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The GLO Center presents The People's Joker (2022) with Filmmaker Zoom Q & A

In the absurdist autobiographically-inspired dark comedy, a painfully unfunny aspiring clown (Vera Drew as Joker the Harlequin) grapples with her gender identity while unsuccessfully attempting to join the ranks of Gotham City’s sole comedy program in a world where comedy has been outlawed. Uniting with a ragtag team of rejects and misfits, Joker the Harlequin forms an illegal anti-comedy troupe that puts her on a collision course with the devious caped crusader controlling the city. (NR, 92 min.)


Sunday, July 21, 2024

6:00 PM

This special screening is FREE (passes and seating is first come first serve) courtesy of The GLO Center. Stick around after the film for a zoom Q & A with The People's Joker director, Vera Drew.
* Tickets are available to reserve at The Moxie during box office hours (45 mins before the first show of the day until an hour into the last showtime of the day).

This revolutionary DIY parody film and hilarious reimagining of the classic autobiographical coming-of-age story follows an unconfident, closeted trans girl as she moves to Gotham City to make it big as a comedian by joining the cast of UCB Live - a government-sanctioned late night sketch show in a world where comedy has been outlawed. As mainstream success eludes our heroine, leading her to unite with a ragtag team of rejects, misfits, and a certain love interest named Mister J, "Joker the Harlequin" is born again as a confident (and psychotic) joker on a collision course with the city's fascist caped crusader. Vats of feminizing chemicals, sexy cartoon interludes, scarecrow psychiatrists, CGI Lorne Michaels, and psychedelic gender dysphoria all play supporting roles. Helmed by writer/director/editor/star Vera Drew and using her own life experiences as a basis for the film, THE PEOPLE'S JOKER is a deeply personal journey that's as much documentary as it is parody.

THE PEOPLE’S JOKER features a superhero-sized cast of celebrated comedic talent in both voice and live action roles behind the vibrant kaleidoscope of characters that lampoon the iconic heroes and villains of the DC comics’ world, featuring cameos from comedy multi-hyphenate Tim Heidecker, award-winning actor Bob Odenkirk, Maria Bamford (Netflix’s Big Mouth, Adult Swim’s Teenage Euthanasia), and Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis co-creator and host of the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast), with Vera Drew, Lynn Downey (Amazon Prime Video’s Daisy Jones & The Six), Nathan Faustyn (SADDLED), and Kane Distler, in his film debut as Mister J.

Starring: Vera Drew, Lynn Downey, Christian Calloway, Griffin Kramer, Kane Distler, Nathan Faustyn, Phil Braun, David Liebe Hart, Scott Aukerman, Tim Heidecker, Maria Bamford, Bob Odenkirk
Director: Vera Drew
Genre: Comedy

Watch Trailer

"The People’s Joker is a fearless, gloriously funny, and moving act of cinematic anarchy."

— Alejandra Martinez, Austin Chronicle

"It’s probably not the trans origin story that DC Comics wanted, but it’s nonetheless one that many others will likely need."

— Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

"As attention-grabbing calling-card projects go, this one more than demonstrates Drew’s ingenuity and organizing power."

— Peter Debruge, Variety

"The People's Joker will likely become a gateway for queers, of any age, inspired to right wrongs in a truly gay way. As is our right."

— Kelly McClure,

"Unlike any queer film or experimental film I've ever seen. Funny and personal and experimental -- hard to describe, and that's a good thing."

— Alonso Duralde, Breakfast All Day

"A trans coming-of-age tale, a probing meditation on abusive relationships and a visually inventive reminder of the queer art of camp appropriation."

— Manuel Betancourt, Los Angeles Times

"Like no superhero movie before it, the subversive coming-of-age story reinvents the villain's origins with a mélange of visual styles and a barrage of gags."

— Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

"Shot over five days, this very indie movie stars writer-director Vera Drew as Joker the Harlequin and borrows liberally from the Batman universe to tell a story of personal discovery."

— Dylan Roth, Observer

"It can be hard to fully put yourself in somebody else's world, but here Vera is letting you into hers by putting her own spin of characters we're already familiar with... It's something special."

— Perri Nemiroff, Perri Nemiroff (YouTube)

"'The People’s Joker,' directed by Vera Drew, is the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen—because, unlike studio-produced films in the genre, it responds to the filmmaker’s deep personal concerns."

— Richard Brody, New Yorker

"It’s filtering Vera Drew’s autobiographical story through the lens of contemporary popular culture, transforming her own life into myth while transforming corporatized IP into punk rock anarchy."

— William Bibbiani, TheWrap

"Throughout The People’s Joker, Drew lampoons comedy institutions as freely as she does superhero hegemony, in effect mounting an impassioned argument for the vitality of art made at the margins regardless of classification."

— Brad Hanford, Slant Magazine

"It makes sense that Vera, a passionate fan of the Bat-verse, would use the Joker’s character and lore to tell the story of her own transformation from a failed improv comedian into a gloriously unhinged trans agent of comedic chaos."

— Katie Rife, Polygon

"[The] protagonist’s honesty is refreshingly euphoric, and this allows the laughs her cartoonish antics generate to make a lasting impression that many viewers — Gay, straight, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, whatever — are going to treasure forever."

— Sara Michelle Fetters,

"The People’s Joker is a self-conscious, intentional cult film, crafted with genuine love for everything in the margins. And it tells a story everyone can relate to, about a kid growing up and trying to find happiness and success in a dark, troubled world."

— Jourdain Searles, Hollywood Reporter