Released recently, Joker has written his name in the history of cinema with gold letters with his screenplay and great performances. Let’s look at the camera behind this wonderful film together.
Joker, the last wonder of the cinema world, took its place on the screen last Friday. For those who haven’t had the chance to watch the film yet, Joker; a film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, and focuses on the life of Joker, a failed comedian. The most striking feature of the Joker film, where we feel many different emotions at the same time, is that no one laughs during the film.
“The Joker laughed through the film, but there was a lot of pain underneath those smiles.” From this point on, we will not mention it in this article because it includes spoilers. Now, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the challenges of the Joker film, what happened behind the camera and how the Joker character appeared.
10. Joaquin Phoenix went on a death diet for his wildcard and lost 23 pounds:
The lead character Joaquin Phoenix, who had to adapt to the skinny and diseased nature of the Joker, entered a strict diet for the film. He also worked with the dietitian, who helped him lose weight in The Master, and ultimately managed to lose 23 pounds to become a Joker. The famous actor, after shooting, gained back some of this weight.
Ninth Joaquin Phoenix aimed to extract an independent character from his past wildcards:
According to Phoenix, his Joker character came out entirely with their creativity, and no role was played by the past Joker characters. ’It was something that made us feel like our creativity, and it was really important to me,’ says Phoenix at the Venice Film Festival.
8. Phoenix watched charades cast and inspired by them to better portray the Joker in the 2019 production:
No one is criticized by Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. The reason for this is that he studied well. Joaquin Phoenix, who was a whole with Joker and could not tolerate mistakes, watched the silent cinemas of Buster Keaton and Ray Bolger and studied their movements in order to perfect the Joker’s familiar situations.
7. The Joker is based on the Batman: Killing Joke comic book, which tells the story of a failed comedian:
Batman vs Joker’s most popular comic strip, the Batman: The Killing Joke comic book, was founded by Alan Moore and was first published in 1988. The illustrations of this comic book were made by Brian Bolland, known for his cover drawings.
6. Another silent cinema that inspired the Joker: The Man Who Laughs
This production, which was translated as “Laughing Man and is the basis of Joker, is known as a 1928 American silent romantic drama. DC has a comic book of the same name, which is about Batman and the Joker’s first appearance.
5. The Joker’s clown makeup wasn’t consciously changed:
Although the Joker is a bit creepy, it has an ordinary and simple clown make-up. Don’t look at what we call simple, according to the makeup artist, the more simple and raw the Joker’s makeup is, the more intense and deeper the character will be.
4. The script for the Joker film has changed many times, and hence most scenes have been improvised:
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On a scale from 1 to 10, how good was #Joker’s soundtrack? 🤡 According to #ToddPhillips on @nytimes, "what’s interesting about this scene to me is it’s entirely different than what we had scripted. In the script, #ArthurFleck was to come into the bathroom, hide his gun, wash off his makeup, and staring at himself in the mirror like what have I’ve done. And when we got to the set on the day, #JoaquinPhoenix and I just sort of stood around like, this doesn’t really seem very Arthur. Why would Arthur care to hide his gun? And we really kind of tossed around a million ways to just do something different. And it was about an hour into it and I said, hey, you know, I got this piece of music from #HildurGuonadottir, our composer, and she’d been sending me music throughout, while we were shooting. And I just wanted to play Joaquin this piece of music. Joaquin just started to dance to the music, and it was just me and him alone in the bathroom. There’s 250 people on the crew waiting outside. And he just starts doing this dance, and we both kind of look at each other and said, OK, that’s the scene. I talked that Arthur is one of those people that has music in him. And this is the second time we see him dancing, and it’s a little bit of #Joker coming out."🕺
The Joker script has changed many times in the days before shooting. Therefore, the players had to be a whole with the characters and they had to improvise in their dialogues, but if we look at the result, the players have really succeeded.
3. According to director Todd Phillips, The Joker’s smile should have been painful:
Everyone who watched the Joker came to the question, Why did the Joker make such bitter laughter at things that are not funny? ” The answer is simple. Joker director Todd Phillips told Joaquin Phoenix before filming that he saw the Joker’s smile as something painful. As a result, Phoenix worked on many different smiles, then organized a selection of his own free will and presented them to the director.
Throughout the filming of the Joker movie, Rober DeNiro and Phoenix barely spoke to each other:
In fact, Robert DeNiro is one of Phoenix’s favorite American actors who brings the Joker to life. Nevertheless, the duo had little dialogue during filming. One of the reasons for this is that the duo has a different understanding of business in different styles and structures.
1. There were moments of tension between two master players during the shooting:
We can say that the Joker is a masterful piece of work, but there are not moments of tension during the Joker’s shoot. The main reason for this tension is DeNiro’s business approach. According to DeNiro, the actors had to read and memorize before they could read their scenes. According to Phoenix, it was just the opposite, and he didn’t want to read at all. Fortunately, they were both adept and eventually reached a compromise.
We’ve compiled the most interesting information about the Joker behind the scenes, but that’s not all. Beyond the Joker’s camera, there are also pre-production and production stages. So, what was the method of making the Joker? Let’s take a look at the explanations of Todd Phillips, who interviewed Vanity Fair and The New York Times to answer this question.
Telling the character of Arthur Fleck through images:
Let’s start with the opening scene of the film. Todd Phillips tells the opening scene of the movie in Vanity Fair’s video. In this scene, we witness how powerless and pure Arthur Fleck is. Thus, the curiosity of how the character will turn into a super-villain throughout the film catches us from the beginning of the film. Todd Phillips describes the entire opening scene with every technical detail.
The opening scene of the film hides great details to reflect the current character of Arthur Fleck. Since Arthur is mostly a single person, he wanted to emphasize this. So Todd left the character alone where Arthur worked, adding his card-playing friends to the background. Meanwhile, Arthur does his clown make-up and works on how to smile.
Arthur’s smile is very important in the film. Arthur is smiling all the time, as his mother tells Arthur that he came to the world to bring joy and laughter, but it is also possible to see Arthur having difficulties with laughter throughout the film. Arthur laughs all the time because he’s been forced to think that he’s been happy since he was little, but people misinterpret these laughs because nobody understands.
How do music and character combine?
Later in the video we learn interesting information about the music used in the film. Todd reports that the soundtrack was prepared before the film was made. Todd says that he wants to impress everyone on the set with music. Music was played on the set while the scene was shot to reveal Arthur’s passion for music. So Joaquin was able to portray Arthur as well as possible. In the meantime, let’s remind that Hildur Guðnadóttir, who made the soundtrack of the film, also made music for Reha Erdem’s film Jîn.
In the sequel, Todd shares details of the world Arthur is in. To describe Gotham’s pressure on Arthur, the director says he doesn’t leave spaces between buildings, and he pays attention to large buildings everywhere.
Perhaps the part that most reflected Arthur’s character in the opening scene was the end of the scene. Arthur was battered by a group of four, but after the beating, he held out his hand, still thinking he could fix it. Later, because of the imposition of “You are there to make you laugh,” he would reach the key in his pocket again and make water from the flower on his collar. This scene also portrays how lonely and helpless Arthur is.