Monthly Archives: January 2020

Actually rowing (for 4 hours – a tiny break ) under a scorching sun!

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ROWING IN CLEARWATER, FLORIDA: taking a break on a deserted island.

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by Gerald Thomas

Joker is unimaginative, repetitive and egocentric. It capitalizes on the idea that you and I are eager to “adopt” this self-loathing and self-loving character of exploding and imploding emotions; as the vigilante of our desired and collective dreams. But it doesn’t. Unfortunately, this is, definitely, a film made to please its simplistic, almost idiotic crowd of cheerers.

I never actually wanted to see it in the first place. But I succumbed in the peaceful atmosphere of my Florida resort hotel and finally bought it on on-demand TV.

About 20 minutes into it, I did everything I could around this Florida apartment. From cleaning the dishes to organizing my files and taking care of my tan. Oh yes, self-tanning !!! This bizarre syndrome! Mind you, I admit to subscribing to it with all its absurd vanity but self adoration! But with Phoenix, just as we used to watch an overdose of this self-indulging overacting in the movies featuring Jim Carey and Jerry Lewis, it becomes a statement of a pathology from our past.

Joaquin Phoenix performs like a rock star. His moves and looks are nothing but a copy of the wonderful and less than humble Jagger of yesteryear, a Robert Plant from decades ago and all those lead singers of the past-present and yet, mediocre audiences fall for this, as it is noted.

Obsessed by an obsession with performing Phoenix only reveals (over and over and over), a simple sigh of loftiness, vanity and pretentiousness. Could this character also inspire pity? Could ihe also be looked upon as an icon of the “oppressed classes” or a representation of the vulnerable and unstable misfit that we encounter in our daily lives every day?

Hardly. The movie makes no room for that.

Boring, violent, predictable and immersed in self-love and megalomania (on the part of Joaquin Phoenix – the actor who loves himself so so so much, he hardly needs a movie or a script to fit to).

Loving himself too much can hurt the continuity of the story and trick (yes, trick!!!) a shallow audience into believing that this “grandiose performance” by Phoenix is an advantage, something to be praised, applauded.

The ultimate joke resides in this “Joker”. Nothing but a mediocre and overrated film which runs out of story ideas after the first act and which has less interest than the viral videos of fight scenes as in “The Fight Club” and so many others.

“Joker” does not quench our thirst for revenge and it doesn’t ultimately matter because it’s “all down the line” of the performance – so to speak (and it this genre, Mick Jagger’s acting himself in “Performance” by Nick Roeg (1970) still stands as the ultimate portrayal of a very sophisticated acting coup including metalanguage, neorealism, psychedelic criticism; all contained in a revelatory drama of self love, self hatred, multi-genre glory and mob violence.

In “Joker”, unfortunately, everything about it is meagre and shallow, and the strident lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix is much less interesting than similar portrayals in “You Were Never Really Here” and “The Master”

Pity !

Gerald Thomas – Jan 15, 2020

PS: it has to be noted that the same Robert De Niro who appears here as the talk show host (a Johnny Carson of sorts), also appeared as a “kind” of Joker in the 1982 production of “The King of Comedy” by Martin Scorsese. His Rupert Pupkin character is a failure in life but a celebrity in his own mind, hosting an imaginary talk show in his mother’s basement. When he meets actual talk show host Jerry Langford -Jerry Lewis- well, no matter !… Watch it and “Performance” back to back and gain something from our glorious past !

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2020 nudes:



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January 14, 2020 · 9:17 pm


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