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May 1996, Week 1


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Jerry Johnson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 1 May 1996 21:55:10 -0500
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>Now, extending this analysis to TAXI DRIVER is another matter!
>One thing that both films do have in common is the overt representation of the
>male as Knight--the courtly lover who is attracted to his lady and dies
> protecting
>her, but can never have her.  Needless to say, such a pattern is impossible in
>modern society--so it gets twisted into the ape or Bickel (but then we can find
>many parallel representations in other films!).
I think "Taxi Driver" has far more in common with John Ford's "The
Searchers" than with "King Kong" ("The Searchers" is Scorsese's all-time
favorite film).  I would even argue that "The Searchers" is more twisted
and subversive than "Taxi Driver."  You have John Wayne, all-American hero,
who develops a morbid obsession/romantic fixation  with an adolescent girl
in the grip of "savages." (Keitel in "TD" is Scar).  To complicate things
more than "Taxi Driver,"  Wayne is the girl's uncle and is also in love
with her mother!  And don't forget the positing of Scar as his alter ego
(just as DeNiro links himself to Keitel with the mohawk haircut).
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