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April 1996, Week 5


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Peter Latham <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 30 Apr 1996 22:43:49 -0500
text/plain (32 lines)
I recently (and belatedly) saw Taxi Driver for the first time in its
entirety. I has previously seen clips and read articles about it.
I was impressed with the images of the "beast" (as in "beauty and the __"),
and that of the "noble savage" which permeate the film.
That led me to compare the film to KING KONG in which an equally noble (but
less articulate) "beast" dominates another vulnerable blond (Fay Wray, not
Jodie Foster).It seemed to me that the major difference in subtext between
the two films is that KONG dies and TRAVIS lives.
As we know: Taxi Driver stirred awful emotions in John Hinckley. What may
be less well known is that King Kong is said to have done the same for the
late (and unlamented) Adolph Hitler.
Finally, my question to the group;
Do these two films contain emotional appeals of unique strength to
disturbed/evil males? If so, what are those appeals?
Please understand I would not propose to censor either film, even if the
appeals were obvious and direct. I simply want to understand.
Many thanks for your thoughtful responses.
Peter S. Latham
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