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New Escapist Column! On the “Joker” Controversy, One Year Out…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. It’s been roughly a year since the release of Joker, so it seems appropriate to take a look back at the controversy surrounding the film.

The controversy around Joker is interesting, because it was at once so loud and so meaningless. In the lead-up to the film’s release, there was a lot of hyperbole around the movie, arguing that it might empower or encourage a certain audience – angry young men – to commit acts of violence. This made the release of the film something of a wry practical joke, with Joker ultimately bending over backwards to avoid any potentially inflammatory choices. The result was a storm that raged in a tea cup, but which seemed eager to bubble over.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

198. Taxi Driver – Summer of Scorsese (#107)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn, Jay Coyle and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair and Alex Towers, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, kicking off our Summer of Scorsese season, Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

Martin Scorsese is one of the defining directors in American cinema, with a host of massively successful (and cult) hits that have shaped and defined cinema across generations: Raging Bull, King of Comedy, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed, Shutter Island. The Summer of Scorsese season offers a trip through the director’s filmography via the IMDb‘s 250.

Travis Bickle cannot sleep. So he splits his nights between the Times Square porno theatres and his job as a taxi driver. Bickle immerses himself in the nightlife of New York City, finding himself adrift in a world of anomie and urban decay. Thoughts begin to formulate in his head, thought he can’t articulate or express, but thoughts that push him in a horrific and unsettling direction.

At time of recording, it was ranked 107th on the Internet Movie Database‘s list of the best movies of all-time.

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