TAXI DRIVER (1976)

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As you may or may not have read in my introductory message (scroll down and read it now), I commented that I am hard pressed to select a favourite film of all time as there are just so many good attributes of so many different movies that I couldn’t possibly cite one that cancels out all of the others. That being said, many people, myself included, have a ‘THAT’ movie. One that really gets to you, whether it hits too close to home, or possibly even plays out scenarios that are verbatim incidents in your own life (or your head, depending on how fucking crazy you are). For me, THAT movie is unequivocally Taxi Driver. Some of you may read that and nonchalantly exclaim ‘the fuck?’ as yes, its about a dangerously unhinged young man fantasising about wide-scale recognition despite his lack of any discernible talents or interesting personality traits, and who is also harbouring a deep hatred for members of society that he considers utterly contemptible (how much of the aforementioned description applies to me is a secret).

But its true that a lot of young guys relate to Travis Bickle, and I am unashamed to call myself one of them. He thinks too much, he’s insecure whilst simultaneously thinking he’s an arbiter of morality and common sense, he’s very, very angry. He doesn’t know himself, and he doesn’t know whether his beliefs are sincere beliefs or just convenient target practices for unbridled rage. Yes, I am single, female cinephiles.

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On a more serious note, this movie is one of the greatest things ever made. Ludicrously so. The essential plot is simple enough, its a pissed off, paranoid dude driving a taxi cab around NYC. But I’ve never seen anything that captures alienation, racing thoughts and depressive fantasy so authentically. It even fucks around with tropes in the most brilliant of ways, making otherwise normal, seemingly alright characters classic archetypes inside Travis’ warped head. There is the girl who all the guys want:

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The dickheads who try to undermine our hero:

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and the innocent who doesn’t know she needs rescuing from undesirables, imagesonly he knows it:

And there is violence. Brutal violence. and fear. And I now need to stop writing this article because I can’t possibly go on without spoiling things I don’t want to spoil. But it’s one of Scorcese’s best, it still blows people fucking heads off now so God knows what people were like leaving cinemas back in 1976. Every character is absolutely essential and ingeniously crafted, the dialogue was written by fucking Jesus, the cinematography and soundtrack are supernaturally perfect. Just please, watch it now, now now. 11/10

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