Boots Riley Explains Why ‘Joker’ Isn’t a Radical Comic Book Movie at All

Hip-hop artist-turned-director Boots Riley broke out onto the film scene last year with “Sorry to Bother You,” a politically charged Sundance sensation that proved a summer box-office sleeper in 2018.

While Riley has yet to set a follow-up film project, he has remained a continually outspoken cinephile, as evidenced by his remarks about Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” over the summer.At the recent Sffilm awards event in San Francisco, Riley was on hand to present the Kanbar Award for Storytelling to “The Farewell” director Lulu Wang.

Riley, who received that same prize from the San Francisco nonprofit last year, took a moment prior to the ceremony to speak with IndieWire about the year in film.

Regarding “Joker,” Riley suggested that Todd Phillips’ controversial DC origin story, despite appearing to flout superhero-movie conventions, perpetuates the same fallacy as “The Dark Knight” and other superhero-film forbears — the impoverished

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