Hi, this is Zamza.（@ZFluens ）
This article is going to introduce the movie “Joker”… not so much as an introduction to the movie… but picking up one of the small stories from the play. That is to say, why all of the clocks in the movie are set to 11:11.
So, enjoy well!
Todd Phillips, “Joker“, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2019
- The clocks in the movie The Joker all refer to 11:11 for some reason. There are many theories as to why this is so, but the most believable is the book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament, in which 11 The verse in :11 allows us to superimpose the image of the Lord (i.e. God) and Joker.
- In terms of personality, life, etc., the prophet Jeremiah and Arthur Fleck have a lot in common. Both of them advocate a return to the heart and subjectivity, as opposed to the formalization of things. By doing so, Jeremiah personalizes religion.Similarly Arthur as the Joker, has decided for himself what is justice.
- Jeremiah has a religion and Joker does not. For Joker, who believes that “men are evil in the first place,” the good man needs to be liberated into evil. Hence the difference between the two. On the other hand, Jeremiah was the one who preached the “New Covenant”. This suggests the possibility that the Joker is a prophet for affording us “NEW COVENANT”.
[Think about a mystery of “Joker”] Why is the clock all at 11:11? ｜Refer to Jeremiah
- Introduction to the movie “Joker”
- What “11:11” means in the movie “Joker”
- Does mean the passage in Jeremiah?
- Who is Jeremiah? : Life
- Who is Jeremiah? : Character
- What Joker and Jeremiah have in common : Becoming Tokenistic of Normalities
- What Joker and Jeremiah have in common : Returning to Subjectivity ≒ Mind
- “Joker” Review by Sociologist Shinji Miyadai: Fallen Angel Joker
- The difference between Joker and Jeremiah : The Prophet Joker
- Afterword : “Joker” prophesies
- Related Documents
Introduction to the movie “Joker”
Firstly here’s the synopsis of the movie “Joker”.
The setting is Gotham City, before Batman began his career. Arthur Fleck is a dull man living in a corner of the city as a street performer. His mother has been told him since he was a child that he should “always smile and entertain people all”.Arthur is always dressed up as a clown with a smile on his face, trying to make his mother’s wishes come true. However, the world was not kind to such Arthur. Young people who threaten Arthur and take his money. Arthur who was looking forward to live still positively, but finally an event happens,breaks such his pure heart.Thus, Arthur is transformed into the Joker, who is then going to have become, as we know well, Batman’s greatest enemy.
What “11:11” means in the movie “Joker”
There is one of the mysteries that people notice when watching the movie “Joker”, so that every second hand on the clock in the movie is “11:11”, that is to say, it’s eleven o’clock 11 minutes. Below, the mystery of “11:11” is checked out on this article, from a point of a symbol of Jewish and Christian culture.
Does mean the passage in Jeremiah?
There are many theories about the mystery of “11:11” . For example ,pick up one of them, “11:11” time are found in a scene where Arthur is meeting with a social worker (psychiatrist), therefore, some thinker believes that it represents the meticulous character of Arther who receives interviews on time.
One of the most convincing theories is that it alludes to the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. (You can find some related movie on YouTube. as an example “Joker: Explained: Why All Of The Clocks In The Movie Are Set To 11:11 | FILM FAN THEORY“).
Let’s take a look a the passage that hits 11:11 in the book of Jeremiah.
Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I am going to bring calamity upon them, and they will not escape. Though they beg for mercy, I will not listen to their cries.
The relationship between “I” and “they” in the quoted sentence is smell like an attitude of Joker toward Gotham’s people. Some critics* talk about the Joker as an “evil influencer”. Certainly, “I will not listen to their cries”, in other words, an attitude of “don’t listen to them” is also similary to real influencer, from a point of view, who do the influences people but not influenced by them.
Who is Jeremiah? : Life
Let’s go a little deeper in our understanding that “The time of “11:11” in the movie “Joker” is a passage from the book of Jeremiah”. Here we will primarily identify “who Jeremiah was”.
Jeremiah is considered the greatest of the later written prophets of the Kingdom of God Israel. He was born of Hilkiah the priest of Anathoth, a northern suburb of Jerusalem, and in the 13th year of King Josiah’s reign, He was commanded to be a prophet (626 B.C.).
Jeremiah did not marry during his life. Although he came from a priestly family, he did not belong to a professional religious class and would be relatively free to prophesy.
The Reformation (the Deuteronomic Reformation) in 18, and although Jeremiah agreed, this reformation movement failed at the end, he is disappointed. Furthermore, after the death of King Josiah, the political situation was in turmoil and a conflict between the pro-Babylonian and pro-Egyptian factions broke out. Jeremiah did advocated surrender in order to maintain peace with the Babylonians, but the people did not show the understanding.
Then he would blame on the incompetence of the politicians and religious leaders in his “Temple Sermon” (chapters 7 and 26).
However, eventually Israel was attacked by the Babylonians and both king and leaders were taken into Babylon (Babylonian Captivity).
Afterwards, Jeremiah stayed in Israel and worked hard to rebuild his country, but he was forced into Egypt by the pro-Egyptians and was martyred in the land of Egypt where he was taken.
Who is Jeremiah? : Character
Jeremiah’s life was a very eventful one.But it was not by his own choice. Rather, Jeremiah was (apparently) a petulant and calm character. —Reading this far, don’t you remind Arthur Fleck in the movie “Joker”. Arthur was also a firstly “small-minded, gentlemanly character”.
However, Jeremiah’s sense of responsibility for his God-given mission led him down a difficult path It has become.
Jeremiah was strongly influenced by Amos, the prophet of judgment, Isaiah, the prophet of obedience, and especially Hosea, the prophet of love. Jeremiah’s words were directly a prophecy of a thorough judgment, but in fact, they were God’s teachings which was an exhortation to repentance for a fallen people who had disobeyed.
The characteristics of Jeremiah’s prophecy can be summarized as follows.(Quote from Bible Dictionary in Japanese.)
One of the characteristics of Jeremiah’s prophecy is that he emphasized a “religion of the heart” rather than the formal religion of temples and rituals(17:10). In other words, the idea of a true “NEW COVENANT” that carves in the heart (31:32,34) is an important foundation stone for further deepening and development the biblical faith.By Jeremiah’s work, biblical faith was colored as a personality religion.
(SHINKYO’S BIBLE DICTIONARY, Shinkyō Shuppan-Sha,ed.)
What Joker and Jeremiah have in common : Becoming Tokenistic of Normalities
A characteristic of Jeremiah’s prophecy is that he “stressed the religion of the heart”, rather than the norm religious of emphasis on the temple and rituals. This make reminiscent of the movie “Joker” don’t you?
The situation in Gotham City, the setting of “Joker”, is one in which all the normalities are out of place or bad. In the city, as symbolized by the garbageman’s strike that has resulted, being flooded with garbage, there is a lack of security.That’s why, the poverty of life and the lack of mental space get pervasive in Gotham City.
The normalities that are failing in Gotham City may paraphrase “justice” or “morality” or “law”. In the city, all of the conditions for a comfortable civic life have become a “Normativeness”! and it is to say a bad system.
In Gotham City, where Joker shall set, “normality” has become a degeneration.— Jeremiah’s advocacy of “the religion of the heart” originated from becoming a mere tokenistic of the normalities of faith and religion in Israel. We can see a connection among them here.
What Joker and Jeremiah have in common : Returning to Subjectivity ≒ Mind
In the cesspool of Gotham city, “the story of Arthur Fleck becoming the Joker”… That was the movie “Joker”. (At what point Arthur became the Joker, though it will depend on each of viewer.) When Arthur became the Joker, on Murray’s TV show he said following:
You know what’s funny? You know what really makes me laugh? I used to think that my life was a tragedy….But now I realize, it’s a f**king comedy…I don’t believe in anything…I’ve got nothing left to lose…Nothing can hurt me anymore…My life is nothing but a comedy…And I’m tired of pretending it’s not…Comedy is subjective, Murray…Isn’t that what they say? All of you, the system that knows so much, you decide what’s right or wrong…The same way that you decide what’s funny or not…
*Referred to this site
Also, if I rewrite the Japanese subtitles in English I watched, the result will be as follows(It is restoring from notepad I wrote in dark movie theater).
I don’t believe in anything…I’ve got nothing left to lose…Nothing can hurt me anymore…And I’m tired of pretending myself not…Tragedy, comedy it’s up to you, all your subjective…But now I realize, My life is a comedy…I used to think long ,my life was a tragedy…But all is on subjectivity…You should just admit yourself…Comedy is on subjectivity, good or evil can be decided by subjectively…So is society, whether good or evil is decided subjectively…So you can decide for yourself, do laugh or not…
*This might be more or less different from the actual dialogue.
If I may put it this way, Arthur’s argument would be “return to subjectivity”. Of course, subjectivity is (or near equal) the heart. Might this be near same (or equal) as Jeremiah advocated to be “stressed the religion of the heart” in the midst of the loss of normality in society might not?
From “Religion of norm” to “Religion of the heart”. He tried to change the attitude of faith to one of the personal by chanting that form. This is Jeremiah’s style. On the other hand, Arthur, or rather Joker, advocates that “Good and evil should be subjective” and turns out from “Justice for all” or “justice for someone else” to “Justice for oneself”. These are what the Joker and Jeremiah have in common , simultaneously, but also what they’re different.
“Joker” Review by Sociologist Shinji Miyadai: Fallen Angel Joker
In Japan, In the pamphlet of the movie “Joker” there is a review of the movie by the sociologist Shinji Miyadai (who is famous for a study of Japanese school girl’s prostitution and a cultural study : political, emperor, subculture, and movie criticism). The title of the review is “When an Angel Becomes a Fallen Angel : The Birth of Joker”, and what it says is It goes roughly as follows.
The view of humanity the Joker relies on is that “people are evil in the first place”. Because they are evil in the first place, “people who try to be good” is meaningless, creepy, and an anomaly of the needed to be explained. It is (the system of) a society that makes this abnormal situation normal, and actually a society is just an illusion. Relying on a goodness that can only be realized through such an illusional shall get to be impossible at some point of where. Joker will try to save those who are hurt by believing in the illusional goodness.
*Responsibility lies in Zamza as an introducer.
In the one side, Joker is equivalent to the fallen angel, Satan, in “The Bible,” who lures good people to the path of evil. In the other side of his existence, he is like a hero, saving the people who believe in illusions and is hurting.—This perception is strange to say, but appropriate to tell about Joker, isn’t it.
The difference between Joker and Jeremiah : The Prophet Joker
Joker who saves people from believes in illusions and saves from being hurt. Nevertheless, Joker in the movie “Joker” commits murder. “Do saving by killing?” What does it mean?
Through the symbolism of “11:11” considered the connection between Joker and the prophet Jeremiah, but the lives of Joker and Jeremiah seem too far apart. Finally, let’s take this difference.
Joker’s position is that people are “evil in the first place”. On the other hand, Jeremiah takes the position that “people are good but are easily tainted by evil”. Therefore, their “Salvation” goes taking different form. In the Joker’s view, people are evil in the first place, so trying to be good shall be bad for their healthy. So Joker leads to cure them by ungood deeds done.
But in Jeremiah’s case, did thought that is being a bad person is unhealthy and requires treatment. Jeremiah has spoke of a “religion of the heart”. Jeremiah was not depending on a “tokenistic faith”, but searching for a “substantial faith”.
For Joker, he has no choice to a moralistic religion. Jeremiah’s “heart” is connected to God, but Joker’s “subjectivity” has no connection to it. That is why Jeremiah, who is trying to save the “tokenistic religion,” and Joker who is trying to save the “tokenistic society” are going to be differed.
However, through putting “11:11” in the play, and reminding us of the prophet, it is implied that Joker is the similarious as Jeremiah, who preached a “NEW COVENANT” to the people. And that is to say, it has shown that Joker also can be who brings people a new contract like a prophet. For that reason, we could call Joker a “Prophet Joker”.
Even if we to say, If such a “NEW COVENANT” can be read from the film “Joker”, it is indivisual subject what it contain is read by each viewer who can read. In a word, in each subjectivity. It’s a challenge for each of us, on each of life. So this article won’t make any reference to what is “NEW COVENANT”. And here is the main story will end.
Afterword : “Joker” prophesies
The movie “Joker” has some meaningful jokes or riddles. “11:11” joke we’ve picked up in this article was one of those jokes. No, maybe it wasn’t a joke, that is. Either way, it’s a gimmick that is certain what let leave audiences wondering. This article did, examined the lines alluding to the book of Jeremiah in the Bible and discovered the image of the “Prophet Joker”. “Joker” might be a prophecy film. If so, what prophesieds it about? In any case, this is a good movie that is fun to watch, still more on.
*This article is based on following, and is recomposed.