08 May 2010

43. Taxi Driver





Great exposition: "What do you wanna cab for?" "Can't sleep nights." We see from his jacket he's ex-military.

Water motif: hydrants, rain, alka-seltzer (which is also clever foreshadowing), "some day the rain will wash all the scum off the streets."

Set-up is over at min 10, so now we need a task: "My life needs a sense of purpose." -- He sees a girl.

Classic alienation -- "he's a walking contradiction". She rejects him -- "she's just like the others." He is completely alone.

Minute 50 -- The people are beginning to rise -- watches this ALONE, takes it as a message to him. This is classic schizo behavior. Sees Jodie Foster again, takes this as his new mission. He's a military man and must have a mission.

"Suddenly, there is a change." And that change is violent -- buys gun, suits up, prepares for battle.

Full break now -- goes to a Palatine rally (where we don't see Palatine's face -- he's turning him into a figure, not a real person that he's actually met and talked to), VO is getting crazier, "are you talking to me?"

Kills a stick-up man, no consequences. Sport: "Yuou're a real cowboy!" -- inverting notions of american heroism/justice and it's consequences -- shades of modern-day THE SEARCHERS.

Big reveal of mohawk at rally. He fails at the assassination, so he goes and kills Sport and tries to save Foster. Classic 3rd act -- compression of time and space, the logical/surprising conclusion of what has come before. He's been leading up to an extreme act of violence, and now it comes. Foster's reaction, rightly, is horror.

Showing WE THE PEOPLE outside the bloodbath -- this is NOT what they want.

Viewed as a hero by the papers, Foster's family. Actions misconstrued. And we come full circle with Betsy as his last passenger.

Few use color as well as Scorsese (Almadovar comes to mind), so: the use of red. Traffic lights, neon lights, Sport's coke nail, blood. Red is used for sin. This is textbook Catholicism.

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