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April 1996, Week 3


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Marty S Fairbairn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 15 Apr 1996 18:11:47 -0400
text/plain (35 lines)
To: Bob Arnett
re: Taxi Driver
Crap or classic?  What can one possibly say to a question like this
except, "Are you talkin' to me?"  Perhaps I'm blocking, but I don't ever
remember seeing any opinion holding that TD is crap.  But try Stanley
Kauffmann's review of the film from THE NEW REPUBLIC (March 6, 1976),
found in his 4th collection of reviews, BEFORE MY EYES (New York: Harper
& Row, 1980), in which he writes,
        The first shot is of steam gushing up from a manhole in a
        Manhattan street.  Thus the director, Martin Scorsese, tells us two
        things: that his film is about the pressures that boil up in a big city
        today and that the level of his metaphoric invention is low.  Nothing
        in the picture is more subtle, less nudgingly and greasily assumptive,
        than that opening shot.
Though short and facile, it's one of the few negative reviews I know of.
As far as "serious" critical writing is concerned, I know of no film
theorist who regards this brilliant film as anything less than a work of
major significance.
C/O Dept. of Philosophy
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario,
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