Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976)

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Abstract

Martin Scorsese (1942–) is a name that has often been associated with New York. Together with another New Yorker Robert De Niro (1943–), they have collaborated in films including Mean Streets(1973), Taxi Driver(1976), New York, New York(1977), Raging Bull(1980), King of Comedy(1983), and Goodfellas(1990), among many others, which deal with the underworld and the male, often marginal, figures of the city. Focusing on Taxi Driver, this entry is divided into four parts. It discusses how the being of a taxi driver, as in the case of Travis Bickle, personifies the seeing of a frustrated male gaze, which eventually turns his need of talking to somebody into an imagination of calling for him on a mission of killing and cleansing the city. While these films often seem to be male centered and male oriented, they showcase the uncertainty and anxiety of the male figures and the fragility of their masculinity. It is a sentiment that best sums up by Jake La Motta’s words in Raging Bull: “I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender, I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies
EditorsJeremy TAMBLING
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Cham
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783319625928
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Taxi Driver
  • Martin Scorsese
  • New York
  • Vietnam
  • Loneliness
  • Masculinity
  • Male gaze
  • Cinema
  • Gun violence

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