Joe pera shows you how to dance
The 10 Best Episodes, Ranked According To IMDb
Joe Pera Talks With You is one of the more recent entries in Adult Swim's late-night lineup of quietly absurd comedy. While it's not as out there as Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, it seems like it could be the earnest midwestern mumblecore heir to the throne.
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The show follows comedian Joe Pera playing a fictionalized version of himself in a Review meets Mister Rogers' Neighborhood style format with sprinkles of Nathan for You, focusing on a random subject for each episode. Below, we look at Joe Pera Talks With You's 10 Best Episodes, Ranked According To IMDB.
10/10 "Joe Pera Shows You How To Dance" (8.8/10)
The fourth episode of the series, the tenth best per IMDB, finds Joe attending a wedding. Joe is, of course, awkward but nonetheless mesmerized by the action taking place on the dance floor, led by the best man. After an energizing chat with him, Joe makes a spectacularly terrible entrance on the dance floor before dancing like a tree with his coworker Sarah (Jo Firestone). Joe wraps up the episode by saying, "We're not really known for our dancing abilities in Northern Michigan." That may be true, but it's still entertaining.
9/10 "Joe Pera Guides You Through The Dark" (8.8/10)
One of the more absurd ones, this episode, the fourth episode of the second season, focuses on lighthouses as a metaphor for Joe and Sarah's burgeoning relationship. When the power goes out, Joe imagines himself as a man from the 1800s helping with a nearby lighthouse, which Sarah manages.
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While he can picture a way for himself to be useful in the past, he doesn't know what he can do for Sarah in the present. However, Sarah reminds Joe that he doesn't have to have a reason to visit her. Being together is enough.
8/10 "Joe Pera Answers Your Questions About Cold Weather Sports" (8.9/10)
In the expansive first season finale, Joe explores deeper, worldly issues after a conversation with Sarah probes him to think about "real things." Like the previous entry, these questions are a lens their relationship. While he thinks he has blown it, his grandmother tells him it doesn't matter if they agree on everything as long as they get along. This proves to be true when Joe shows up at Sarah's house and they hang out in her fortified basement. Even though he thinks it's a bit extreme, they continue to find more in common than not.
7/10 "Joe Pera Takes You To The Grocery Store" (8.9/10)
The fifth episode of season two, a simpler episode that leans into the show's Mr. Rogers's vibes, finds Joe taking viewers along with him on his weekly shopping trip as he follows a strict shopping list to the letter, careful not to go over the $70 budget on his pre-written check.
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While Joe's routine is predictable, including a friendly visit with the free sample guy, the trip ends with a welcome surprise when he comes under budget and is able to buy himself a big gallon of ice cream for his birthday.
6/10 "Joe Pera Has A Surprise For You" (8.9/10)
By the ninth episode of season two, it's well established that even if Joe is a bit of an odd duck, he's an incredibly sweet and kind person. This includes surprising his friends with bowls of fresh green beans and organizing a Rat Race-style plan to have all of his friends chase down $115 in cash.
However, the sum is only enticing for two of his friends to go, leaving the rest to wait with him for their return. When Joe gets a devastating call about his grandmother, the fun screeches to a halt as life returns to normal.
5/10 "Joe Pera Talks With You On The First Day Of School" (8.9/10)
The second season finale finds summer drawing to a close and Joe returning to school. While he makes the weakest pot of coffee imaginable to get him through the day, a new student, Gabriel, brightens up the classroom and helps to shake away Joe's lingering grief over his nana.
Gabriel's bright and earnest introduction infects the rest of the students, leading to the kids singing a sweet and earnest song as the season closes out in a sort of curtain call with the rest of the characters.
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4/10 "Joe Pera Helps You Write" (9.0/10)
This episode, the tenth of the second season, immediately follows the events of "Joe Pera Has A Surprise For You" as Joe struggles to write his grandmother's obituary. While the episode is ostensibly about the obituary, it's about the grief and aftermath of her death as a whole. The episode is a rare standout with universal themes and feelings beyond the small world built within Joe Pera Talks With You. It also breaks the traditional format of the show as Sarah briefly takes over for Joe, giving him space from the camera.
3/10 "Joe Pera Takes You To Breakfast" (9.0/10)
The second-ever episode is a simple enough premise as Joe takes viewers with him to eat breakfast at his favorite diner. As he tours the restaurant, talking to his friends, everyone asks what he plans to order, but Joe coyly keeps his order close to the vest.
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The tour culminates with Joe's stop at his neighbor, Mike's, table. Mike (Connor O'Malley) explains he's attempting "the perfect egg bite," intriguing Joe, much to the dismay of Mike's family. After Mike's perfect bite fails, Joe finally sits down in his own booth to order breakfast.
2/10 "Joe Pera Takes You On A Fall Drive" (9.2/10)
The penultimate entry on the list is the second-highest-rated episode per IMDB and the third ever episode. It's also one of the more absurd and hilarious ones as Joe explores the metaphysical idea of the soul through jack-o-lanterns. As the episode unravels, viewers learn Joe takes a fall drive the Saturday after Halloween ever year in order to regain the piece of his soul he's given to the pumpkin he's carved. Like many other episodes on the list, even at its most absurd, Joe Pera Talks With You still manages to stay sweet and grounded.
1/10 Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements (9.8/10)
With a nearly perfect IMDB rating, the sixth episode of the first season finds Joe reading announcements during Christmas mass, only to interrupt himself to tell a story about his recent discovery of The Who. The episode then flashes back to Joe hearing "Baba O'Riley" on the radio and going nuts, calling multiple stations to request the song as he drinks wine, eats ice cream, and dances with his basset hound. It's a delightful subversion of a typical Christmas episode without feeling snarky, true to the ethos of Joe Pera Talks With You.
NEXT: Rick & Morty: 5 Reasons Why It's Adult Swim's Best Show (And 5 Better Alternatives)
'Joe Pera Talks With You' taught us how to appreciate life's small treasures
With the crushing news that Adult Swim has decided not to pick up Joe Pera Talks With You for a fourth season, I did what I think any Joe Pera fan would do in a moment like this—I ate a turkey sandwich.
It was a humble little sandwich, two slices of wheat bread with three slices of turkey, some cheese, and a few squirts of barbecue sauce to give it flavor. It was a sandwich pressed on a panini, nothing too fancy but just enough to give it a crunch and warmth. As I ate the sandwich, I turned on “Joe Pera Takes You on a Fall Drive,” a Season 1 episode where Pera goes on a fall drive and holds a river funeral for a jack-o-lantern he carved in order to help restore his soul. While dressed as one of The Twins from The Matrix Reloaded, along with his grandmother, Joe was convinced in that episode by his dear friend Gene that, if you carve a jack-o-lantern, you lose a bit of your soul with it. Concerned, Pera takes the pumpkin for a proper burial and drives his grandfather’s old car to help, well, revive the soul he lost to his pumpkin.
The beauty to that early episode is that it captured what Joe Pera Talks With You maintained for each and every at-bat for three seasons. The David Lynch-ready absurdities that marked Pera’s quirkier side was always balanced out with some Great Lakes wisdom about life’s simplest pleasures, always backed by the star’s soothing narration and Holland Patent Public Library’s smooth acoustics.
In a vacuum where entertainment always feels like it has to leapfrog what came before, where tempos are always high and energy is currency, it felt shocking to find such profundity in such a lovely little program where an episode could be focused on tasks like going to the grocery store, reading the church announcements and helping you get back to sleep after you awoke to a thunderstorm. In a world of Rick and Morty and Game of Thrones, Joe Pera Talks With You kept the porch light on in the cold and always had a hot cup of cider waiting for you by the fireplace.
Pera’s television series will most likely be remembered for launching the Buffalo comic into the zeitgeist, for helping elevate rising comedic voices like Connor O’Malley, Jo Firestone, Dan Licata, Marty Schousboe, Nathan Min, Carmen Christopher, and Katie Dolan. The “Joe Pera Reads You the Church Announcements” episode gave the show its first viral breakthrough, with The Who lending its song “Baba O’Riley” to Pera and company for fictional Joe to hear it for the first time on the radio one night and exuberantly celebrate the discovery. Pera even wrote a book as an expansion of the show’s unique humor and began touring as an in-demand comedian. For the frantic landscape on Adult Swim, Joe Pera Talks With You was a nice reprieve, a calm oasis that still gave you singular humor but also, something else, something much more thoughtful.
It was that “Baba O’Riley” episode where the show’s real profundity hit me like a lightning bolt in an open field, watching Pera’s fictional self jump up and down on the couch, dance with his dog, invite the pizza man to party and, ultimately, lead his church in the opening lines to The Who song. That song is such a cultural mainstay, the head of The Who’s catalog, and a tune long overused in pop culture. However, for Pera’s fresh ears, it was a rare opportunity to again appreciate something we’d all long probably sat passively for, something you’d just let play in the background with not much thought.
If Pera’s dry Millennial wit was the drawing factor into his Adult Swim series, it was the show’s ability to unearth unexpected power in simple things that are going to keep it as one of the best shows to air on television in the last few years. In the midst of a Trumpified America that stokes fear, encourages violence, and strips rights, a headline cycle that seemed to set itself on fire every morning, a pandemic that threw us all out of pocket, a social media sphere that zaps us of empathy and nuance and a time where we see the lessening of civic values and norms, Pera reminded us that, yes, it’s possible to find something beautiful in everyday tasks, in everyday people and places, in spaces and things we’ve long taken for granted. The Pera worldview gives as much hope for a “warm apple night” as anything else out there, that stirring sense of being able to take value in what’s right in front of you to counteract the doom and gloom of what’s going on beyond your doorstep.
I’ve found Pera’s sensibility recently as my wife and I have made it a regular habit of going to Costco. It’s long been a task I’ve dreaded, going to the store, but after watching “Joe Pera Takes You to the Grocery Store,” I challenged myself to soak it in. As of late, my wife and I have made Costco trips one of our regular bright spots, complete with one of those Kirkland meal options post-shopping. It’s such a silly thing to get excited about, but that’s the Pera way. In a world where our schedules don’t always allow us to do a lot outside of simple things, those simple things take on so much importance. Pera’s ability to harness those oft-overlooked routines and turn them into something all at once deeply hilarious and surprisingly poignant made his television show one of the true balms in an otherwise frenzied media landscape.
It’s just not often a television show can somehow tie in the 2001 comedy Rat Race into the plot of an episode where Pera’s grandmother dies, but Joe Pera Talks With You pulled it off. That character arc is the show’s most powerful, with Pera’s cherished Nana going on to meet her maker and Pera’s grieving process playing out in the only way a show like this could. Letting go is never easy, whether it’s a jack-o-lantern going down the river or a grandmother you’ve known your whole life passing on, but the show’s ability to zero in on the little things made its most tragic moment hit all the harder. The ending to “Joe Pera Shows You How to Do Good Fashion,” an episode within that arc, remains the show’s most beautiful moment, a reminder that life goes on, and that it’s still beautiful even when it hurts.
It was also a show with deep reserves of empathy for its lead character and its surrounding world. Where most shows would’ve tried to poke more fun at the fictional Pera’s stately demeanor, Joe Pera Talks With You rather allowed Joe’s personality quirks to be endearing and accepted. While sometimes they were weird and hilarious, the Season 1 episode “Joe Pera Shows You How to Dance” took the high road to establish that, in this universe, you don’t have to play the fool to be a little different. Rather than make Pera learning to dance at a wedding the butt of the joke, it wound up being a funny-yet-heartwarming moment of what happens when people just enjoy the moment and let themselves be a little outlandish.
The show’s laughs were aplenty, from a musical about a Canadian rat infestation to an entire episode where Pera tries to find an age-appropriate movie to show his choir. The side characters, from O’Malley’s hapless mechanic Mike Melsky and Gene Kelly’s jolly best friend Gene to Brad Howe’s overeager car salesman Brad Cam and Yvonne Richlen’s sweet old lady Carole, always gave each episode that underlying spark that helped buoy leads Pera and Jo Firestone’s doomsday survivalist/Pera’s girlfriend Sarah Conner (pun intended). It was one of television’s most unexpected ensembles.
While it never took off like wildfire, Joe Pera Talks with You garnered such a devoted audience because of how it found both hilarity and poignancy in such little things that pass us by daily. It’s impossible to watch the totality of the show’s three seasons and not want to find more joy in the micro, especially when things get so difficult in the macro. Pera’s show found such a compelling rallying cry for us not to let these wonderful little things get past us, to enjoy those afternoon hikes, quiet drives, and catfish dinners just a little more than we already did.
The wackier parts of the show will be deeply missed (especially that montage in “Joe Pera Waits With You” where Pera’s hair goes Super Saiyan), but there will also be a gap on television now of that quaint little Adult Swim show that reminded you every episode that life can still be good with things aren’t so good if you just cherish the people around you and the little things that make life worth living. What a time in our lives to get such an affable fellow as Pera to remind us that everything was going to be alright.
While the pumpkin may now float on down the river, the wisdom Pera gave his audience remains intact. Joe Pera Talks With You will stand as one of the best comedies of its time, and don’t be surprised if the church of Pera grows tenfold in the years to come. Whether this is really the end, or it finds a way to live on elsewhere, the show was and always will be, to borrow a phrase from a convict-turned-grocery sample man, simply phenomenal, and we’re going to miss it dearly. Give Gus our love, Joe, and thanks for the laughs and lessons. We need them now, more than ever.
American Songs and 4 more weekend fun
For a year now, TikTok has provided the most interesting material for thinking about the future of the entertainment industry. Hundreds and thousands of people around the world have made dizzying ascents to such numbers of subscribers, which just a couple of years ago were considered the prerogative of desperately talented, furiously hardworking, well, or at least, very heavily advertised stars. For the most part, observers are still interested in simple retellings of biographies and rapid, often minimally logical upswings, a tribute to the Milokhins of the planet, but conversations about money are already slowly starting.
Tiktoker stars differ from actors, musicians and even YouTubers in that, as a rule, they do not have any props, equipment, and often even any skills, they are filmed simply at home on the phone and completely in this form of their fans are satisfied. Accordingly, for the first time in the history of entertainment, they do not need any managers, producers, PR and marketers at all. Predictably, Los Angeles, still the entertainment content capital of the world, is taking the most active action to solve this problem. Precisely small (and on a scale, of course, not small - the rock scene of Los Angeles 1966 years old was also once small and not particularly related to anyone in the world) new huge material on the Vox website is devoted to managerial passions and maneuvers around tiktok money.
No one will be 19 forever. The clock, etsamoe, tiktokat.
In short, so far all the efforts of producers and managers are aimed at explaining to young stars that they should all settle in luxurious houses purchased specifically for this business. Like, in this way it will be more convenient for them to shoot collaborations with each other (in the USA, we recall, just like us, there are cars and even taxis, so it’s hard to imagine how this idea is argued in detail) and in general it will be more fun. In fact, such houses simply allow managers of young stars to charge money for rent from their wards, if nothing else can explain their services.
Despite the choice of the subject of the study (one particular house inhabited by slightly less photogenic than usual TikTokers - for example, there are two girls bald as knees) and separate phrases like “No one will be 19 forever. The clock is ticking like that,” the article simply mechanically retells how one particular woman, Ariadne Jacobs, who worked alternately in nightclubs for all 10s, and then in the same house with young stars, only in the still young YouTube, decided to transfer her skills to the new platform.
Basically, this retelling is a non-stop series of failures. Less than a year ago, Jacobs almost signed a contract with Charlie Damelio and Addison Ray, but they just soared in popularity and left for Hype House, the most important TikToker house. By the time she finished working on the material, which she started before the coronavirus, the journalist discovers that, in fact, the Girls in the Valley house, which turned out without Damelio and Ray, has also ceased to exist, and the less popular girls taken by him to replace them have dispersed from Jacobs in all directions. Everything interesting, of course, is in the details.
Jacobs is clearly trying, together with the owners of other TikToker houses, albeit without collusion, to create an analogue of the old Hollywood studio system, where actors starred with each other in dozens of films, without overlapping in projects from other studios. Tiktokers themselves do not understand such analogies, and they have to explain that these are, as it were, boy bands, or, well, the Avengers from the Marvel universe. Explaining why this or that schoolgirl should not immediately sign a contract with a brand, Jacobs gives analogies from boxing, which her mentor, a native of Bobruisk, Garry Vaynerchuk, taught her. At some point, it turns out that most of the men in the world of tiktok are called Chase. One of these Chases, 19a year-old businessman who was always on the phone with his mother, in 2019 he was managing girls from the Jacobs house that did not yet exist and, as part of his powerful business plan to monetize popularity, brought them to Las Vegas, where he offered to dance on the street and collect donations right in the hat.
The whole world of the just crystallizing tiktok business consists entirely of such madness and random actions. People from the street become popular overnight, other people from the street volunteer to represent their interests for a percentage, and then where the curve will take you. At the end, the author reports that it was frankly difficult to finish the text, because absolutely all the people mentioned in it, while the court and the case, have become quite terribly popular, and it’s even hard to contact them.
Marianna Shaternikova: About David Green, his film "Joe" and the "relativity" of good and evil (Number 11 (262) of June 10 9002) , like "Joe" (Joe), nervous viewers call them "heavy" and do not like to watch them. In our art-house cinema, just a week later, “Joe” was fearfully removed from the screen.
This is really thick blackness and, in my opinion, an absolutely wonderful picture.
I went to see it because of the 38-year-old director Green, who won me over with his previous film Prince Avalanche (2012). Such films, made by independent companies, are called "small" and "modest" in Hollywood, because they did not spend big money on their production, and they are released in a limited box office. The strange name "Prince Avalanche" was dreamed of by the director in a dream, and it is just about two hard workers marking the highway in the forest after a terrible fire. Filmed in just 16 days. This is a very human and living story.
Apart from "Prince" and now "Joe", I have not seen anything directed by this director, but I am going to find and watch everything he has done up to 2008.
Joe is Green's tenth film. Judging by the reviews, his first four films told dramatic stories from the life of young people in the small towns of the South. It was about love, and about death, and about greed, and about conscience. Criticism was very praised, the rental was tiny, fees, respectively, a penny.
In 2008, Green contacted the gang of the famous producer and director Judd Apatov. I use a criminal term because I consider Apatov and his henchmen, who tirelessly sculpt obscene idiotic "comedies", professional molesters. For Apatov, Green shot the comedy "Pineapple Express" (Pineapple Express) about the fun adventures of drug addicts. The title of the film is the name of a type of marijuana. Here the money was already serious. Sony paid $25 million to produce the film, and it grossed $101 million worldwide. In the wake of such commercial success, Green made something even more obscene - the fantastic comedy "Your Highness" (Your Highness, 2010), where the evil wizard Lizar wanted to knock down Princess Belladonna so that she would give birth to a dragon. It cost 50 million and failed at the box office, collecting only 21 million. Actor James Franco, who played in Your Highness, was nominated for the worst performer of the year.
At this point, even critics who are usually friendly to Greene were confused. Chief among them, Roger Ibert (deceased), wrote that "Your Highness" is "some kind of infantile twang made by what looks like 11-year-old boys obsessed with dungeons, dragons, marijuana, women's breasts and swear words. One of them even wears a minotaur penis around his neck. I don't like this very much. The fact that this is staged by David Gordon Green does not fit into consciousness. Why did this happen? Is it because Greene had made a comedy about marijuana before that, and they decided that he would continue on the same path? What trouble befell Green?
Green's next film, The Sitter (2011), is about a student. who is hired as a babysitter for three nightmarish children has been a complete failure. It cost 25 million, was released on 2750 screens, but barely collected 30 million and was named the worst picture of the year. On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the film was supported by only 21 percent of critics and 40 percent of viewers. Green just rolled into the abyss.
However, the fact that these works of his were not successful saved him as an artist. Nightmarish films by Apatov and his team, on the contrary, always find their audience and make big collections, which is why they sink deeper and deeper into their swamp.
And Green came to his senses, said goodbye to commercial Hollywood cinema and returned to what he really loves and knows how to do. To a "modest" movie about people, having removed "Prince Avalanche". Of course, "The Prince" was released in only 23 theaters and grossed some $200,000, but at the Berlin Film Festival, Green received the Silver Bear Award for Best Director for it. What proved that his talent has not yet been completely ruined by Hollywood.
After that, four small film companies scraped together 4 million for the production of Joe.
Probably, this was possible because Nicolas Cage, a big star, agreed to star in the title role. Cage is 50 years old. His real name is Coppola, he is the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and called himself Cage to emphasize his independence from the famous relative. He succeeded - at the age of 31 he himself received an Oscar for the film Leaving Las Vegas (1995). In total, Cage played 73 roles in films. Some were wonderful, and some caused even his admirers to be annoyed that he was taking up such nonsense. For example, since 2007, he has been participating in the Ghost Rider comic book series, where he rides a flaming motorcycle and fights Mephistopheles.
Of course, comics make good money. Cage is an eccentric person, to put it mildly. He bought himself not only yachts and planes, but also medieval castles in Germany and England. He owns 22 cars, nine of which are Rolls-Royces. Was married three times. The second marriage is to the daughter of Elvis Presley. The marriage lasted three months, the divorce process took longer. Now Cage is married to a young Korean Alice Kim, a former waitress whom he met in a nightclub. They have a son. The poor little one was named Kal-El, because that's Superman's real name, and Cage was at one time considered for that role. The marriage is successful, except for a mild case of assault that occurred on the street in New Orleans in 2011, when others called the police, and the drunken Cage was taken to the police for rude treatment of his wife. But the case never even went to trial, as the charges were quickly dropped.
It was in New Orleans two years earlier that Cage had filmed The Bad Lieutenant with the great director Werner Herzog. He played the creepy role of a corrupt policeman brilliantly.
He also plays wonderfully with Green. Overgrown with a beard, which unexpectedly gave him special significance, he perfectly conveys the hidden danger lurking in the hot-tempered character of his hero Joe. This Joe lives in a town in the South. The script is based on a 1991 novel by Larry Brown, a talented writer from Mississippi, a farmer's son who changed his profession as a firefighter to a pen. Brown, who has now passed away, was the recipient of many literary awards.
The film was released in only 48 theaters, and, of course, it collected only 350 thousand in a month.
America is very ugly on the screen - everything is shabby, littered, disgusting. Joe has no one but his faithful dog. His social circle is bar regulars and girls from a local brothel. He had already been to prison - though not for murder or robbery, but for a fight with the police. He drinks heavily. But he works, although his work is not good. Under his leadership, a team of black workers walks through the forest and kills trees. This is what a timber company needs - it wants to get rid of old plantations. Workers loaded with cylinders make notches on the barrels and pump poison from these cylinders into it.
The blood motif associated with Joe runs throughout the film. So he volunteers to show the neighbors how to butcher a bloody deer carcass. Here is his enemy Willie in broad daylight, like a bandit, shoots at him from a car, and Joe rushes home, and there he slashes his wounded shoulder with a knife and picks out a bullet (it's hard to watch). Here Joe is tired of the fact that in a brothel every time they open the door, the girls keep a ferocious dog on a leash, straining from barking. You can understand the girls - life in the town is not serene, but Joe, as we know, is a quick-tempered person. One fine day, he brings his own dog with him there, lets it off the leash, and after a short fight (we don’t see this, we only hear it) it’s all over. In a close-up, Joe the dog licks the blood from his victorious muzzle.
In general, Joe is far from being a saint, and he himself knows it. But there is no vile tendency to mock those who are weaker, inherent in real evil. Nietzsche's "will to power" is not enough for him, or something. He gets along well with his workers. Pay them honestly and on time. He respectfully treats the inhabitants of the brothel, and he simply addresses madam gallantly - "today I would like to ask your company personally." And he takes fifteen-year-old boy Gary Jones under his wing. He came to him to get a job, because he needs to feed his mother and sister.
Tai Sheridan, who plays Gary and turns 18 this fall, is a phenomenon in my opinion. He was first shot in the film The Tree of Life, which received the main award at Cannes (The Tree of Life, 2011), by the wonderful director Terrence Malick (who, by the way, according to Green, had a great influence on him, and you can feel it). Then in 2012, Ty starred in the film "Mud" (Mud), where his partner was Matthew McConaghy. Then everyone realized what kind of talent he was, rushed to him, and since last summer, Tai has been filming continuously - now in five films in a row. Unfortunately, the last one is called "Boy Scouts Against Zombies", which raises fears for the fate of the young actor.
"Joe" was shown at the Venice Film Festival and Ty was awarded the Marcello Mastroianni Prize. He is an actor by the grace of God, and the way he can convey subtle shades of feelings cannot but cause admiration.
But the main, in my opinion, the dignity of the film is what it is about. From what, as they say, positions.
The first frame of the movie is static. In profile towards us on the embankment sits an unshaven and imperturbable old man, Wade Jones. He is silent. We do not see the faces of the second person who speaks - he is filmed from behind. Then they will show him to us - it will be the old man's son, young Gary. He utters a long, desperate monologue addressed to his father - and scolds him, and threatens, and shames him for drinking everything on drink and ruining his family. (Later we will see that all this is true. The Jones family is homeless, huddled in some terrible shack, the mother is half-mad, and sister Gary has long been speechless from fear. Only her frightened eyes flicker behind the broken window glass).
The old man dispassionately listens to his son's reproaches. And then briefly and sharply pokes him in the face with his fist. That's the whole answer. That's the whole alignment of forces. Evil versus good.
Buckets of ink have been spent on writing about good and evil. The question of the nature of evil is debated in philosophy continuously. It is argued whether morality is absolute, relative, or altogether illusory.
The so-called moral absolutism says that evil and good are clear concepts determined by God, nature, conscience, common sense. In other words, these are opposites that actually exist and will always exist. Everyone knows what it is, although not everyone can explain. Two things, Kant wrote, "filled my soul with wonder and awe: the starry sky above me and the moral law within me."
But there is another idea - the relativity of good and evil. She argues that these concepts are not at all absolute, that they are products of human culture, customs, prejudices. People of different cultures understand them differently. What is bad for one is good for another. There is no general morality.
Such moral relativism is characteristic of the leftist ideology, which actively propagates it.
Without resorting to complicated arguments with terrible words like "socio-cultural paradigm", let's remember Nerzhin, the hero of Solzhenitsyn's "In the First Circle". He is just tormented by the question of whether good and evil are relatively, or there are some absolute criteria for their evaluation. And he asks the janitor Spiridon about this: “In every war it seems to us that we are right, but to those it seems that they are right. Is it conceivable for a person on earth to figure out who is right and who is wrong? Spiridon's answer, as we remember: "The wolfhound is right, but the cannibal is not." It turns out - it's conceivable to figure it out.
In 1880, a brilliant writer proposed his own criterion: a teardrop of a child who, suffering from evil, asks God for protection. And, whatever one may say, there is nothing relative in this teardrop...
The theory of moral relativity, which blurs the concepts of good and evil, does not hover in empyreans at all. With the domination of so-called political correctness in America, that is, ferocious left-wing censorship of thoughts, it very practically dictates actions, deeds, lifestyle, determines destinies. And when good and evil are equalized, or even change places, life turns into a madhouse.
Half a century ago, the Left finally realized that there was no hope for the working class as a revolutionary force, that it was the founders who invented everything. But they need someone to lead and lead in the fight against capitalism! The so-called oppressed strata of society have now been chosen for this struggle. In the USA, these are “national minorities” (blacks and Latinos, especially illegal immigrants - they never remember the Chinese or Indians), homosexuals, drug addicts (they are not called that, they are supposed to be said that they are “fighting drugs”), who do not want to work welfare clients, lumpen, criminals, the mentally ill. Their leaders need to see themselves as victims, and see these leaders as their only defense. That is why the Left keeps them in a state of constant resentment against the rich, against the whites, against capitalism, and invents ever new pretexts for this resentment.
Every day brings news like from a mental hospital.
Here comes the ugly, overstepping all boundaries not only of decency, but also of the law, persecuting the rich Sterling, the owner of the Clippers basketball team. This stupid and out of his mind 80-year-old man is declared the main enemy of all African-Americans in the United States, fined two million, he is forever banned from the basketball league games, and the team he owns for more than 30 years is forced to sell him. All because he, jealous, told his young Latina mistress not to put her photos with black athletes on the Internet. She recorded this private domestic quarrel on tape, as she often did, to shame the old man and hold him in her arms. And when the elder's wife filed a lawsuit, wanting to deprive the young lady of the millions spent on her by her lover, the lady became angry, said that Sterling "needs to be taught a lesson", and handed over the film to the media. Now Sterling, whimpering, wallows at everyone's feet, but he has been branded a racist and is not forgiven. And as for the morality of an enterprising lady, it does not even arise. She automatically became a fighter against racism and is therefore untouchable.
Or, for example, a violent fight broke out at a meeting of the Los Angeles City Council. Two large apartment buildings are being built in downtown. Their owner Palmer planned to throw footbridges between them over the sidewalk. The fact is that homeless people live near the houses under the freeway. With the onset of darkness, as the council delicately put it, they “activate”, and it’s a no brainer that it’s better for residents not to walk past.
And the planning committee of the City Council forbade building bridges. Pedestrians, in her opinion, are required to walk on the sidewalks, and not over them, so that the sidewalks "do not turn into a dead zone." The commission does not care about the possible transformation of some pedestrians into dead bodies. The villainous landlord Palmer has been accused of "demonizing" the homeless, who have nothing to fear, and expressing the elitist views of fastidious tenants who simply do not like the sight of their poor, oppressed fellow citizens. True, it was found that 651 crimes were committed within a mile radius of houses during the year, but the planners said that there were only 24 of them closer to the houses.
This nonsense, however, managed to be overcome, and the bridges will be built, but the Los Angeles Times immediately came out with an angry article, the author of which mixed Palmer with mud.
And all this is accompanied by the tireless accompaniment of ideological propaganda - in the mass media, in schools, at universities, that good and evil exist only in our minds, that evil is simply the absence of good, that there are no bad people.
Of course, they do not happen only among all the same "socially close". And, for example, the first black female secretary of state in the United States, Condoleezza Rice, the progressive student body decided not to let her into Rutgers University in New Jersey, where she was invited to speak at graduation celebrations. Because Rice is a "war criminal". They cannot forgive her for working with the hated Bush.
And they got their way. Instead of Ph.D. and ex-Minister Rice, this fiend of evil, 26-year-old singer and TV star Snooki, a heavy drinker bisexual of gypsy origin, whom the police happened to detain for "disturbing the peace", that is, for hooligan behavior, spoke to the graduates. Snooki urged students to "study hard but have fun even harder" and received a fee of 32,000 for this - only 3,000 less than Rice was supposed to pay.
Everything is turned upside down.
There is a raucous campaign to keep African Americans out of prison, because prisons are plantations and imprisonment is like a new slavery. In general, prisons should be closed. But what about crime? Yes, everything should be taken away and divided from the rich (ah, comrade Sharikov!), and then the motives for crimes will disappear. (Everyone remembers how we were taught that in our advanced society there are no social causes for crime?) This is not a bad joke. This is quite seriously preached by many ideologists of the left, including Angela Davis, who is known to us and at the age of 70 has preserved the fighting communist spirit. She wrote a book about it, and this essay is far from the only one on this topic.
The main danger is not crime, but the “prison-industrial complex”!
The execution of Clayton Locket in Oklahoma on April 29 made a big splash. He was given a lethal injection, but a vein in his groin was torn, everything went badly, and he suffered for forty minutes in a semi-consciousness, until he died of a broken heart. The case, of course, is a nightmare. Now they have postponed for six months the execution of Charles Warner, who follows Loket, so that nothing like this happens, and the punishment is “humane and constitutional. ” And in Texas, they are fighting for the life of Robert Campbell, who was sentenced to death, because it turned out that he, it turns out, is weak-minded and is not "legally competent to be executed." True, before prison, his IQ (intellectual coefficient) was much higher than it suddenly became in prison. And he drove a manual car. And although he studied poorly at school, in his youth he worked part-time at various jobs.
And he was smart enough to figure out in 1991, at the age of nineteen, how to steal the car of a twenty-year-old bank teller, and rape and kill her herself.
And the victim of an unsuccessful execution Loket, it turns out, fourteen years ago kidnapped a young girl, raped her and shot her - but not to death, so they had to bury her alive.
And waiting for his turn, Warner, seventeen years ago, also raped and killed his girlfriend's daughter. The daughter was eleven months old.
But the prison-industrial complex is to blame for everything, especially since all three are African-Americans. If you close the prisons and then take everything from the rich, then this will never happen again.
So, the film "Joe" sweeps away all this theory about the relativity of evil from the threshold. And very convincingly shows his (alas, few!) viewers his true face.
Not by chance, by the way, for the role of Gary's father, alcoholic Wade, he took a non-professional - a real alcoholic and homeless, 53-year-old Gary Poulter. Poulter never saw himself on screen because, shortly after filming was completed, he fell into a lake while drunk and drowned in the shallow water near the shore.
Joe begins to patronize young Gary because he sees that the boy's situation is hopeless. Gary has a conscience, compassion and a sense of responsibility towards the weak - his mother and sister. But Wade beats him up and robs him of his earnings. Joe replaces Gary's father, teaches him how to be a man. No, he does not take him to a brothel for this! He shows him how to smile, even if it hurts a lot.
There is a famous parable about a scorpion and a frog. The scorpion asked to be transported across the river, the frog refused, fearing that he would sting her. The scorpion promised that he would not sting - because then he would drown along with the frog. In the middle of the river, he nevertheless stung her in the back, and the drowning frog asked why he did it. The dying scorpion explained that this is how it works.
Evil is the way it is, and there's no getting around it.
Towards the end of the film, Wade notices an elderly black homeless man limping along the road. He quickly gets to know him. New friends sit down under a tree, drink a bottle - a bum treats. They talk friendly. Then Wade notices a piece of iron lying in the dust at his feet. He quickly grabs her and with her help breaks a friend's skull. Pulling some miserable money out of his pocket, he kisses the dead man on the forehead as a token of gratitude and leaves.
Wade would like to make friends with the same Willie, the sinister guy who shot at Joe from the car. Willie doesn't care. He pointedly remarks: "You and I have something to make friends with."
Wade quickly understands what he is talking about, and in the evening he is already taking his young daughter to sell her to Willie for a bottle.
The Chaika magazine (No. 7 for this year) contains an interesting (like everything he writes) article by V. Rodionov about the Sochi Olympiad, whose participants are disabled. One of the participants and a silver medalist was Oksana, a former pupil of an orphanage in the city of Khmelnitsky. Fortunately, she was adopted and taken to the United States by American Gay Masters at 19.96, when the girl was seven years old. If this had not happened...
V. Rodionov writes: “The girl was born a complete invalid. One leg is shorter than the other, each with six toes. The kneecaps are on the side, not the front. Deformed kidneys. During her seven years, Oksana has changed three orphanages. She was beaten, raped by adult men. The workers of the orphanage at night for a fee or a bottle of vodka "rented" the orphans to anyone who wanted to. Including 5-6 year olds. Oksana has become almost a beast.”
These “boarding school workers” and their clients (who among us can understand how much pleasure they get from outrage over the crippled and helpless?) must be reminded to all of us every day. Like the Holocaust. So that the ashes knocked in the heart.
And the "humble independent" film "Joe" does just that.
When Willie climbs into a dark van with a girl crouched in the corner and playfully asks "Do you like funny faces?" help. After all, this is still a movie, and not the reality of an orphanage in the city of Khmelnitsky.
In the final skirmish on the bridge, everyone is killed except for young Gary. Evil is not easy to kill. It always has a touch of mysticism. Joe puts bullet after bullet into Wade, and he stands and stands, not falling or even flinching. And then he, as it were, rises to the railing in order to fall down dead. And Gary is crying on the chest of the murdered Joe.
In place of the ruined old trees, young seedlings turn green.