Why 'This Is Life' has been the song of 2019 beyond 'Joker'

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There's a song on joker who sounds four times throughout the film and in each of them his protagonist exclaims because he comforts, comforts and justifies him in his atrocities. It's about the classic This is life Frank Sinatra and is the anthem that best defines being alive in 2019. The theme, produced by Jimmy Bowen in 1966, argues that, given the problems, man has the opportunity to demonstrate and prove his character (and to this reason to redefine identity): You can look to the side, tilt your head or raise it to the sky, but Sinatra proposes to wait ahead. As it reflects A man and his music, television specials released on NBC in 1965, the first time he sang it, Sinatra said: "It's a good tune and the lyrics give you what you need to think."

While singing Sinatra, Arthur Fleck has been a puppet (of his boss), a poor man (his house smells like screen lock), a pirate (when approaching Robert De Niro's program), a poet (when dances in the washing machine after killing three stickers), a stack (of his fellow citizens) and a king (when he climbs into the police hood)

The night that Sinatra recorded the song she performs today joker He had a dinner date with Mia Farrow, whom he had married between 1966 and 1968. As he longed to finish, he sang it with his automatic wannabe pilot. Everyone in the studio hit him in the back except for producer Jimmy Bowen: as Sinatra left the building, Bowen demanded another more. "Less beautiful, with more balls, with more teeth." Divo, without seeing his face or saying a word, returned to the recording booth, sang the version that sounds today on joker and he went out to dinner with the Mouse. As Canadian writer Mark Steyn points out on his Steynonline website, Bowen described the moment he asked for one more shot: "Sinatra fixed his cold blue eyes on me during that silence. My intestines." Finally, Frank. broke the silence, mutilated "let's do it" and reentered the studio. I knew he was whispering and that was when he sang This is life Really. He bit the song. "

This is life It was a success at a time when Sinatra seemed old-fashioned because the public simply wanted to hear the Beatles thanks to its "aggressive, antisocial and authoritarian" interpretation (as defined by Sinatra expert Will Friedwald, according to Mark Steyn in his Steynonline) a song that celebrates that it is nothing but to resist rather than resign. "This is life. That's what they say. You ride high in April, they shoot you in May. But I'll change that tune as soon as I'm back in June," his verses say. Robert Hilburn, critic of Los Angeles Timeshe said about This is life: "Simply the best example of rocker Sinatra, a song that expresses his personal and professional ups and downs. Van Morrison gave him a version of his 1998 tour, but his treatment did not come close to Sinatra's authority."

Joker's latest scene where it sounds like Frank Sinatra's That & # 39; s This Is Life.

The song escapes the free-spirited optimism and tyranny of "but rejoice, man," "don't be scratched" or "I don't regret anything I did, just what I didn't do." Phrases that sound just fine but make no sense at all: sometimes life kicks you in, there is nothing you can do about it, and repentance is by no means a sign of weakness. This is life is a statement of war against the other classic that sounds joker, smile ("Smile even if your heart is broken"), because sometimes you don't want to smile. And nothing happens. "If life gives you lemons to make lemonade" is phenomenal in that cup of Mr. Miracle you donated to that invisible friend who didn't know what to give but obvious friends know that sometimes lemons are dry, what to do Lemonade takes time and is also very acidic.

This is life is a manifestation of the universal human experience (melancholy, nihilistic, survivor) and that is why it works just as well when it is released by Aretha Franklin, Los Rodríguez, Bono or Vega as soon as she leaves OT2. And the jokes It's an allegory of collective anger that the Western population has been exacerbating since 2016. Seeing a clown confess that "it's very difficult to try to be happy all the time" has worked like a liberating catharsis in a way similar to when, in the face of the frustration of American society in the '70s because of Vietnam and Watergate, the anti-system kamikaze Taxi driver, Afternoon of dogs or network ("I'm more than fed up and I won't stand it anymore!") They became the nation's young heroes. And about 40 years later we are ultra-globalized, now joker It's a tale that represents us all and not just Americans.

That & # 39; s This Is Life is still valid 53 years after its registration because people started 2019 with that naive illusion that it addresses every new year. But in the end he has had to see how Donald Trump is not even fired up with burning water and how the British cannot be persuaded that they are left to get the last

The film directed by Todd Phillips has been the film of the year not only for the return of the upside-down box (only nine films have raised a billion euros in 2019, joker is the only one not from Disney), cinephilia (when was the last time you talked so much about it The King of Comedy of Scorsese?) and even the US military before the alarming paranoia that there might be movie theaters. joker It's been the movie of the year because, at the time of Netflix, it made sense to see cinema in theaters: one feels less alone, less crazy, and less dangerous if he empathizes with the Joker in the company of the many aliens they are feel the same.

This is life Style is still in force 53 years after its registration because people started 2019 with that naive illusion that approaches every new year, as if civilization was restored, but ultimately had to prove how Donald Trump as there is no shortage of scorched water, and as the British cannot be persuaded to drink the latter. In 2019 we had to go to vote twice. It has stopped being fun until you see it Star Wars. We have lost precious people like Anna Karina and lost beings who see beauty where others were unable: Agnès Varda, Karl Lagerfeld, Marie Fredriksson. We all grew old all of a sudden when Luke Perry, the boy that many men born in the late 70's wanted to be older, died at the age of 52. If man killed God about a hundred years ago, God would avenge killing Jesus Christ Superstar (Camilo Sesto) in 2019. The gloomy scavenger has even set up an account with Niki Lauda, ​​a guy who in 1976 walked so much with a hot Body machine on fire. "Hold me tight, Niki Lauda," as Peterselles sang, because we no longer have superheroes.

Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow photographed in 1965, the year before they were married. He was 50, she was 20.

Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow photographed in 1965, the year before they were married. He was 50, she was 20. Photo credit: Getty

And the heroes that are alive are no longer respected. New Generations (Greta Thunberg), geniuses (Martin Scorsese, accused of possessing senile madness for criticizing Marvel) and princesses (Meghan Markle started crying on television because she couldn't stand so much racist criticism in the press) Yes, Joker he loses form, but not the end: everyone has realized his fatigue. Because 2019 has been tiring.

Arthur Fleck became the Joker to go from an uncle who never caught the joke to laughter more than anyone when the joke ended up spending him. That a green-haired psychopath was the most exciting character of 2019 to directly relate his journey to that of Daenerys Targaryen: the most dangerous villain was not, as Michael Cane claimed in The Dark Knight (a parable that ended the post-11 / post-Iraq and post-Bush cycle of Obama inauguration), one that only wants to see the world burn. The most dangerous villain is one who has many reasons to set fire. And the one who receives the audience, while not clapping the flame, feels a perverse warmth as he raises his hands to the stake.

It's still ironic that a superhero movie has saved adult cinema (joker It is the highest loss movie in over 16 years in history, that a manifesto against the system was produced by Warner (because now every studio except Disney looks like David vs. Goliath) and that a murderous clown has found his empowerment in a classic by Frank Sinatra. But how can anyone be empowered This is life. If, as Frankie sang, Arthur Fleck has been a puppet (of his boss), a poor man (that mini-house smells like a locked screen), a pirate (when approaching Robert De Niro's TV studio), a poet (when dancing in the sink after killing three inattentive gum), a stack (literally all his fellow citizens) and a king (when he finally climbs into the hood of a police car).

Frank Sinatra performing That & # 39; s This Is Life 'for the first time on the television special A Man and His Music'.

"And whenever I find myself slapping my face against the floor, I get up and return to the race," Sinatra concluded. Years before interpreting this theme, the musician had already confessed to having "the same July" at the same elevation and landing as a slope, "says Tom Santopietro in his book. Sinatra in Hollywood.

Everybody has felt at some point in 2019 a clown. The difference between Arthur and his audience is what happens with that feeling: falling down is not the same as failing, since in front of every obstacle there is room to react and say something with that reaction. Or "Dracarys" (Khaleesi), "Still smells like milk" (Albert Rivera) or "Dirty money, man" (Rosalia). So everyone will be defeated on their own terms and feel like a small victory. It won't be a real victory, but at least it will look like that. And if something has taught us this decade, shaped by the Instagram show in 2010, is that appearances are everything.

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