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ScreenCulture 4110FinalEssayTaxiDriver

1Objective 2PresentationofTaxiDriver 3AnalysisTaxiDriverinaculturalcontext 4WhyTaxiDriverbecameaclassicandwhyitis considerateasamasterpiece(keytosuccess). 5Conclusion 6Bibliography 1 Objective


InthisessaywearegoingtopresentTaxiDrivera1976psychologicalthriller moviefromItaloAmericandirectorMartinScorsese,andidentifiedthekeysto

successinaculturalcontextandparticularytheculturalcontextinthe70sin America.WhyTaxiDriverbecameaclassicinAmericanhistorycinema,andwhy aftermorethan30yearslateritisstillareferenceinthemovieculture.

2PresentationofTaxiDriver

TaxiDriverisanAmericanfilmdirectedbyMartinScorseseandwrittenbyPaul Schrader,starringRobertDeNiroand13yearsoldactressJodieFoster.Itisthe fifthfilmofYoungdirectorMartinScorseseafterICallFirst(1967),Boxcar Bertha(1972),MeanStreets(1973)andAlicedoesntlivehereanymore( 1974).DistributedbyColumbiaPicture,withabudgetof1.3milliondollars,Taxi Driverfinallyearned28262574millionsdollarsonlyinAmerica.TaxiDrivergot morethan30nominationsindifferentawardfilmceremonys,including4 oscarsandwonthepalmedorintheprestigiouscannesfilmfestival. ThemovietakesplacesoonaftertheendofthevietnamwarinNewYorkcity, TravisBickle,aveteranoftheVietnamwar,playedbyRobertDeNiro,ishaving bigtroublestogetusetoandreturntothesocietyheusedtoknowbeforethe

war.Hebecomeataxidriverbecauseheishavingsomechronicinsomnia,soto copehissleepingtroubleshedecidestobecomeataxidriveratnight.Lonely anddepressed,traumatizebythevietnamwar,hisnightmeetingswhilefacingthe violenceofNewYorkcityareslowinggoingtorevealhispsychopathic personality.Hewilldecidesoontorescueayoungprostitute,playedbyJodie Foster,fromherpimp. PaulSchrader,thescreenwriter,usedhisownpersonnalexperiencetowritethe script.Atthebeginningofthe70s,unabletosellanyofhisworks,alone,he slowlyfellintoalcoholism,wanderingintothestreetsofNewYorkcityatnight andgoingoftentoporncinemawhilehecouldntsleep(likethemaincharacter, TavisBickle,inTaxiDriver). Director,MartinScorsese,wasntawellfamousdirectorin1976,Hismost importantworkpreviousTaxiDriverwasMeanStreets,releasedin1973,taking placeinNewYorkcityandtellingusthestoryofamantryingtomoveupinthe mafia. RobertdeNirowasalreadyawellknowandrecognizedactorin1976.Hewon thenationalsocietyoffilmcriticsawardsforbestsupportingactorin1973for hisroleinmeanstreetsandalsowontheacademyawardofbestsupporting actorfortheGodfatherpartII,directedbyFrancisFordCoppolain1974.

PaulSchraderMartinScorseseRobertdeNiro

3AnalysisTaxiDriverinaculturalcontext
TheVietnamwarendedthe30april1975,Americahasbeentrappedand boggeddowninthiswarfor20years.StronglycontroversialbyAmericanpeople andhugetraumaforUSA,theVietnamwarisgoingtobebroughttothebig screeninmanymoviessuchasTheDeerHunter(1978),Apocalypsenow(1979 ),Platoon(1986)orFullMetalJacket(1987). TaxiDriverisoneofthefirstfilmaboutthereturnofanAmericansoldierfrom theVietnamwarandhisatempttogetbacktoanormallife.TaxiDrivershows

ushowtheVietnamwarhadbeenapsychologicaltraumaforthesoldiers.Travis Bickleistotallyconfused,lostandalone,hereprensentsperfectlyhowthesoldier canfeelwhilereturningfromwar.Wecanseetheparallelbetweentheamerican societyandTravisBickle,themaincharacter.USAsocietyinthe1970sisa confusedsociety,speciallyduetothecontroversialVietnamwarandalsodueto theracismissues.LikeAmerica,TravisBickleistotallylost,confusedandalso racist,andbecauseofhistotalconfusionanddisorder,itwillleadhimtoinsane actsandbehavior.

eventsagainstVietnamwar

MartinScorseseTaxiDriverisoneofthemainrepresentativemovietaking placeintowhatwecallthenewHollywoodortheAmericannewwave.The newHollywoodreferstoaperiodfromtheendofthe1960stillearly1980s whereanewgenerationoffilmakers(directors,writers,actors)mademoviesof anewgenre.TakingformodeltheFrenchnewwave(19501960),thenew Hollywoodischaracterizedbyamuchmorerealisticwaytotellstoryandto showit,thenewHollywooddirectorsstartedtoshootmoreandmoreinareal locations,inexteriors(thegoldenageofHollywood19201950usedtoshootin studios)whichgivealreadyabiggerrealisticdimensionofthemovie.Also,the Americannewwavestarttotreatmoreabouthumantroublesandbringinto theatrescontroversialthemes(violence,sex)MoviesfromthenewHollywood alsoallowedtheaudiencetoidentifytothestoryor/andthemaincharacter(s) byamuchmorerealisticwaytoshotitandtotellthestory. ThenewHollywoodmoviesareawaytoshowastory,anarrative,bythe personalviewandopinionofthedirector. Also,editing(fragmentedanddiscontinuous)andthewaytoshoot(usemassive oflongtakes)allowedtheaudiencetoidentifymoretothecharacterandalso broughtmoreexcitementandsuspencetotheaudience. AssaidinthebookFilmHistory:AnIntroduction:Thecombinationofobjective realism,subjectiverealism,andauthorialcommentarycreatedanarrative ambiguityinthesensethatquestionsthatariseinafilmarenotansweredinthe end.

ExemplesofmoviesfromthethenewHollywood:

bonnieandclyde(1967)oneflewoverthecuckoosnest(1975)

2001:aspaceodyssey(1968)esayrider(1969)

4WhyTaxiDriverbecameaclassicandwhyitis considerateasamasterpiece(keytosuccess).


TaxiDriveris,nowadays,consideredasoneofthebestmovieofalltime,itis classifiedasthe52rankofbestAmericanfilmofalltimebytheAmericanfilm instituteandin1994itwasselectedtobepreservedinthenationalfilmregistry bytheAmericanlibraryofcongress. HerearesomeelementsthatshowuswhyTaxiDriverbecamesuchaclassicand areferenceinfilmhistory: FirstofallwecantalkaboutRobertDeNirosacting,Itisoneofthemost importantpartofthismovie.Beforetogetonstageandtoshotthefilm,he workedfor1monthasataxidriver,doing12hoursshiftaday.Thishelpedhim tomergewiththecharacterandmakehischaractermuchmorerealistic.His actingisreallyamazing,sointenseandtotallyimpressive. BesidesRobertdeNirosacting,therestoftheactorsarealsodoingafantastic job. ThetalentandskillsofdirectorMartinScorsesearesignificantaswell.He managestogettheaudienceintotheheadofTravisBicklebutalsomanageto showushowthecharacterfeelslonely,confused,lostinthisnew civilisationandhowheisgoingslowlyduringthemovietoapsychopathandto astateofalienationandisolation.MartinScorsesepersonalwaytofilmNew

Yorkcityandthemaincharacter,andthewayheusesspaceorusesspecificand uncommoncameramovementsgettheaudienceintowhatTravisBicklecan feels. Ofcourseeveryfilmbeginbyascript.PaulSchraderscriptisprobablyoneof thebesteverwrittenparticularlybyusinghispersonalexperienceinloneliness andbringthismentalstateintoaveteranfromVietnamwarcomingbackhome. TaxiDrivermainthemeisisolation,loneliness.Duringthewholemoviethese feelingsareomnipresentandnevergoaway.Also,nowadays,35yearsafter ,lonelinessisstillultrapresentinoursociety.Thismainthemeofisolationwas,is andwillbealwaysamainconcernforhumanbeing. TheendingofTaxiDriverisahugepartofhissuccess.Indeed,theendingletthe audienceguesswhatishappeningandwhatwillhappen.Likemanymovies duringthenewhollywood,suchas2001:AspaceodysseyorOneflewover thecuckoosnesttheendingisfreetointerpretation.Everysinglepersoninthe audiencecanmakeuphisownopinionofwhatTraviswillbecomeandonhowto analysethefilm. TaxiDriverfittotallyintohistime(howaveteran,comingbackfromtheVietnam war,isgettingtotallyconfusedandlostinhisnewlife)butcanalsofitinto today.Thesameexactfilmcouldbedonetodaywiththesamethemeofalienation andfeelingoflonelinesswithforexampleasoldiercomingbackforIrakor Afgahnistan. Also,fewsequencesinthemoviearetotallyunforgettableanddonewithsuch realismandcreativitylikethescenewhereTravisBicklealiasRobertdeNirois talkingtohimselftoamirror.Thescriptwassayingthatthecharactershould talktohimselftothemirror,butRobertdeNirototallyimprovisedthelines:Are youtalkingtome?ImtheonlyonehereThefinalsequence,whereTravisis goingtothehoteltokillIrisspimpisalsoremarkable.Fullofviolenceand bloodbutstillverydeepinthewaythatwerealize(ifitwasntdonebefore)that Travislosttotallysenseofreality,hethinksheisdoingsomethinggood(for himselfandforthesociety).

5Conclusion
IconsiderTaxiDriverasoneofthebestmovieIveeverseen.Theacting,the miseenscene,thedirectingbyMartinScorseseandthestoryandallthe meaningofitareoneofthebestevermade. Thewayhowapsychopathisrepresented,andhowweseethatheisslowly goingintoinsanityandhowcanthetraumaofwarcanimpacttosomeoneis reallywellshownintoTaxiDriver.MartinScorsesesmoviefitperfectlyintothe 1970s,TravisBickleisaslostandconfusedastheAmericansocietyatthis time.StilltodayTaxiDriverisareferenceaspsychologicalthrillermovieand alsoasshowingtheresults(mentallyandpsychological)ofwaronahuman being.AndofcourseRobertDeNirosperformanceisprobablythebest,themost convincingandpersuasiveevermade.

6Bibliography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxi_Driver http://whatculture.com/film http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075314/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Imagesreference:
http://www.google.com/search?q=taxi+driver&hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&rls =en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=hXghUeaGG8XzmAWHhoCADQ&ved=0C AoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1279&bih=680&sei=iHghUfvpO8eHkAWvooDgAw#hl=en&cli ent=safari&tbo=d&rls=en&tbs=isz:l&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=taxi+driver&oq=taxi+d river&gs_l=img.3..0l10.87335392.87335392.7.87336075.1.1.0.0.0.0.375.375.3 1.1.0...0.0...1c..3.img.F4ADZRhzAZ4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42 553238,d.dGI&fp=da16b5fbadf3dad4&biw=1279&bih=680 www.t-squat.com

www.magazine.creativecow.net www.jamesriverfilm.wordpress.com www.historyofamericancinema.blogspot.com www.sensesofcinema.com www.cinemadumeep.com www.mostlyfilm.com www.imdb.com www.bogieworks.blogs.com www.designeau.comen.wikipedia.org www.english-online.at www.corbisimages.com www.wallpapers.brothersoft.com