Day 41: Slightly Obsessed + ‘Taxi Driver’ 1976

Slightly Obsessed

I’m on track still with my target of watching the 100 Greatest Films in One Year, which consists of at least two hundred films. Last week was Francis Ford Coppola week (which by necessity included a Martin Scorsese film). Coppola week spilled into the following week as I included The Cotton Club and The Outsiders. This week, Martin Scorsese week, will add to Casino, by including New York New York, Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Last week also included Murnau’s silent film, Sunrise (1927), and another Ingmar Bergman film, Through a Glass Darkly (1961). Even now, I’m still energized, and writing an essay about The Outsiders and another about The Cotton Club.

I updated my LinkedIn profile yesterday, and updated my status (and end date in June 2017, after 9 years) as Former Media and Technical Producer for the SSO, to my current role as Managing Director of 1M1 Digital Pty Ltd. 1M1 Digital includes my music production work (Robin Hood and Ivanhoe composed by Mark Isaacs), my most recent film directing (In Paradisum by George Palmer with the SYO), two screenplays I’m developing (the feature film The Fault in My Brain and the documentary Brian Abbot: Mystery Star), the film I’m directing currently (Be Still), and this project which I originated, which after 40 days I should probably re-title. Currently it is 100 Greatest Films in One Year. I should rename it: The 100 Greatest Films Ever. Better make that 200. In One Year.

‘Taxi Driver’ 1976

Went a little crazy and decided to stop writing my two essays about The Outsiders and watch a movie instead of writing about them. It is after all Scorsese Week and I’ve only watched Casino (1995). The great one of course is Taxi Driver (1976), which I love. So at 3. 45am I turned the equipment on and screened the restored print. I’ve only seen it twice before, including one time in 1995, in the cinema. I would think it was sick to say I love this film if I hadn’t come across two quotes which gave my feelings for the film perspective.

Roger Ebert wrote, “Taxi Driver is a film that does not grow dated, or over-familiar. I have seen it dozens of times. Every time I see it, it works; I am drawn into Travis’ underworld of alienation, haplessness and anger.”

Pauline Kael wrote, “I imagine that some people who are angered by the film will say that it advocates violence as a cure for frustration.”

Philip Powers wrote, “I find it hard to watch. I can’t see it more than once every ten years. It is such a sinister depiction of someone who is unsettled within themselves, and little by little images, events, behaviours by others, sting us more and more sharply. Have you ever thought that your emotions were under control and you’re dealing with a situation remarkably well, and then, out of the blue, you snap? Or, that something is eating away at you, but you’re not seeing it for what it is, and your behaviour changes, you withdraw into yourself, you intellectualize more, and simultaneously develop a persona with less emotional connection with the people around you who love you, or the world around you which – heartbreakingly – keeps moving forward irrespective of your pain? That’s what happens to Travis Bickle, and he disassociates, and BANG!