Are we REALLY prepared for Taika Waititi?

Sarah Posted by Sarah at July 23, 2019 17:16:54 July 23, 2019 17:16:54

I feel like we’re not. Or rather, I feel like the world is not. I love Taika Waititi, he’s one of my favorite filmmakers working today. I take any and every opportunity to recommend his films, but I think a lot of the time, the recommendations go ignored. Taika directed a Marvel movie, so I think most people just settle for watching Thor: Ragnarok and call it a day. I wonder how many people have actually done their homework and dug into his catalog beyond Marvel. I wonder these things because Marvel has launched Taika into the mainstream, so his first post-Thor movie, Jojo Rabbit, is a getting a LOT of attention. It’s getting “fancy festival premiere” attention. But is everyone actually ready for pure, unadulterated Taika? Because Jojo Rabbit is Classic Taika which means it is wild, bonkers, almost unbelievable.

Jojo Rabbit will be playing at TIFF, just announced this morning, and Taika released a teaser on his Twitter to go along with the festival announcement. It shows Jojo, a German boy circa World War II, participating in something that looks like a cross between Boy Scouts and Hitler Youth. His imaginary friend is Adolph Hitler, played by Taika. Hitler appears to comfort Jojo after a bout of bullying. Hitler comes across like a total idiot, as it should be. The line at the end of the teaser made me laugh HARD. 

The tagline teases Jojo Rabbit as “a satire that goes to war on hate”. Sounds good to me. Sometimes the best way to puncture the mythos of hate is to laugh at it (see also: The Adventures of Superman: The Clan of the Fiery Cross, in which the KKK was portrayed as bunch of f-cking idiots playing pretend games in the woods. Everyone laughed at them and the KKK began losing political power). With white supremacist violence on the rise and Neo-Nazis in the news on the regular—and some media cornerstones weirdly invested in humanizing them, I’m looking at you New York Times—we need that satirical voice to remind everyone that Nazis are f-cking losers. Literally, they are among history’s greatest losers, and the people who romanticize them and emulate them are worse than history’s greatest losers, they’re f-cking loser fanboys. They are fanboys who worship losers. Is there anything lamer? Make fun of these dick socks until the cows come home, no one will feel bad. 

This teaser is funny, but I am sure there will be something darker and more poignant in the film, because there always is with Taika. I HOPE people are ready for this, there has been plenty of time to acclimate to Taika’s unique blend of humor, darkness, and poignancy. (Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a good place to start if you haven’t.) I am VERY interested to see how Jojo Rabbit plays to the wider audience that has embraced Taika post-Thor.

 

Photos:
Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

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