Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver ★★★★★

100

(35mm)

"She was wearing a white dress. She appeared like an angel. Out of this filthy mess, she is alone. They... cannot... touch... her."

A motion picture where dreams of neon and rain and clouds of steam seemingly make up the negative.

Some random thoughts after the annual re-watch:

- Not even a question in my mind that this is De Niro at his peak. It's all in the eyes. Haunted. Watchful. Gleaming.

- "Late for the Sky" sequence still *shatters* my senses and my heart. Shoes without a owner, but a presence nonetheless, ignored in spite of their obvious existence in the physical space around the dancers.

- Who am I kidding this is my favorite movie (sorry Quentin).

- Herrmann's score carries aching, impenetrable cycles of pain and anguish, always swooning and prepping for explosion. This was his last film score. I think about that a lot.

- I should really try to seek out Sometime Sweet Susan.

- It was interesting watching the telephone conversation with an audience, one full of people who hadn't even seen it before. Initially seen as funny but awkward, the pan to the empty hallway (leading to Travis's place of purgatory) brought the house down into a sullen silence.

- Shootout was a different story. The violence still works in terms of brain-splattering viscera and subverted cowboy triumph, being both icky and resoundingly operatic, smeared and splattered in dynamic visual/aural flourishes.

- That fucking shot of the prostitute guard strolling out of complete darkness. No words.

- Betsy's final appearance in the cab is divine, presumably the moment where her angelic presence morphed onto the celluloid itself. Transcendent. A pinnacle of the medium.

- This movie makes me feel unknown, instinctive emotions of which I'm still unable to grasp or contextualize.

- Final grab for the mirror. A revelation? A cry for companionship? A genuine startled reaction? The end credits wipe it all away like the rain, so who really knows.

"So long......"

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