The 1A Movie Club Sees 'Jojo Rabbit'
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I'm Joshua Johnson in Washington and imaginary friend inspire you make you laugh keep you company when you feel alone but I'm guessing that your imaginary friend was not at all you give Joe Joe Rabbit and why no fractions a full five this is one of my favorite movies of the year I think it's a very smart social satire public radio in Los Angeles Mr vice-president Welcome back to the club happy to be with you joining us from Chicago is Tasha Robinson the film and TV editor for the Verge Tasha I think it has some very important things to say about the corrosive consequences of hate and a totalitarian state but I think it's also a lovely loves you making fun of Nazis is not easy to do satisfying perhaps but tricky does Joe Joe Rabbits strike the right balance and what else does this movie do well beside what happens in the second half of the book is really about the relationship between Jo Jo Ann Elsa and the movie copies one basic premise and that is story about a young boy who is friendless and his relationships with his fat friend Yorkie and the girl upstairs Elsa and speaking of they wanted me to kill it I'm sorry about it I couldn't care less that's not as Hitler and Roman Griffin our contemporary world the impact of peer pressure on one's behavior the kind of the dangers of extremism of of Ray facism of anti-semitism and so for that reason I think it challenges us to confront some of those issues John Joe Rabbit is based on a novel called Caging Skies smocking Nazis joining us for this meeting of the movie club is our Vice President John Horn the host of the frame daily Arts and entertainment programme from KPC. I would give it a five and I do this because the film really gets you to think about a lot of issues issues not just about the past but about Memorial Museum here in Washington Stephen Welcome thank you very much it's great to be here let's begin as we always do with your reviews beginning with you John How many stars out of five from two thousand four by Christine loons WHO's in New Zealand Belgian novelist walk us through the general storyline of Joe Rabbit and particularly how it might depart from the her fall in love with him the novel is much darker the movie is I will say a lot gleyber Joe in the novel as loses an arm leaving the ten year old Joe Joe Bessler in the satirical film Joe Joe Rabbit Bets Lawyer is training in the Nazi youth during the Third Reich near the end of World War Two Hitler Court Joe Joe Land I don't want to tell me about that incident was that about uh-huh kind of dark story because after the war ends Joe Joe doesn't tell the girl that the world that the war is over and basically she's a hostage and he is trying to make her book roll it departs from the book a lot The book actually the war ends almost halfway of not a little bit earlier through the novel and that Joe Joe is a member of the Hitler youth and up in his attic is a Jewish girl who is hiding from the Nazis what the book has to say it'd be welcome to one A. I it's lovely to be here and here with us in studio is Stephen Luck the senior curator for Holocaust education at the United States Holocaust so it's really the story of this young boy girl in the attic and about his mom who is working secretly in the resistance she both in the novel and in the film is not in the second half of the movie let's just say that not in the second half of the story so that's where it kind of copies and then the story is that Taika Ytd's mom read the book I and the war here he in the movie he's disfigured by a hand grenade and it's also I would say the film is a lot more optimistic about what can happen and how things were I bd and Taika invented imaginary friend of Adolf Hitler that Taika plays in the film what's the reception to the movie been like so far both critically and at the box office alerts the trailer gives this entire movie away so I don't think there's anything we can say that's going to ruin anybody's expectation of what happens in this film let me come now to Stephen Lucky it how many stars out of five and wine alleged to see how many people a broader audience wanted to go see this film and it's you know in some ways going to be a real test of whether or not people can get past the incredibly polarizing and I think this is going to be part of what we're going to talk about it is a movie I was at the Governor's awards for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science Stars but I think it's about a third of a really lively fun Satirical film and then the rest of it is a kind of drippy whole concede of can you make a movie that has Adolf Hitler as a comic foil in a central part I say Yes for a lot of people say no sentimental romance that for me just completely didn't work on a lot of different levels I don't have a problem with satirizing Hitler Americans have been satirizing Hitler is a couple of nights ago I talked to two people and they said it's their favorite movie of the year I talked to other people like not for me so it has been critics either love this movie or really I said I think this should be your next movie and described essentially the movie that he made Taika went back and read the novel and goes and said was much darker than what you described and I think that's the conversation that is really gonNA polarize audiences around this film Tasha Robinson what about you how many stars out of five and why I did not hate it I would give it a clean three since the nineteen forty s often some pretty derisive and in some cases childish ways this is maybe a little more sophisticated fun for me the movie just kind of disintegrates when it stops being about that that very subversive relationship between Joe and imaginary Hitler and country my empire would be full of all animals lions jakobs zebras rhinoceroses octopus really don't and it's you know it's GonNa be a tough challenge at the box office the people who have gotten off to you know has some momentum but it's going to be a real challenge Joe Man I want to tell me about the incident what was that about they wanted me grid the Rabbit is no coward the humble little bunny faces a dangerous world every day hunting carrots for his family for his this is not the first movie to make fun of Adolf Hitler Charlie Chaplin did it Mel Brooks did it more than once what did you make the tone of this movie especially kind of the approach to this to this to the film and in some ways that reminded me of what Charlie Chaplin was doing in the great dictator and childlike nature in which Joe's imagination comes out through Hitler would I think in some ways it was an interesting we says an interesting parallel there because Charlie Chaplin played the Hitler character but he also directed it they both were trying to get at some of the same issues oh you amu and NPR support for this podcast and the following message come from Uber Uber is committed earns into the story of the girl that he's lying to in order to control her and keep her in his closet let's get to a clip from the movie we heard this earlier here is the imaginary friend Hitler played by Director tyco Itt and Joe Bachelor played by Roman Griffin Davis in a scene from Gioja Rabbit to safety and to continuously raising the bar to help make safer journeys for everyone verse starters all drivers are background checked before their first ride and screened on an minded of the play and funny film the producers that has a play within a play that spoofs Hitler I tell my non Jewish friends that it's okay to laugh while watching in nineteen ninety four a controversial ballot measure in California called proposition one eighty-seven was the first shot in our modern culture wars over immigration skillet. I'm sorry I couldn't don't worry about it I couldn't care less but now they call me scared rabbits let them say whatever they want people ongoing basis and now Uber has introduced a brand new safety feature called ride check which can detect if a trip goes unusually off course and check in to provide support about tolerance about persecution and so I think that going using the fi the figure of Joe Joe unfunny film the producers that has a play within a play that spoofs Hitler I tell my non-jewish friends that it's okay to laugh while watching John and even off Hitler allows us to to grab a grasp and grapple with some of those issues Janice emailed I'm tricky issue and certainly the people that I've talked to who are most upset by the film tend to have relatives who were Holocaust survivors so I think that is an important thing this is one A. I'm Joshua Johnson the movie club is reviewing the film Joe Joe Rabbit with John Horn the host of the frame on KPCC sustain a lot of nasty things about me Oh this guy's a lunatic oh look at that psycho he's GonNa get us all killed let you in on a little see Stephen Record of the United States Holocaust memorial museum and Tasha Robinson of diverge let's pick up with that last comment from Janice who emailed I'm reminded of the play listen to the battle of one eighty seven a partnership between Latino USA and the Los Angeles Times it's let USA from NPR listen and subscribe now that's an interesting theme we'll talk about whether it is okay to laugh about this kind of story as we continue with your reviews of Joe Joe Rabbit I'm Joshua Johnson and you're listening to one A.. From she react to that this idea of it being okay to laugh at a movie about Hitler about the Nazis about the suppression extermination of Jews. I think it's really let's dealt with the Holocaust has received mixed reviews about whether there were those who criticized for instance Schindler's List when it came out and said that it US Ryan octopuses even the mighty rabbit those were takeaway and Roman Griffin Davis in Joe Joe Rabbit Stephen Times and a movie like this even if it's a satire even if it's a comedy and this is part of Tiga Ytd's intention can tell a younger audience and remind them what happened to be or not to be by Ernst Lubitsch they came out in one thousand nine hundred forty two also I- comedy about Nazis and I think this is important distinction you can make jokes win Schindler's List came out in ninety three won the Academy Award for Best Picture as history and fate would have it directed by Steven Spielberg helped to bring attention focused on the aspect of rescue and perhaps over emphasize that and maybe Schiller look a little bit too much like the hero of the story not Nazis you can't make jokes about the Holocaust but it is also important to remember that were two point in American history and I was just looking this up that movie came out and it started to run at high schools all over the country including mine do as a little bit of a flutter of like can we show this to high school like freshmen like a study last year by the conference on Jewish material claims against Germany. two-thirds of American mental millennials could not identify what this is three hours of Super Realistic Holy Crap Holocaust Har- like I don't know if I want my kids to see this it seems like this subject is story on both sides whether it's most successful aspect of the film was the relationship between Hitlerian Joe Joe Joe Joe is a marginalized child he's to the Shoah Foundation which documents the lives of Jews and was released by universal picture which was founded by Karl Emily who was a German Jew but I remember that when great dictator to be or not to be does that an honestly frankly a few looking to be educated on the Holocaust you should come to the United States Holocaust memorial museum that's the place to go oh Schmitz was and twenty two percents any all said they never heard of a Holocaust so you have to remember that we are living in ignorant time you're on a limit certainly could lead people curious intellectually curious people in the right direction but just as a pure subversive comedy all of the the dating him who's leading him who's giving him all sorts of messages that it seems impossible to imagine the actual Hitler giving to a child and you even in the clippers. DT Hitler comedy Joe Joe Rabbit Needs Way more Hitler what do you mean by them mostly what I meant by that was I felt that the the but I think they can each in some ways educate us about particular issues and I think Joe Joe Rabbit does that Schindler's List does that I think you know the able family drama slash comedy about a a younger boy struggling with acceptance and an older man who befriends and the dynamic is very tom and I think it's expecting too much to say that one film is going to be able to deal with with the Holocaust in its entirety in all its complexity into an institution that is designed for this but I do take the argument about the depiction of Hitler and Tasha your review of Joe Joe Rabbit for the verge is titled Tyco all of the wealth there is in that relationship if you look back at takeaway. Td's previous movie hunt for the wilder people that's also a really innovative fun enjoyed but TYCO TD is an economist he loves doing lick lively groundbreaking boundary pushing kind of things and here I think it's it's really words that it emphasized that aspect of that and kind of downplayed others but I think and so you're going to run that risk that no film into remember that said remember the great dictator came out in nineteen forty and the movie that I would really site as a bigger influence on Michael by TD is the original and now our feature presentation it it just it seems to me that I I don't know about the educational value of the movie because it's so wacky and were there and I think a lot more successful than here where the focus shifts really sharply to something that's just not as innovative just not as his out they're just not as to learn more about Uber's commitment to safety visit Uber Dot com slash safety hi I'm muddying wholesome post of NPR's let new USC during the war even if it's a comedy even of Adolf Hitler is an imaginary friend it's important that people remember history because there's a lot of people who've forgotten stephen any many holocaust movies and and this was just one other way to bring about the message and we just thought it was excellent how do you surprising and strange let's get to the phones now a Lisa is on the line Haley so what did you think of Gioja Rabbit how many stars out of five and Y yes my husband and I just said talking about the recent information that we have now that says how ignorant people are on the actual Holocaust itself so anything we can bring out about that very reductive but with one of them is a good movie I think anything we can do to bring the subject out I appreciated your previous person who is speaking reflect on these movies that deal with the Holocaust or Holocaust related things you said you've seen many of them how do you kind of determine if one of them is and I know time period I think is effective even if it's done in a off kilter way like this one was in terms of making fun of Hitler I still think it's the movie this last weekend and we haven't stopped thinking about it since we give it a five star we thought the acting was superb we've seen right well definitely right octopus doesn't want those running around goring and grabbing everything eight scaly gray arms offering he's struggling and he creates this image in his head of what he sees as successful powerful leader whose you played you can you can hear that with him going on about octopuses and how how they're going to be welcome in his kingdom I believe you mean runoff was say realistic drama or total social satire yeah it's it's a very difficult issue of how you address this history and almost every film Chikatilo on it would provoke people to think and perhaps maybe look into it a little bit more Schindler's List was another one that yes there was some issues with how it was done but over Paul I think it was very thought provoking and that's what we need in this time at least I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts thanks very much for talking to us before we keep going on the line Stephen the St people who have with Joe Joe Rabbit the one thing I will say in the film's Defense Hitler in this film is a ten year old imaginary version of Hitler it has not Hitler as he was it's what Joe Joe imagines him to be and the clip we heard the beginning was was Hitler as this all realized he becomes ineffective he become shop worn he's literally falling apart at the seams so I think that's the important distinction between making fun of somebody and how is that possible that actually makes me angry that so few people understand that ten million people including six million Jews powerful person but JOE JOE's starts to reclaim his own life and starts to dispel hate and he does that his Hitler becomes margin recede into the past the people forget about that in the importance of this history and where hate anti-semitism and hilarious only later as an adult that I become aware of the difficult issues of turning horrific historical events into comedy John Here's the important point seventies we had a TV show that made fun of the Nazis you know ran for several seasons very popular called Hogan's heroes and it was about POW's I mean I think and this is where people are divided can you make fun of Nazis versus can you humanize them and I think a lot of the critics of Joe Joe Rabbit say oblong that it that also affects many places in Europe and other parts of the world I was talking to someone from Sri Lanka some some years so ago and he told me he said you know in many places in Asia Hitler's a hero that they don't know about the Holocaust they only see Hitler as a he facism lead and I think it's you know it's up to all of us to kind of make sure that future generations are educated about this tragic history let's keep going on the phone Maria thank you for calling in and sharing that we got a number of people who comment to John on Hogan's heroes including will who emailed I watched Hogan's heroes when I was a kid and thought owns now in Tennessee Maria is standing by Hey Maria how many stars out of five would you give Joe Joe Rabbit and why I'm afraid I haven't seen it yet humanizing Nazis but I would argue it's all in service of the bigger story about rejecting hate and getting over what you've been taught I did kind of love his character and also rubber Wilson's gipsies gays and lesbians you know Jehovah's Witnesses the handicapped millions of people were slaughtered by the Nazis. How do you not know this why okay I get what Charlie Chaplin was doing I get with Jack Benny was doing you can make fun of Nazis but you can't humanize them and that's part of the complaint and it's a valid complaint I hear about humanizing That character in the same is true with a character played by Sam Rockwell Captain Clubs and Dwarf that is where I think people are most polarized on this film about doesn't the whole country why doesn't every child in America know what happened when you raise a good question and it's not just a problem that we face the United States but this Eero That he was a nationalist united is country etc and so that there so that we face a danger to as as as the actor I I couldn't not love him at the end Tasha what do you think in terms of that line between education awareness comedy it's worth noting that nearer to the end of the story Joe Joe in his in a POW camp running intelligence operations under in a tunnel under their camping they portrayed the Germans as absolutely lessons there was a Sergeant Schultz conversation with Hitler here some very frighteningly terrifyingly realistic Hitler whose emphatic and powerful and gives a speech where he he looks. Yeah and I think it's still in reruns somewhere but making fun of Nazis was never an issue in the sixties and that wasn't that far after the war I don't think every time he sold on operation you know intelligent operation happening he just close his eyes and say I ain't gonNA testing nicey nothing spaying in my generation teas were human they weren't they weren't darth vader they weren't imaginary monsters they were human beings who were making terrible decisions. I think that it's worth questioning anything that that seems to humanize Nazis but it's also worth humanizing Nazis because it's worth acknowledging that the non Oh you're GonNa say it pretty thin I just wanted to call in and you know maybe remind people or at least my generation when we grew up in the sixties and late sixties clearly he looks in a propaganda film except he happens to be speaking English and from that moment the movie makes a left turn and becomes very very intense what did you think Tasha that mimics some of the things that went on in Nazi Germany and if we don't acknowledge that if we pretend that the Nazis word some sort of imaginary and I think that that is an important thing to remember an acknowledge because we're still human beings making important and terrible decisions there things going on right now in the country a creature that had no human human level to them we risk completely losing the messages that we learned we risk completely losing any ground that we gained by understanding the depths of human atrocity now I'm not saying that Gioja Rabat's of moving necessarily about the depths of human atrocity but it does acknowledge the sacrifices that were made by people fighting the Nazis and it does acknowledge that people like Sam Rockwell's character had moral objections that they weren't necessarily acting on it which gives us all an opening to consider the moral objections to things going on today that should be acted on we'll we'll continue our country born diane emailed I saw the film loved it satire is one of the best ways to expose and Shatter Repulsive Villainy and mockery can also offer a step toward course correction own sorry Tasha we've got a pause but we will continue in just a minute with film and TV editor Tasha Robinson from the Verge Stephen Lucrative the United States Holocaust memorial museum and keep John Support for this podcast and the following message come from Google from Connecticut to California from Mississippi to Minnesota millions of American businesses are using Google tools to grow online the grow with Google Initiative supports small businesses by providing free digital skills workshops and one on one coaching and all fifty states helping businesses so spooky batch of episodes from NPR's Daily Science podcast shortwave we're going to talk about parasites that take over and control the brains of their hosts describe and leave us a rating that helps other people find the show and don't forget you can catch the news round up at the end of every week happy Halloween married's this week don't miss a special and we'll talk about some of the best mockeries of Nazis including one for Mel Brooks in a moment stay clips online connect with new customers and work more productively learn more at Google dot com slash growl hey there it's Joshua thanks for listening to the one eight podcast please take a moment one movie in one thousand