Visual Critical Analysis. (Explore the relationship between style and narrative construction)

1041 Words5 Pages
Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, which lead to the resignation of President Nixon, were the historical issues surrounding Martin Scorsese’s postmodern antihero film: Taxi Driver. The film deals with the failure of Capitalism in late 1970’s post-war America, not to mention the protagonist’s lack of self-identity and mental inadequacy to conform to the franchise that he sees the nation as. The film opens with a formulaic entrance of the main character, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), portrayed as a western bandit or sheriff depending on how we feel of the right wing approach to justice or freedom of ‘Wild West’ protagonists, the camera is fixed on De Niro from a low angle so as to emphasize his characters sense of dominance – complying to the idea of him being both a hero and a figure of the male gaze. The film itself is ultimately a noir styled vigilante film set in the midst of a demoralized New York city made more difficult by the uncertainty of government and the fiscal crisis that followed the loss of the Vietnam War. Scorsese may have been influenced by the neo-noir director Roman Polanski’s work on 1974 motion picture ‘Chinatown’ which gave Taxi Driver the modern take of a Film Noir picture shown through the all too familiar framework of De Niro towering above lesser characters as if he was a detective interrogating a suspect. The introduction of the film and its lead character is a symphony of all the interpretations of what Taxi Driver stands for/symbolizes; De Niro (Bickle) walks into a taxi firm and is asking for a job, which in realism would mean he is the recessive character in the scene yet, following the style of a film noir; De Niro has dominance through narrative and shot type, the audience is made to empathize with his character through subtle humor, all the time cutting between shots of De Niro at a low angle (almost from the point of view of

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