Classic Film Friday: Taxi Driver
It's said that the opening scene from this film with the taxi cab coming out of the steamy New York streets is said to depict coming out of hell. True to many in the 1970's especially the black out of '77, or the Punk scene on the Bowery, New York was hell on earth. Then again that can also be hypocritical if you think of the excessive parties like Studio 54, Plato's retreat and the many indulgence's of the decade. Whatever ones perception of the times were I guess you could compare it to the famous line from Dickens "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness" from "A Tale of Two Cities". Almost makes me think of today, although I know the scale of things now could only be comparable by certain analogies.
Either way if you study the lonely and chillingly cold look of Travis Bickle. The M65 military jacket, the veteran bomber jacket at the start, the jungle boots, the Mohawk towards the end, the psychopath. Classic New York in the '70's, Times Square, the peep shows, the mood of the streets. It's all too cool and yet too horrifying. It's shocking and at times it's sympathetic, it's life. Which is in part what makes Scorsese's auterism and Paul Schrader's screenwriting here pure genius. Enjoy and don't try too hard to think about it. Then again maybe you should.
"He's a prophet and a pusher, partly truth, partly fiction - a walking contradiction." - Kris Kristofferson