The people will have their Joker.
The People’s Joker, the “illegal queer coming of age book movie,” has been the subject of some controversy, if you can believe it. Apparently, a movie about a transgender clown named Joker wreaking havoc in a lo-fi, digital Gotham made up of parodies of very famous characters from Batman movies is causing an unnamed movie studio to question the legality of a People’s Joker. Of course, that’s kind of the point, and the movie’s star, writer, editor, and director Vera Drew isn’t going to let a little cease and desist stand in their way.
The film screened once at the Toronto International Film Festival before being yanked at the request of an said unnamed media conglomerate. However, earlier today, Drew tweeted an update on the film, announcing that these legal woes have been a real acid-squirting flower on the release plans, causing them to pull the film from festivals. Drew writes:
As The People’s Joker team and I work to resolve our previously reported “rights issues” and come up with a release plan, I have decided to pull our film from all future film festivals for the time being. I didn’t come to this decision lightly. It sucks and hurts more than you’ll ever know. We had literally 10 incredible festivals all over the world ready and willing to exhibit this film. I’ve been looking forward to traveling with the movie since we started making it. It’s taken all the emotional strength and courage I have in me to recalibrate my brain into accepting that this is what is best for the future of our film and that this is not where the story ends; it’s just the beginning. I promise that everyone — everywhere — is going to be able to see this film soon, first in a theater and then in the comfort of their home. Stick with me. I’ll keep you posted every step of the way that I can. And you know where you can all send your angry letters.
FREE THE PEOPLE’S JOKER
The People’s Joker has a specific, grotesque visual aesthetic akin to Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington’s brilliant On Cinema series and spin-offs. That all checks out because Drew was an editor on On Cinema, as well as other Abso Lutely productions, including I Think You Should Leave, Beef House, and Comedy Bang Bang. If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, who knows what will?