Mise-en-scene in Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver is about Travis Bickle, a "sick" taxi driver who is both a prophet and/or a mad man. We are never allowed to know what the movie itself thinks of him, we are never told to love him or hate him and the movie never states whether he is ethically right or wrong. This movie is not about the answers to the problems of the society. It is just about the questions and unknowns. It is just an interesting journey in the modern society that could make people discuss about Travis hours and hours. Talking with other people, I was amazed how people can think of him in different ways. Some say he is "sick", some say he is their "prophet". The fast cuts in the editing (when he practices with the guns) make us enter in his state of mind. But also, some long takes force us to analyze and understand what happened (Very high-angle takes that Scorsese calls "Priest shots" after the massacre.). The movie switches dynamically between these styles, which leaves the audience an infinite ways of thinking about the Travis. This is beyond doubt not a journey like Odysseus where the hero always moves forward. In Taxi Driver the hero's journey is always around the same circle. He does not meet any new people or experience new situations. Same people turn around him, or maybe he turns around the same people and he repeatedly recognizes similar concepts in them. In a realistic movie the fact that he meets with those people so many times and in so many different places would be a mistake. However, this is not a realistic movie. Palantine who was already around him (thanks to the posters and Betsy) gets into his car (which is highly unlikely to happen); he sees Iris in many different unrelated places (three times); Scorsese appears in the movie twice (the unknown one of these is in the scene where we first see Betsy. He is also watching her in the back.). Also different people reminds him of similar concepts: Betsy and Iris are both...
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