How We Talk About Joker

“Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?” So I thought the new Joker movie was just okay, not spectacular, not terrible, just fine. But what I found more interesting than the film itself was the conversation around the film. To get you up to speed, Joker tells the story of a mentally ill loner named Arthur Fleck who decides to murder everyone that he’s angry with. Which inadvertently causes a violent uprising against the rich. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival more than a month before its wide release. That meant that there was an entire month where the only people who had seen the movie were film critics and their early reactions sparked an online controversy. The gist of it is this: some critics said the movie had bad ideas, other critics said the movie had bad ideas and that it would inspire real acts of violence. The logic here being you know at a time when guys like Arthur are committing real acts of violence like this is it irresponsible to make a film that glorifies a killer or at least one that might be interpreted as doing so by some audiences. I can already hear you leaping towards your keyboard to tell me what’s wrong with this argument, but hold on, that’s what the video is about. Now, both kinds of critiques were met with the same wave of comments you can expect whenever you discuss the politics or ideas of a piece of popular media online. Comments that boil down to: “Be quiet! Stop quote politicizing art! Right! What underlies all of these conflicts though is that the two sides have a fundamental disagreement over this question: does art have a social responsibility? So welcome to the History of Arguments, a mini-series on this channel where I look at how people across the ages have tried to answer questions about art. And to properly answer this one we’ve got to go all the way back to Plato Let’s begin with the Athenian philosopher Plato and his book The Republic. The book is a dialogue where Plato’s teacher Socrates tries to imagine what the perfect republic would look like. He’s got a place for every kind of worker: the fishermen go here, the philosophers go there, rulers should do this and that, but then he gets to the poets and his message to them is GTFO, we don’t want you here. In a perfect society, writers would be exiled according to Plato. His argument is, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” Plato argues that telling a story is basically lying and that lying is bad and if people, especially young people, listen to lies then they’ll be led astray and it’ll ruin society! In his words “The point is that a young person can’t tell when something is allegorical and when it isn’t, and any idea admitted by a person of that age tends to become almost ineradicable and permanent.” “Oh, won’t somebody please think of the children!” That’s Plato’s first hardball offer to the artists of the world. But then he spends a lot of time saying alright fine, you can be part of society but only if you write stuff that I agree with. He then establishes a list of virtues that he thinks art should foster: make people courageous, self-discipline, etc. Show good people being rewarded and evil people punished. So to Plato art has a social responsibility, it is educational, it needs to instill the right set of values in the population. Anything that doesn’t fit into that narrow goal shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Now I’m sure you can see that this is a very extreme position and there’s debate around whether or not Plato himself meant it literally or as a thought experiment. Nevertheless, it is a popular position historically speaking. The Catholic Church, for instance, policed artists for centuries and persecuted anyone whose art didn’t promote their idea of virtue. If we want a critique of Plato though we’re going to have to fast forward a few centuries. Under the patronage of Emperor Augustus, the latin lyricist Horace wrote The Art of Poetry. It’s both a poem itself and a manual for how poetry should be written. You’re probably familiar with some of its ideas without knowing it. For instance, the phrase “En medias res” originates here. But the reason we’re talking about it is a line that came to be known as the Horation Platitude and that is the idea that the purpose of poetry is to instruct and delight. So we’re taking one step away from Plato here. Art shouldn’t just be morally instructive, it should be fun. Horace’s motivations are interesting though. He’s not a philosopher concerned with protecting civilization like Plato is. Instead, his approach is much more pragmatic from an artist’s perspective. He writes, “The ranks of elder citizens chase things off the stage if there’s no good meat in them, and the high-spirited youngsters won’t vote for dry poetry.” Or in other words, you’ll have a bigger audience if you give people what they want and the young want it to be fun and the old want it to teach something. So just do that and stop asking questions. Horace’s ideas are echoed 1500 years later by the English poet Philip Sidney in The Defense of Posey which is a much more fleshed-out version of the argument. The defense is explicitly a rebuttal of Plato. Where Plato said that poets were liars, Sidney counters that by saying that the poet doesn’t claim to tell the truth and therefore he isn’t lying. It’s kind of a squirmy little argument, but it basically amounts to people know fiction isn’t real, so chill! Where Plato worried that stories would promote the wrong set of values and that people would be led astray by them, Sidney reverses that by arguing that stories can actually lead people to truths they might not otherwise appreciate. He says that stories are more accessible than dry philosophy so they can actually be a more useful educational tool. So with Horace and Sidney, we do have an alternative to Plato, but it’s still a position that isn’t just about saying what art is, it’s about saying what artists should or should not do. It’s not until the 19th century that The idea that art needs to teach anything is altogether abandoned. Art for art’s sake that’s the key idea of the aesthetics movement which gained popularity in Britain and France in the 19th century. As the phrase implies, the movement is basically about just liking beautiful pieces of art simply for being pleasing and not for their moral content or for anything else. We’re not sure who expressed the famous phrase first. It’s often credited to Théophile Gautier in 1835, it also appeared in the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Poe argued that art made solely for its own sake is the best kind of art that there is and it’s what artists should aspire to do rather than making something that’s meant as teaching material. So the slogan is about how creators should create but it’s also about how critics should critique. See the phrase didn’t just pop into existence. It was basically a way to shut up the Marxists. No, really stay with me here! See, while Marx’s ideas were becoming more popular they inevitably started being applied to art and this started to rankle some people who were fatigued by the overabundance of politicized readings. I’m sure that sounds a little familiar. One such person was Oscar Wilde who wrote that “Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.” Which is about the most elegant way to say shut up I’ve ever read! So there we have it. Three of the major positions on the question of art’s social responsibility. Plato told us that art should only exist if it cultivates good morals, Horace and Sydney told us that it should both teach and delight, and the Aesthetics Movement told us that it should exist for its own sake. Judging from the tenor of the conversation around Joker, I’m inclined to believe that many of the people watching this will see number three as the most sensible position. So let’s go through some of its shortcomings. The major critique is that even if you try to create a piece of art solely for its own sake, you can’t really control how it’s going to be read once you’ve completed it and that’s sort of what art for art’s sake as a philosophy is trying to do. The good part of art for art’s sake is that it doesn’t try to police artists like the other two theories are. The bad part about it though is that it can often be an attempt to police or minimize criticism. But just as the artists should have free rein to push the envelope, critics should have free rein to say what they see. Art definitely has an effect on us. It is enormously influential at forming our beliefs about the world, but it’s not a simple one-to-one thing where a one movie leads to one person doing something they otherwise wouldn’t. There are always other factors at play. There are elements of the response to Joker that are similar to the moral panics around violence and video games or death metal and a response to this ought to be the same. So, yes, okay good, but just because if that is true doesn’t mean we should just throw our hands up say art for art’s sake and ignore the effect that art really done have on us. Art may not have a social responsibility but criticism does. Criticism is about asking what does this do? What ideas does it convey? And the purpose of doing that isn’t to censor art in the way that Plato would in The Republic, it’s to become more aware of the ways media does affect you. You are what you eat so to speak, so it’s good to know what’s really in your media diet. So I wanted this video to come out a little closer to Joker’s release but I had to delay it because I wasn’t being as productive as I wanted to be. But maybe I wouldn’t have had to delay it if I had watched Thomas Frank’s Productivity Masterclass sooner on Skillshare, the sponsor of this video. Thomas is a fellow Youtuber, an excellent teacher, an expert at helping people get organized and just a really nice guy! So, if you want to work more efficiently, I highly recommend checking out the course. There are thousands of other courses on Skillshare about writing, filmmaking and more! So if you want to give it a try, you can get two months of Skillshare for free by going to this link: which will give you access to all of their classes. After that Skillshare is less than $10 a month with an annual subscription. So sign up now and learn a new skill! Thanks for watching everyone and a big thank you to my patrons for supporting this channel! If you like what I do and want to help the channel out, you can go to and pitch in as little as $1 a video to help keep me going! Keep writing everyone!

100 thoughts on “How We Talk About Joker

  1. Well if art exists for art's sake then we first need to decide what art is, also, who decides what art should be teaching? I think I side more with Horace and Company.

  2. Fun fact about the Marxist point: By the point of the 50s their beliefs and theories had been drill down to be called "The New School". Kerouac attended classes for it, vehemently disliked it (arguably leading to his dislike for marxism till his death) and often wrote essays ignoring that popular trend in the class.

  3. This video went places. But I disagree on qualifying Joaquin Phoenix performance as just "okay"

  4. The problem I, and I think most other people, have with the debate surrounding "Joker", is how the media has blown it out of proportion. I don't even think I've read a critic who actually thinks the movie will inspire violent acts. Also, isn't it proven that most people who kill to get attention(mild spoiler for the movie) get that attention from the media?

  5. The discourse around Joker has the POTENTIAL to be such a genuinely interesting and deep one, but was approached in the most shallow, banal way by both sides of the debate.

  6. Oh fuck you
    You didn't give any logical explanation
    You just gave your opinion and established it as better
    I get it
    You saw what the movie was doing and in your opinion that thing is okay
    But in my point of view that thing was deep and great
    Next time, project your opinion but please don't establish it as better

  7. Yeah this one was bad, didn't deal with the themes in the film or how they relate to lived experiences of people in our current culture (especially for the younger generation). It felt entirely like an isolated take on the movie from inside the liberal bubble.

  8. Almost clicked away from the video when he said it was "just okay"…..Mcscuse me???
    This video was super informative and broadened my perspective.

  9. As long as you don't ban the creation of movies like Joker, I'm fine with people criticising it. I don't like those criticisms, but they have the right to make them.

  10. The idea that art has a social responsibility is completely stupid in my view, because art is, in its core, the expression of the artist. I've always thought the best way to look at it was as its own sort of language, and different kinds of art (movies, music, imagery), are just different languages, all trying to convey inner thoughts the same way actual language does. The biggest difference with art though, is that it's way more up for personalized interpretation, and anyone who's had an argument about what a song is about with someone knows just how different one thing can be to several people. The biggest reason that art should not have a social responsibility is easy.

    If I write something artful with one intention in mind, the burden should NEVER be on me if someone else interprets it differently.

    This should be especially true with movies more than just about any other artform, simply because movies have so many more people working on them than most, if not all, other media and art. If the writer and director for a movie is two (or more) different people, they might agree on what they want to convey, but there will always be nuances in how. Art is extremely personal, which means that how you interpret it is also personal, and completely, 100% percent on you.

    Point being, unless everyone who worked on Joker agreed that the movie was meant to spur an incel uprising and incite shooting sprees, the social critics would be in the right.
    The way it is now though, is that the only ones talking about those sort of things, as far as I've seen, are the critics and media outlets. If anything like that happens, it should be obvious to anyone that it's on them, not the movie.

  11. The criticisms of Joker are valid even if "nothing happened" after all the concern. We know the director shares Arthur's "society selects what is funny" argument during the talk show. The movie also displays media emulated violence by having Joe Chill execute Thomas Wayne by quoting Arthur's televised crime directly. Social Responsibility aside, the message and delivery of the movie's morals are inherently negative because they communicate a really dire/reprehensible message.

    This doesn't mean moral panic, it just means that a fairly decent character study is mired by being attached to the crappy idealistic beliefs of its creator, which is the same argument I have for Zack Snyder or Brad Bird's movies preaching Ayn Rand or "some people are better than society and society needs to back the hell off".

  12. "Both poetry and a manual of how poetry is ment to be written."
    I wonder if Snorre Sturlasson got his hands on a copy. His Edda is precisely that.

  13. I would like to see this Joker going toe to toe with Patrick Bateman from "American Psycho"

  14. I want to let you know that I've enjoyed many of your videos; your channel is one of my favorites on YouTube, and I don't subscribe to very many. I sincerely think you could pitch your videos on media writing and critique as a podcast series on a network like Gimlet or Headgum. The tone and flow of your voice remind me of 99% Invisible. I find it both relaxing and thoughtful.

    I encourage you to keep making videos, and even expand your platform. You have enough of a body of work, and a point of view, to carry a program on a more commercial outlet.

    Either way, I will keep enjoying your videos and thank you for doing such an enjoyable work.

    p.s. As someone who has written fanfic for years this question of social responsibility in art has been ricocheting across various fandoms the last couple years, causing immense drama in various fanfic communities, especially ones with a high presence on the tumblr/AO3 circuit. It's comforting to know that the debate is much older than the arguments I've had the last 3 years.

  15. man, what a generic video. With so much content about video games and sociological & psychological affects on us in manipulative narratives to mix with cinema, and you came with what? intro about basics of art? to justify what? This video isnt about joker discussion? You dont even make a point. I think this video is just ok, as your opnion about the joker movie. so sad, i used to came here to learn something.

  16. I like this deeper look into the discussion around Joker. I don’t agree with some of the criticism that Joker is misrepresenting mental illness etc. but the arguments on the other side are shallow and irresponsible. Like you said, criticism has to be responsible. TBH a lot of the shallow criticism is white boys saying “See? White men can be mentally ill too!” Which isn’t the point of the movie. Great video as always! Keep up the great work!

  17. I'm honestly wondering if anyone in the general audience understood that the marketing really did help the movie.

  18. I love the way this movie sends all the SJWs and wokeists into super-triggered mode. It's fun to watch them scream and whine about incels and white males.

  19. Art is inherently political. If you think you are doing something that is exempt from politics that just means you are presenting how you think things “ought to be”. And that’s okay, create as you want, but after you are done if you didn’t think about what you wanted to say, your creation will speak for itself.

  20. My interest in art is with neither of these ideias.
    I tend to enjoy works the most when they approach some ideia of subversion or rebellion, as that is where "beauty" is for me. Beauty is Vernhoeven taking the piss on the book he's adapting, or Rian Johnson deliberately "disrespecting Star Wars", or John Waters directing a film about the most disgusting people on Earth and singing an*ses.
    That's why I like modern art and the "safe" usually bores me.
    Though in order for something to be "subversive" it needs to be inherently "political" in some level (in the sense that said work is consciously making a statement).
    In this perspective, art is then a catalyst for discussion, rather than a statement with "social responsibility".
    Of course, this is not by any means the only way to look at art

    Oh, and Joker was fine I guess, whatever.

  21. I wrote this elsewhere but I think it's relevant enough to share here as well:

    Joker left me thinking more about mental health and how it's treated and portrayed than it did thinking about the actual Joker, which I think is saying a lot. It's a great movie specifically because it is so polarizing. All the best movies are.

    At the beginning of the movie, you're meant to sympathize with a pretty meek guy who works a pretty terrible job, is on a handful of different medications that don't work, is taking care of a homebound parent, is pursuing a second love that he'll never be good at, and struggling to find a way to cope and care.

    Over time, he loses his job, his therapist, his mother, his dignity, and his relative innocence. He goes off the deep end, pursuing an extreme in human behavior that we as people don't really think about actively pursuing but we all have fantasies about from time to time. He never really means for anything to happen the way that it does, it just happens. Until the climax of the movie where his actions and emotions are broadcast to the world and he unintentionally but unequivocally kickstarts a revolution.

    At the end of the movie, I think we're left with more questions than we have answers. Arthur Fleck/Joker is meant to be an unreliable narrator. The Joker always has been, it's part of his brand. Chaotic, unreliable, multiple choice.

    You're not supposed to feel good about what he does. The movie builds up the tension in a way where you feel the same pain that Arthur does, but then as soon as the release comes, it does so in such a visceral, haunting way that you feel shocked and almost ashamed in the way that he's reacted. You know that there was a better way, a more suitable way to react, but you can't change what has happened. The lack of control is what sets off the entire film and it's brilliant.

    Honestly, Joker was more of an indictment of how poor the care is for victims of abuse, depression, PTSD, and how a lack of a proper support system can drive someone to do things that can't be taken back.

  22. That was a shallow analysis of the movie. I suggest a second viewing and a second video, if you think it's worth it. 🙂

  23. The more I think about Joker the less I see how people can see it as even partially a right-wing film.

    Given that – and how rare left-wing violence is — why the big stink?

  24. I kinda agree, the movie was only “good”. Of course it was like one hundred thousand times better of the classic DC shit like justice league or BvS, but no way it was even close to the nolan trilogy. Phoenix was PHENOMENAL and i’m really happy about the Rated-R, but it could’ve been even better. It’s a strong 7 for me.

  25. This Film will go down as a Classic piece of Cinema, when viewed with compassion.”Joker” It’s Not a Left or Right or White Film but a Human film,
    It addresses the plight of Fatherlessness, Class Warfare / Wealth Inequality, Child Abuse, Gaslighting an abused Kid-possibly sexually abused, Repressed Trauma, Mental Health, the importance of Mental Health Services, Nationalised Health, Over Medication – Big pharma, News Media fanning the flames of violence, Gun Violence, Loneliness , Isolation, Depression and how if we keep hurting each other and ignoring each other – Regardless of if You're an MCU fan / DC fan /Man / Woman / White / Ethnic Minority/ LGBT etc If Anyone lived Arthur's Life – This would be the end result – All done with loving attention and the seriousness it deserves WITHOUT Ramming down an obvious political agenda from Either side of the Spectrum. But a compassionate look at a human being's downward spiral.

    Neurocriminologist who has studied Violent Criminals for 40 years said this is the most accurate on screen portrayal….So read this before just writing / saying ' Arthur decided to kill these people'

    "The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth." African proverb

    Amazing Work of Art. This Truly elevates Cinema And Comic Book films. We Should ALL be proud this is what will keep Comic Book films from going the way of the Westerns. Marvel are Fantastic at creating Episodic Very Fun Popcorn Movies, But DC have always tried to Push the Boundaries Artistically – The Richard Donner- Superman/ Tim Burton -Batman, Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy, BVS ( love it or hate it it was not the template Jokey Joke Comic Book Film ) Wonder Woman, Aquaman Batman The Animated Series, Justice League Animated & Justice League Unlimited, Most of the DCAU & Joker. Please Understand this is NOT a Diss to the MCU. Disney PG Films are fun and entertaining but rarely spark so much thought and conversation. Deadpool was Marvel's R Rated Film which was good silly fun . Joker is how DC makes R rated film that is truly Adult and not just a PG film with CG Blood and swearing.

  26. You are milk-toast on Joker because: Your life doesn't suck. You haven't been abused, dejected, and kept poor & angry. Your analysis is valueless here & you should pull this video. Because you don't know shit about how to feel about this film. This post kinda makes you suck, a lot!

  27. Plato was wrong about the children not understanding allegories, there's plenty of adults who can't do that too. WHY WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE BOOMERS!!!

  28. One piece of art can't cause someone to be a murder, but it can trigger a reaction if it has a very clear call to action to people who already have the necessary prerequisites to being a psychopath. Art can include persuasive arguments in it and we need to police these arguments just as we would police someone in the real world yelling "fire" or someone online telling another person to kill themselves. The trouble is art like movies communicate in more ways than just verbally so its harder to nail down what the argument is, how effective it is and whether that effectiveness is a problem because of the amoral ideas its arguing for.

  29. It is also worth pointing out that Joker wasn't made just for arts sake, but also to make money. And that's applicable to a lot of art.

  30. Some people is the comments aren’t getting that this isn’t a movie review or analysis. It’s talking about the DISCUSSION around Joker.


  32. Nice video but you forgot to mention the contemporary movement which is "art for money's sake". Joker doesn't belong to those three but it belongs to this 4th kind. And almost all of those for art's sake films too.

    Do you want proof? Say that art for art's sake films can't be screened and profited. You'll see how many of them really were made for art's sake.

  33. Plato is… goddamnit when you mentioned him I was like: “Oh God not that cunt again.”

  34. This seems like a continuation of your "Can you judge art objectively?" essay and I'm living for it.

  35. To expand on that last statement- "you are what you eat, so it's good to know what's in your media diet"- I'd advise everyone to google Lasswell's Functions of Communication, Accumulation Theory, and Mean World Syndrome. Art may not make non-violent people violent-that was mostly debunked back in the late 1930s- but it can have other effects that you may not expect.

    I'm not expecting Joker to magically make people kill, but I still think there are issues with the film that need to be talked about.

  36. I don’t quite agree with your conclusion on the nature of art, I do agree with your conclusion in understanding both what is the value people can interpret from art and understanding how we decide it are more value complex than “murder bad=>never make any art with murder cause people will copycat”, and I liked this video because not getting to your productive plans on time is relatable

  37. With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility.
    I feel like Joker is an allegorical response to a world without Spider-Man, at least in layman terms it's a critique of a world filled with powerful people who feel that they don't have any responsibility.

    The film is a direct condemnation of inaction.

  38. They were just hyping the movie. The film is very honest with violence, mental problems, corruption and riots. It doesn't glorify any of it, people who says it shows a bad example and is dangerous are just stupid or mooting the point.

    Also you've been showing off the whole video how much of an intellectual you are for knowing big names and theories yet you didn't talk about the movie itself at all.

  39. We have to be careful when talking about Plato's views on art, as art – the theatrical plays – really did have a much, much more important place back in ancient greece than it does today. It makes sense that Plato would have a much more severe stance on it. He actually encourages good plays and good art in general (music, etc) if it contributes to the healthy education of its citizens.

  40. You got the summary all wrong. Arthur doesnt decide anything. He does something, some things happen and then, when all is established, he goes with the flow. I think, thats a crucial difference.
    thx btw

  41. The big thing I got out of the movie was that this movie is probably the best 'comic-book' movie expression of world building we've got. We get a real great sense of the feeling of the people of gotham and how its politics and media are affecting them.

    but yeah, a lot of it just left me a bit hollow.

  42. Hello! English scholar here (with some focus on modernism). I think it’s worth noting that in the case of Oscar Wilde, the “art for arts sake stop reading into it” was also neccesary for Wilde as a gay man, whose work has a lot of queerness in it, and was used against him in court cases, to which he basically argued “what? no, there is no subtext”

  43. This is the conversation that should happen more. Art is so effective at teaching ideas it does it on accident.

  44. Just wanted to give some opinion: I think compared to your other videos this one lacks a bit of content. You mostly only learn about the change of thought about art and then a short connection to the discussed movie and the current time in general. I don't know what exactly but for me it feels like something is missing in this video

  45. 2:02 ok stop your video right there. im gonna avoid you the whole mess.

    Yes art has a responsibility toward society.. because ART help US define our ideal self (super Ego).

    Commercials. normally try to appeal to that to sell you stuff. and Stories and art have the same power .. its not an accident that James bond movies are use to sell car , watches , suites and drinks.. by being heroic or by the power of the discourse within the narrative can persuade someone to admire or believe in certain things.

    ART is power .. therefor comes with responsibility… its our obligation to use that power for good

    however it important to understand that we are NOT all in the same PAGE of what good is.

    and that is both good and bad.. its good cause no man or group of people knows all the answers and the perceptions of right and wrong need to be argumentatively and thoughtfully Challenged if we expect to arrive to a greater understanding of good.

    but its also bad because like the joker Movie points out.. people often do not have the responsibility of second guessing themselves.. an by result have no idea of what they are doing while believing that they know what they are doing.

    human's perception of reality is flawed ..we constantly making mistakes because we think we often have good perception of reality when we do not.

    the joker movie has many example of this. but.. to hit something closer to home

    the whole argument of whatever art is subjective or objective is a bunch of bullshit.

    Art has both Subjective Elements and objective Elements. the perception of an art piece may be subjective to an individual .. but individuals and art do NOT exist in a Context vacuum .

    there is HISTORY , norms , science, techniques, established cultures , syntax and grammar.. there is a context to all things that goes beyond one is personal view of reality .. that guess what not that personal because part of it exist because of the society you exist in.

    yet because everyone is more focuses on winning argument than to actually figure out the truth .. they treat the subject as if it was a yes or no answer when reality is more complicated than that.

  46. 1.39 "Does art have a social responsibility?"

    …and people say there's no such thing as a stupid question.

  47. Great videos man I love your stuff. I have to disagree on the video, and it doesn't really feel like there is a cohesive point or perspective from you. You include a lot of information but the analysis of it doesn't really form an argument. Whenever controversial art is criticized because of what real-world actions they may inspire I always think about the fact that over 99% of people do not act out because of Art and we shouldn't sensor or look down upon art that may stimulate negative reactions in a tiny percentage of people. Those people usually have underlying issues all along. In fact I believe the Joker is a great spot light for our lack of attention two people that have mental health issues and the lack of resources available to them and we should really focus and take note of that instead of focusing on how uncomfortable it makes us feel. So many critics talk about how dangerous this movie is instead of realizing that in the real world we need to do more for people with mental health issues

  48. The most impactful thing anyone ever said to me about the nature of art was a Theory of Directing professor that said Art is communication.
    It's hard for me to look at any Art through another lens now. As an aspiring Writer/Director, I can't fathom the notion of making Art for Arts sake.

    If someone doesn't have an innate desire to communicate something, why are they making art?

    Is there a fundamental difference between art and entertainment? Does art exist without the artist? What is art?

    Any question surrounding the nature of art is immensely fascinating and I don't think there'll ever be a good answer to any of these question but I think there's a lot of value in people thinking more about what their media diet communicates to them. In order to better understand themselves and the world.

  49. The most impressive thing about this movies is the 50 million budget, holy shit this looked so good

  50. So you praised The Last Jedi, but you thought Joker was "just okay"? You have very odd criteria…

  51. They weren’t just worrying that there was going to be a shooting, they were practically salivating over the idea.

  52. Judging by the comment section I think the Joker might have forced many people to watch this video against their will. I suggest they take their frustration with him or else go watch something they enjoy.
    This is free content, just saying.

  53. Thank you for finding this movie just okay. The discussion surrounding it is really overblown in my opinion. It's an okay movie. Don't get me wrong, it does have gorgeous cinematography and Joaquin Phoenix performance is really good , but the movie overall is really boring on a subtextual level. In the first half the movie seems to be overtly political and daring but all the themes it does allude to kind of get dropped in the second half and in the end the movie doesn't have anything profound or new to say about the topics it seemed to be interested in.
    It's an enjoyable movie on a technical level and I'd recommend it if you're interested, but it's nowhere near the controversial and daring think piece some people make it out to be. All the discussions we have surrounding this movie we had a thousand times before, everytime with another movie/videogame/band/song or whatever piece of art… But at the end of the day I'm thankful that it tried something different with the universe the Joker inhabits and its characters. At least it's not the next predictable run-of-the-mill comic book movie.

    Really good video btw, I really appreciate the work you put in these! You never dwell on a topic or a point too long and don't overexplain things.

  54. plato was a friggin hypocrate… he blames fiction for misleading people, yet to this day, plato still misleads people with his silly atlantis fable (spoiler: there is no sunken continent in the Atlantic)

  55. So Plato was harping on the same things Youtube and Twitter and Society are harping on now. If it bothers people it shouldn't be permitted. That's not art then. Art should generate a reaction, be it negative or positive.

  56. One of the best movies I have ever seen!! Checkout Instagram for a portrait I made of Joaquin phoenix as the Joker at-

  57. can't rly agree with the thesis. What joker first and foremost is, is a brilliant diagnosis of what is wrong about contemporary society. It doesnt want to be apolitical, but it also is not a romanticization of contemporary political violence. Most of the outrage critics did only engage with the material on a surface level. Plato btw. was in high support of tyrants to create his perfect society without art. I mean look at propaganda art from the first world war and what has happened with avantgarde art afterwards. What is important here is the nietzschean difference between apollonian beauty and dionysian art. The former is a gateway into being deceived and soldout by dogmatisms (of the state, the market, churches or fancy philosopher dictators like Plato). The latter offers an escape: Art is also a way to fight the political, which in itself also a form of art since everything is ideological. Art is an window through which we can glimpse the truth about our society. Joker exposes neoliberalism as the main cause for the rise of the alt right as well as the exploitative relationship between mental health issues and individualized politics. This is what makes it a great movie.

  58. I would defend Joker simply as art, or a video-game, and how it doesn't matter if it's violent.

    But then my mind goes to 13 Reasons Why, and how a TV show can influence people on ending their lives.

    But also the people talking against some things in 13 Reasons Why were professionals in the mental health area, and a big problem wasn't the whole series, but that suicide scene.

    And then I watched a series with a suicide theme when I was deeply depressed, and it did raise thoughts of killing myself…

  59. "The purpose of doing that isn't to censor art"
    Press X to doubt. Sure some if not most critics don't want to censor art, but the amount of headlines and the cancel culture we have today actively demanding that something can't be shown is a pure call for censorship.

  60. North Americans. They just can't say 'Plato'. It always comes out as 'Play-doh'.

    EDIT: Added 'North' to include the Canadians

  61. Go listen to chapotraphouse's analysis, much more interesting than this lame duck sigh

  62. When people are against "politicizing" a movie like Joker, I just think like, what movie did they watch? Joker IS a political movie. If someone watched and enjoyed that movie without seeing it as political, that would suggest they saw it as fun, and that concerns me. I personally really liked the movie, I would even go so far as to call it a masterpiece. But that doesn't mean we can't discuss the implications of different aspects of the movie.

  63. If a movie villain lacks understandable motives and emotions, he's going to be regarded by the critics as shallow, unrealistic and uncompelling (Steppenwolf)

    However, if a movie villain is indeed understandable and draws empathy of the audience, he's going to be regarded by the critics as dangerous and as a source of inspiration for potential real life criminals (Joker, Thanos).

    The only exception of an empathetic villain who doesn't seem to be harshly criticized is Killmonger (because of being black). I have nothing against black characters, but I feel like critics would be way more harsh on the villain if he was white.

  64. I think another thing to mention is that a lot of critics come from a time where superheroes were looked at as "children's media" because back in their era they it was aimed mostly towards children. It wasn't until the superhero boom that audiences are now familiar with superheroes tropes and Joker if anything is an experiment (by mainstream standards). From a perspective some critics may look at this as a childish property turned sinister and they feel uncomfortable with it. Which I think make the movie work a lot better! I respect your opinion but this is my personal favorite film of 2019!

  65. The more I actually hear about Plato's ideas, the more I realise that he's really just a massive dick.

  66. I think people were exaggerating that the Joker would create mass shooters, but I do think it will create a lot of edgelords who’ll photoshop quotes from the movie in a manip and post it on facebook/twitter/tumblr thinking it’s deep.

    Also some smart people will be selling bootleg Joker merch on those stairs, I bet.

  67. I think art should be free to do anything. If one argues that for example Joker might push someone "over the edge" to do something violent I ask what the real problem is? Is it Joker or the fact that this person has for example problems with his/her mental health that no one is treating or even paying true attention to. Or worse that people are not taking seriously? Because if for example Joker did not exist it might be any other "dark" piece of art that pushes this person "over the edge". Or maybe it would be something this person sees on the street or god knows where. Blaming one piece of art as if it was the reason for violent actions is in my opinion nothing else than the easy way out. It's not far off from blaming shooter games for school shootings. If art can't explore dark themes we are denying part of the human existence and experience and that is not healthy in my opinion. I feel like people tend to forget that in the age of easy to consume art like marvel movies or uninspired pop music.

  68. Very presumptuous of you to assume criticism has a social responsibility. As if saying you shouldn't criticize art if your views aren't aligned with what the current zeitgeist thinks is acceptable.

    Presumptuous. And wrong.

    But I liked the rest of the video though. Pretty informative. Keep that up.

  69. I predict these film will at least be nominated to Best Actor and Best Picture in the Academy Awards

  70. People have an ability to think for themselves. They don't need Government bodies policing what people can and can't see. That is the typical leftist approuch: Orwellian dystopia, where anyone who goes against the pc narrative are considered wrongthink (does social credit score ring a bell). Art doesn't have a social responsibility. Marx, the communist bastard, used propaganda evrn though he was "for the people". Any attempt to silence free speech or free expression is an attempt for Power.

  71. If art does have social value, it's an challenging a society's conventional wisdom, not reproducing it, as Plato would have it do.

  72. "Joker's themes weren't themetic enough. How ironic" – Bigideas circa 300BC

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