some people want to think way too hard about movies that are supposed to be fun? Well that person is probably just a blast to talk to at parties.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 8:09 am 
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absorb a movie how you want. if some people want to turn off the brain, fine. if some want to analyze, fine. why does there have to be a choice?


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 8:39 am 
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I'm not saying this about FB, but I find most people who claim they want politics out of something are really just injecting their own politics. Kind of like how when there's a mass shooting and there are gun control discussions, gun advocates say "let's not politicize this tragedy". What they're really saying is "I don't want to talk about gun control because I don't believe in it". That fact is everything is political even if the creator doesn't intend it to be.

To be frank, I don't always want to consume a highly political media either. It just depends on my mood.


Last edited by Michael on September 13 19, 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 8:48 am 
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It can be fun to think about or analyze dumb movies. I've spent way too much time contemplating the biomechanics of Pixar cars. Then there's stuff like Starship Troopers, which is intended to be both a dumb movie and also political. If you don't want to talk about that stuff, just talk to someone else.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 9:43 am 
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Michael wrote:
I'm not saying this about FB, but I find most people who claim they want politics out of something are really just injecting their own politics. Kind of like how when there's a mass shooting and there are gun control discussions, gun advocates say "let's not politicize this tragedy". What they're really saying is "I don't want to talk about gun control because I don't believe in it". That fact is everything is political even if the creator doesn't intend it to be.

To be frank, I don't always want to consume a highly political media either. It just depends on my mood.

Movies are a little different than mass shootings, I'd think, but to each their own.

If you want to enjoy a movie for the story, plot, characters, arcs, etc, there's no reason to care about the politics.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 9:49 am 
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AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:
Michael wrote:
I'm not saying this about FB, but I find most people who claim they want politics out of something are really just injecting their own politics. Kind of like how when there's a mass shooting and there are gun control discussions, gun advocates say "let's not politicize this tragedy". What they're really saying is "I don't want to talk about gun control because I don't believe in it". That fact is everything is political even if the creator doesn't intend it to be.

To be frank, I don't always want to consume a highly political media either. It just depends on my mood.

Movies are a little different than mass shootings, I'd think, but to each their own.

If you want to enjoy a movie for the story, plot, characters, arcs, etc, there's no reason to care about the politics.


I really don't think it is that different. The same logic applies.

I agree you don't have to view certain art as political, but that doesn't mean it can't exist. Everything can be political even if that isn't the creators intent. It's really up to the viewer's interpretation. Therefore, statements like "keep politics out of XYZ" is an impossible demand.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 11:50 am 
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try being a conservative on a left leaning board, then tell me about how assigning politics to everything is fine.

it's tiresome when politics are injected into threads where it's not needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Joker
PostPosted: September 13 19, 11:53 am 
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Jocephus wrote:
absorb a movie how you want. if some people want to turn off the brain, fine. if some want to analyze, fine. why does there have to be a choice?


That's fair and I mostly agree. However, I guess I'm just tired of the page long diatribes of those who choose to analyze everything.


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