It's been over a year, but people are still talking about Joker. I think that's a testament to a movie that came in and shook things up. There are lots of polarizing conversations about the movie, we had a few of them here. But the one thing you cannot deny is that audiences flocked to this movie and loved to talk about it. 

And it wasn't just random fans, filmmakers also watched the movie and talked about it. 

Including two of our favorite filmmakers, Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino. 

They recently got together and recorded a three-hour podcast where they talk about movies, history, culture, and teach lots of lessons. One snippet of what they chatted about was Joker and which scene really felt like masterful execution.  

Check out this video from The Auteurist that encapsulates Tarantino's interview on the Empire podcast

Analyzing Tarantino's Thoughts on a Masterful  Sequence in 'Joker'

One of the better parts of the pod involves Tarantino talking about what he thinks are the keys to a good movie, or a good scene at the very least. He lists them as: 

  • Audience response
  • Cause and effect 
  • Atmosphere change
  • Getting to where you're going 

These are all important factors in storytelling because they keep the watcher engaged and unable to predict what happens next. They also show someone is adept at telling stories. And they're what made Tarantino worried when he was watching Joker. 

He describes an inner monologue he had while watching, unsure if he actually was enjoying the movie. He talks of thinking, "Is this where we live now? We take great movies from the 70s and redo them now?" 

Let's take a beat here and try not to be too astounded here at Tarantino not being self-reflexive. While I think Tarantino takes older ideas and does put a lot of personal touch on them, I have no idea how he would differentiate what he did with Inglorious Basterds and what Todd Phillips did with Joker

But let's skip past that part and talk about what Tarantino loved about Joker

His praise comes from the talk show portion of the movie, which he calls "profound." Check out his full quote below. 

"The subversion on a massive level, the thing that’s profound is this. It’s not just suspenseful, it’s not just riveting and exciting, the director subverts the audience because the Joker is a fucking nut. Robert De Niro’s talk show character is not a movie villain. He seems like an asshole, but he’s not more of an asshole than David Letterman. He’s just an asshole comedian, talk show guy. He’s not a movie villain. He doesn’t deserve to die. Yet, while the audience is watching the Joker, they want him to kill Robert De Niro; they want him to take that gun, and stick it in his eye and blow his fucking head off. And if the Joker didn’t kill him? You would be pissed off. That is subversion on a massive level! They got the audience to think like a fucking lunatic and to want [Arthur to kill Murray]. And they will lie about it! They will say, ‘No, I didn’t [want it to happen]!’ And they are fucking liars. They did."

This is a really interesting look at what it takes to manipulate the audience. The whole movie is about getting you to see a madman's point of view and making it relatable. That's a true feat and something to be appreciated. 

Listen to the whole podcast below. 

Let us know what you think of the quote and the scene in the comments.