Episode 43: Joker and The King of Comedy

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By Cinema in Context. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Dark comedian stories. Sarah Watt, William Chen and Jeremy Downing discuss two films that centre around wannabe comedians, with a story that follows a dark trajectory: Joker (2019) and The King of Comedy (1982). We begin by discussing the clear connections between the two films, particularly how clearly Joker is riffing on The King of Comedy. The discussion moves onto the mythology of Joker and how it weaves in the existing threads of Batman stories, while fabricating new storylines and ideas. We talk about the concern around Joker inciting violence and the depiction of violence in the film. The discussion harks back to earlier versions of the Joker and representations in other Batman media, including Batman: The Animated Series (1992), The Dark Knight (2008) and Batman (1989). We then discuss The King of Comedy, connecting to the cringe-factor in Curb Your Enthusiasm, the inclusion of Martin Scorsese's mother, who also appears in Goodfellas. We talk about the female characters in The King of Comedy, including Shelley Hack as Cathy Long, Diahnne Abbot as Rita Keene, and Sandra Bernhard as Masha. We finish our discussion about the endings of both films and whether they both suggest that they are fantasies in the lead characters' heads.

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