Mera Naam Joker/My Name is Joker
An iconic late film in the legendary career of Raj Kapoor, Indian cinema’s great showman, Mera Nam Joker came at a time when the Indian film industry was rapidly changing and Kapoor, whose greatest hits dated from the 1950s and mid-'60s, was struggling to reclaim his place atop the box office. A madcap musical largely set under a circus big top, Mera Naam Joker bursts with color and life. The film traces the three relationships of Raju, a sweet-hearted clown, played by Kapoor: from unrequited school-boy crush to a tender liaison with a Russian trapeze artist. A cinematographic tour-de-force that took six years to complete, the film’s poignant self-portrait of a performer’s heartache and disappointment echoes Chaplin’s late masterpiece Limelight with dashes of Felliniesque flair (Raju bears a striking resemblance to Giulietta Masina’s undeterred vagabond from La Strada and Nights of Cabiria). Starring, directed and edited by Kapoor, Mera Nam Joker is a filmmaker’s offering of love.
New 35mm print!
Bing Theater | Free admission, reservation recommended. Limit two tickets per person. Call 323 857-6010 or reserve online.
Screening co-presented with LACMA’s Southern Asian Art Council and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.