PLOT: The classic Hollywood plot opens with an equilibrium, then there is disruption of that equilibrium, and at the end of the film there is a new equilibrium. Identify the equilibrium/disruption/new equilibrium in Taxi Driver.
FORM: Discuss the technical and artistic achievements of Taxi Driver in THREE key scene. Good candidates might be the scene where Travis Bickle talks to himself in the mirror or the murder scene at the end — or your favorite scene. Go into depth about how the shot composition, shot type, camera movement, editing, lighting and sound create the mood or express the emotion of the scene. Refer back to chapter 3 in the textbook and the Toolbox for Film Analysis for a refresher.
CULTURE: Discuss how Taxi Driver both reflected and shaped attitudes about authority in the 1970s. Does the film give a realistic view of society at the time, or does it present New York City from Bickle’s point of view? Are we meant to take his voiceovers as true? Should Is the ending meant to be real or his fantasy? How does a character like Bickle reflect the countercoulture. What role do gender and race play in Taxi Driver? How does Scorsese’s approach reflect his training in film school?