July 11, 2016

Movie Club—Taxi Driver

This month the Movie Club will be screening Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, and Harvey Keitel.

Travis Bickle (De Niro), an honourably discharged Marine, suffers from chronic insomnia. To help alleviate this he becomes a taxi driver, working the night shift, 12 hours a night, 6 nights a week. This doesn't help his insomnia, and his loneliness and depression become ever stronger. Added to this is the insight into how corrupt, sleazy, and dysfunctional New York City really is. All this leads Travis to desire to do something, to clean up the streets, to give his life meaning, leading to ever more deranged and self-aggrandising thoughts and actions.

The film has courted controversy numerous times. It was immediately criticised for its violence (some going so far as to call it a "stupid orgy of violence", even though almost all the violence happens in a 10 minute sequence right at the end), and has even been linked with John Hinckley, Jr.'s attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. However, with the films rich technique from one of the form's masters (Scorsese) and its intriguing thoughts of violence, heroism, loneliness, and desire, it is certainly more than a "stupid orgy".

The film will be screened on Wednesday 13 July at 6pm at Narellan Library, Corner of Queen and Elyard Street, Narellan. Tea, coffee, and biscuits provided, but BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening to share your thoughts about the film and join in a discussion about the many intriguing insights the film explores.

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