‘Taxi Driver’ (1976), directed by Martin Scorsese, is a timeless, thrilling, mysterious film where we are locked in the back of the mind of young war veteran and taxi driver, Travis, played by Robert Di Nero. Travis lives in constant alienation from society, trapped within his own mind and suffering from insomnia. As he is unable to establish normal relationships in his life, Travis lives as a loner and a wanderer who aimlessly drives his taxi around every corner of New York City throughout the night. This lifestyle creates a darker world for him with a deeper purpose of life, and we are the only ones aware.
Within Travis’ dark mentality caused by his insomnia, he assigns himself tasks to “take care of business” and protect innocent beings around him, which he observes from his taxi in the distance. Although it was a violent life, Travis did rescue an innocent young girl from her life as a prostitute, however we also gain a sense of uneasiness that Travis is a threat to when he becomes too kind for comfort with the secret service of New York’s up and coming politician, Palatine.
Cinematographer, Michael Chapman, creates a vessel for us to see Travis’ secret criminal life over his night shift. Chapman enthralls the viewers of Travis’ mysterious nightlife through the subtle details of the taxi. Deep low- lit scenes capture the detail of steam bursting through sewers as Travis drives his taxi, splashing from one leaking fire hydrant to the next throughout the rough neighborhoods.
director MARTIN SCORSESE
director of photography MICHAEL CHAPMAN
cast ROBERT DE NIRO, MARTIN SCORSESE, JODIE FOSTER, CYBILL SHEPHERD and HARVEY KEITEL
words ELLEN GRACE