I should revisit Joker. I wrote it off at the time as being Diet Taxi Driver.
A popular meme-type now is that one where a man progressively dresses up like a clown, to illustrate situations in which you're made or make yourself a patsy fool.
Just thinking about Joker in connection with Squid Game - the appeal being the subconscious sense we have that we're all being made clowns by the 0.1%. I imagine a billionaire watching me traipse into work every day for comparative peanuts and laughing at me.
I know I'm stating the obvious but it's definitely a power fantasy for outsiders and losers, however privileged they actually are.
But was Ledger's joker like that? People didn't want to be him, did they? They enjoyed being frightened by his naked cynicism?
I notice The Dark Knight came out in 2008, around the time of the financial crisis. Maybe tapping into the growing sense that society is a sick joke perpetrated on the underclass. And that the real criminals are besuited billionaires.
But also the fear of this – which becomes even more obvious in The Dark Knight Rises with its Occupy-style protestors.
If I may be so bold Id say the difference between ledger's calculating, ideologically bent joker and juaqins bumbling, accidental hero reflects a change in attitudes around political dissent from the veiw of said dissenters.
Occupy as semi self starting and planned but perhaps the launch pad for protest as a banal, obligatory media event for any political happening what so ever, the feeling only recaptured when someone is made a martyr in such a way that riot is incited.