‘Joker’ Received An 8 Minute Standing Ovation At The Venice Film Festival

Alfie PowellAlfie Powell in Entertainment, Film
Published 02.09.19

Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips’ Joker origin film, simply called Joker, has received an eight minute standing ovation after the debut at the Venice Film Festival.

You know when you’re in a large group and few drinks have been had between you, a joke is made – or something funny in general happens – everyone laughs and there’s always one person who tries to laugh the loudest.

It happens a lot with kids. For some reason there’s people out there who believe laughing louder and longer than others is impressive, and that’s exactly the same for audiences at film festivals like Cannes, Sundance and Venice; no-one wants to clap for eight minutes, they just think it makes them more of a film aficionado than others.

With that said, they don’t commend bad films, so this is still a good sign for DC and Warner Bros’ Joker. No one was standing for near ten minutes after watching 1998’s Godzilla, starring Matthew Broderick wearing a beret.

This comes as a nice change of pace for DC and Warner Bros. who largely haven’t made a good film since The Dark Knight Rises. With that said, I’m going to be controversial here and say that the pre-Doomsday/Martha fight was really good in Batman v Superman and separate to that, Shazam was pretty fun.

But now they have a film that can rival the likes of Avengers: EndgameLogan and I don’t know… Jaws? Now they have Joker.

Speaking of the process of making the film, writer and director Todd Phillips explained at a panel after the viewing:

We [Joaquin Phoenix and Zazie Beetz] thought this could be an exciting approach to this genre. I’m not sure what it means for DC or Marvel … It was a hard movie for us to get made, to convince DC and the studio at first, but we thought we would keep pushing because we thought it would be special.

joker joaquin phoenix

He also sited film like The Man Who Laughs, Taxi Driver and Raging Bull as inspirations, while Phoenix explained how he came about to convey the psychological damage and turmoil of Arthur Fleck.

The actor shared how he studied people with Pseudobulbar affect, otherwise known as emotional incontinence or laughing syndrome. This is a psychological disorder that sometimes occurs after brain injury, characterised by uncontrollable laughter or crying.

While laughing is typically jovial, the laughs of people with this particular syndrome have been described as pained, with them seeming to take a physical toll on sufferers.

joker standing ovation

What is the Joker’s origin in Joker?

Writer and director Todd Phillips has revealed that as well as several noir films, he took inspiration from the Batman run The Killing Joke, where a down-on-his-luck comedian get’s coerced into joining a life of crime by a mixture of mental illness, mobsters and tragedy.

Said comedian then falls into a vat of chemicals after being pursued by Batman, turning him into the clown prince of crime.

Though we’ll have to wait until the 4th of October for Joker to be released officially, Phoenix has already been touted for the best actor Academy Award.

Images via Warner Bros.