<i>Meera Nam Joker (My Name is Joker)</i>. 1970. India. Directed by Raj Kapoor. Pictured: Raj Kapoor. Image courtesy of Indian International Film Academy
  • My Name Is Joker

    1970. India. Raj Kapoor. 224 min.

Saturday, January 14, 2012, 2:00 p.m.

Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

  • My Name Is Joker

    1970. India. Directed by Raj Kapoor. Kapoor’s legendary film maudit was condemned throughout the Indian film world as an exercise in self-pity. A colossal failure, its reputation has been gradually revived by Western critics, who saw in it echoes of Chaplin’s Limelight and proclaimed it a self-reflexive masterwork. Here Kapoor completely undermines the tramp persona he had so carefully evolved over two decades, removing from it all traces of heroism and social justice: this tramp is a saccharine, mopey, love-obsessed clown whose one goal in life is to follow in his father’s footsteps as a trapeze artist so he can “make Jesus laugh.” Joker mirrors the three-story, three-ages structure of Kapoor’s first film, Fire, tracing the clown’s trio of pathetically failed relationships. As a sign of love, he sends each a sad clown doll and, later in life, gathers them all together at a circus performance for a kind of send-off monologue that begins and ends the film. This is a compulsively watchable, astonishing train wreck of a film. In Hindi; English subtitles. 224 min.

In the Film exhibition Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema

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