Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Siegmund, Feb 3, 2018.
Cybill Shepherd looks absolutely stunning in this film.
I saw it years ago and wasn't that impressed with it.
Travis felt creepy...
I probably should see it again.
I hope Travis felt creepy.
But, hey, no rough stuff!
Taxi Driver is one of those movies I had to watch the second time in order to really get it. One of my favourite movies now, but the first time I watched it I thought it was dumb. It wasn't until I started dealing with freaky people myself working on the night shift that I really got where Travis is coming from.
As the writer, Schrader obviously would know what he had in mind. But I’ve always just interpreted it as Travis being so out of touch with society (as reinforced by his conversations throughout the film) that he doesn’t know you’re not supposed to take a date to a porno.
Yes, I like that interpretation! When I first saw the film, I couldn't believe that he would take her to a film like that, having observed the preliminaries (appropriate dress and 'thoughtful' gift of the Kris Kristofferson album) so well. But his interest in her may be precisely becuase he wants to debauch her, just as her interest in him is only as a sociologically interesting (and handsome) bit of rough.
And of course there’s the possibility that, while part of Travis wants desperately to establish physical contact with a woman, another part of him wants to wreck that possibility for some reason. Fear of intimacy maybe? Who knows? Many details about Travis aren’t filled in for us. He’s a bit of a mystery (Betsy calls him a “walking contradiction”), and I like that.
As I was reading this thread, it occurred to me how so many of the 'NYC-centric' movies of this era; the French Connection, Serpico, Prince Of The City, Dog Day Afternoon, and so many more, all seem to inhabit/exist the same universe. They kinda/sorta all share a visual style, almost feels as if all the characters could know each other! The ONLY other 'character' that's maybe seen more screentime than NYC in movies would be the Wild West!
Of course I have no inside info on this take one way or the other. Just wanted to mention as sort of a PS, that I'd always assumed Travis took Betsy to that particular location because he was used to driving other couples to the same spot, and they appeared to him as having the kind of exchanges he wished to have with Betsy. Never really questioned that scene beyond that.
It's a fascinating movie, but I always feel kinda sick when I watch it. Travis Bickle is a little too recognizable at times, his psychotic behavior is really spot-on. Even without the guns and violence, it was haunting.
Anways, the best palate cleanser is The King Of Comedy! Rupert Pupkin is a guy I can watch again! It's almost as creepy, but not as gritty. Robert De Niro really had a streak there.
My long-term takeaway from this film, having seen it several times over the years, is that beyond the great performances, direction, writing, music, etc., is that Scorsese really made a film capturing the mood and look of New York in the mid-1970s.
One of the scenes that has stayed with me is the hallway scene where Bickle calls Betsy to apologize for taking her to an X-rated movie. About a minute into the awkward conversation (really, a monologue because we never hear her voice, IIRC), the camera pans to an empty hallway. There are a few possible interpretations of the shot, but to me it was Scorsese interjecting on behalf of the audience, allowing us to avert our gaze from this unbearable scene. It allows us to distance ourselves from Bickle, and it's one of the few times I remember Scorsese passing such judgment on a character.
Regarding comments upthread, I've always thought of King of Comedy as a sequel of sorts to Taxi Driver. I actually prefer it. Then again, I loved Kundun.
The Last Picture Show.
Silver Tongued Devil And I almost spoils it.
Those interested in the Blu-ray should go for the "Mastered in 4K" release from 2013 or the re-release 40th Anniversary in late 2016.
Hopefully, there will be an Ultra HD release from that 4K scan.
Anyhow, I've screened the Mi4K Blu-ray at 92"+ diagonal front projection and it's really, really nice. Should look amazing on a 55 to 65" OLED. Definitely among my 2o favorite films. Was Jodi Foster ever better?! Right up there with Natalie Portman in Leon as far as young screen actors go (her finest as well?).
My fourth favorite film of all time.
Must be seen on the big screen for maximum impact, if for nothing else to experience Bernard Herrmann's powerful and oppressive score full force. I still marvel at how this was the same year as All The President's Men, Network and Rocky, all of which were up for Best Picture. Rocky won, of course.
The scene that I find heartbreaking is where Travis is talking to the other cabbie, played by Peter Boyle, trying to express the destructive ideas in his head, clearly conflicted over these impulses, and he just can't find the words, can't summon the courage to just say that he's struggling and needs help.
For me, it again reinforces the loneliness of the character. As a desperate Travis pleads with his angelic Betsy over a payphone, the camera drifts away to show an empty corridor in some faceless rundown tenement. This is the utterly indifferent world he inhabits; the sole mute witness to his pain.
In the 'Making Of...' documentary, Schrader describes how Travis unconsciously self-sabotages himself throughout the film: everything he does is determined to frustrate his own goals.
Really surprised no one has mentioned the Scorsese cameo. Hilarious and seriously messed up...
"You ever seen what a 44 magnum does to a woman's _____? This! This you should see!"
He actually manages to creep the hell outta Travis.
One of the greatest American films ever made. The score is so beautiful .
Then there's the Jodie Foster tragedy with President Reagan's would-be assisan John Hinckley. :sad:
Surprising jazzy score from Bernard Herrmann( his last).
For those with keen ears, the intro and outro for popular YT series Between Two Ferns has always amused me.
Check out doubleaapn’s post at the bottom of the first page. And yes, I agree it’s a great cameo—and Scorsese’s second in the film, as he also appears in the “They...cannot...touch...her” scene.
Btw, I read somewhere that the taxi-cab cameo was a last-minute decision by Scorsese when the actor hired for the part couldn’t appear.
The 2011 Digibook version is also mastered in 4k.
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