Photography Cinematography – Joker

Cinematography – Joker

Giordana Bonanno

If you saw this movie on an aeroplane, if you watch this movie streaming, if you watch this movie on DVD, you didn’t fucking see the movie. You got a handjob as opposed to having great sex.

If you think so too, you have something in common with Tarantino (not bad I would say). The director of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a big fan of the latest Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, and he said so a few days ago during a podcast organized by Empire, in which he exposed a deep analysis of the film that can be summed up in the phrase “subversion at the highest level“.

The gradual change, the increasing climax that is felt in the last minutes of the film is indeed something shocking, unexpected, but so present that you almost feel like you are participating in the final action. Again no spoilers, let’s analyze from afar the structure of a masterpiece film that collected two statuettes during the 2020 Oscars last February.

In order to bring to the stage the story of the anti-hero par excellence, director Todd Phillips and cinematographer Lawrence Sher had to study the character from his origins and frame him in a reality in which each of us can easily mirror ourselves. Mirrors in this regard, play a key role in the feature film, not only for the protagonist, but for the reflection of the city of Gotham on the New York of the 80s and our society.

A mechanism that Joshua K. Jackson, street photographer of narrative cities that I selected for a photographic parallelism with the frames of the film, is also very clear.

Although the periods don’t match, the truth that the street tells is universal, which is why we can understand Arthur Fleck’s character simply by observing the abandoned New York of these years.

Filming on film would have given the storyline a more vintage feel, but due to the low budget the request was refused by Warner, so the director of photography opted for an Alexa 65mm, a wide shot digital camera with chemical colors reminiscent of the comics that inspired the film.

A ruthless character who we can even love, for whom we feel compassion and who, in the end, we will never forget.

A few moments from the film along with photographs by Joshua K. Jackson below.

Did you know: Sher also revealed in an interview with the Academy that the creative team never made initial storyboards, just a list of shots “on the spot.”

Directo: Todd Phillips
Writers: Todd Phillips, Scott Silver 
Director of Photography: Lawrence Sher
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz 

Written by Giordana Bonanno
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