[Marxism] Joker | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 3 15:40:56 MST 2019

The first thing that strikes you about “Joker” is its open homage to two 
of Martin Scorsese’s films: “Taxi Driver” and “King of Comedy”. From 
“Taxi Driver”, it borrows the main character’s borderline personality 
and the portrayal of New York City as hell on earth. Travis Bickle, the 
Vietnam evidently suffering from PTSD, puts it this way: “All the 
animals come out at night – whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, 
fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and 
wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the 
Bronx, Brooklyn, I take ’em to Harlem. I don’t care. Don’t make no 
difference to me. It does to some. Some won’t even take spooks. Don’t 
make no difference to me.”

While “King of Comedy” is not considered vintage Scorsese, it was made 
to order for his main character Arthur Fleck, whose last name even 
evokes De Niro’s character in “Taxi Driver”. In “King of Comedy”, De 
Niro plays an aspiring stand-up comedian who idolizes Jerry Langford, 
the Johnny Carson-like late night host played by Jerry Lewis. To connect 
with Scorsese’s film, De Niro is cast as a late night host but with much 
more of a mean streak—think of David Letterman waking up on the wrong 
side of bed.

full: https://louisproyect.org/2019/11/03/joker/

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