Taxi Driver

In: Film and Music

Submitted By grygs23
Words 2098
Pages 9
Taxi Driver
The movie Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorsese, "may be the greatest first person character study ever committed to film" according to an interview of Quentin Tarantino. Within the realm of film noir there is interplay with light and darkness and there is the classic main character. The main character within every film noir has a couple key components that are common within many of the antiheroes of the genre. The film noir anti-hero, or corrupted hero, is most known for their descent moralistically or in the case of Travis Bickle, mentally. The conventions used to display this mental ambiguity is via the mis en scene, cinematography, and editing. Most normal formal elements that are used in film noir are within Taxi Driver. The hero, most of the time in film noir, is a washed up hero who is preconditioned to descend into darkness in order to let justice prevail. In Taxi Driver, Scorsese doesn’t have Travis Bickle descend in terms of moral ambiguity but rather turns Travis from oddball to murderer. Travis’ dissension mentally is synonymous to a film noir hero’s dissension morally. 

Like many film noir heroes, Travis seems predisposed on becoming a psychopathic killer. Being an ex Marine, it seems he needs a lot of time to keep himself busy, and as a result is a complete loner. The mis en scene, editing, and cinematography of the movie show the audience many scenes that connote to his later and more troubling behavior. The lighting is a part of mis en scene that permeates within the film, because it is film noir, and connotes that Travis is psychotic beforehand or is predisposed to it. Near the beginning the audience sees nothing but darkness around Travis’s eyes and not only that but they are then later drowned in a red light. All the audience can see are Travis’ eyes for a good fifteen seconds. Eyes are a very striking thing and to cover them in...