On the politics of Joker


Over the weekend I saw Joker with a friend. The movie has been controversial to say the least. Despite the connections the commentary has had with my research interests I’ve been hesitant to write anything about it. Now that I’ve seen it for myself, boy do I have some feelings. 

But first off, I feel it is a shame that I and so many others are spending more time engaging with the commentary around this movie instead of engaging with the movie itself. As a piece of art, Joker was incredible. The movie left me feeling shaken and speechless. The cinematography was stunning, Joaquin Phoenix was mesmerising, and the script left me feeling both emotionally wrecked yet driven to discuss it with everyone I know. In short, it is a masterpiece. 

Many critics have written about the artistic merits of the film – I especially recommend Luke Buckmaster’s excellent review. But for me, it is the politics that drive my interest in this movie. 

Much has been written about what Joker is about, and a lot of it has missed the mark. I’m going to start my analysis about what Joker is not. 

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Book Review: See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill

I just finished the excellent book See What You Made Me Do by the journalist Jess Hill. See What You Made Me Do is an in depth investigation into domestic abuse in Australia, written by a journalist who has spent years covering the topic, and who brings a lot of expertise into the field.

The book is comprehensive. There are so many interesting parts, and I found the sections on why women stay in abusive relationships, alongside the section on domestic abuse in indigenous communities (and the failures of the police to deal with this in any way at all) particularly powerful. Today however I want to focus on the three chapters (chapters 3 – 5) which focus on why men commit domestic abuse.

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