With AMC celebrating the 35th anniversary of this Scorsese classic, I figured I should do a post on one of my personal favorite films, ‘Taxi Driver.’ This slow descent into madness is quite a study into the mind of Travis Bickle. After coming back from war with a huge scar across his back, he finds himself in sheer isolation as a taxi driver not really relating to anyone. He just cruises around the streets at night, in a city that is decaying all around him.
I guess I relate to this character so much because going through cancer was like going through my own personal war. From the scar wrapping all the way down my leg, to the tubes hanging out of my chest, to crutching around high school as this weak hairless kid… needless to say, I really experienced that alienation. The feeling of isolation, depression, and constant dread is all the same, as you just feel like you are floating through this foggy void.
I won’t really go into the details of this film, because if you haven’t seen it by now, you are doing yourself a serious injustice. But I will say that what really kept this tumor in tune was the haunting soundtrack to the dark images and thoughts dripping off the screen. From the jazzy saxophone that reminds you of the night life in the city, to those heavy crescendos that make it sound like hell is about to boil over at any moment, Bernard Herrmann’s last score before he died really adds a nightmarish dreamlike feel to the the film.
We also get a taste to the sounds of New York, from a street drummer sounding off the syncopated rhythms of the jazz greats on his snare drum while Travis gives Betsy a Kris Kristofferson record as they walk on by. The film also ends with this strange reverse ring sound effect as Travis quickly adjusts the rear view mirror… making you wonder when he’ll snap again, or if the whole downward spiral of this story was all in his head.
In trying to keep a flow with these posts I guess… I know that El-P used ‘Blade Runner’ as the inspiration to a lot of his music, but the video he made for Deep Space 9mm really captures that paranoid ‘Taxi Driver’ feel.
…also, the fact that all of these guns are in this toxic neon orange color could send me off on another tangent… so I think I’ll save that for another post.
On second thought, I’m never going to do another post on that so… that orange. From the orange bottles of poison that would slowly drip chemo into my heart for a year… still makes me want to vomit just thinking about it, to the Agent Orange that was developed in WWII and used in Nam that killed thousands and gave children all kinds of fucked up tumor looking birth defects. Wait, wasn’t Travis Bickle a fucked up Nam vet with a messed up scar across his back? Maybe my cancer and all my family’s cancer can be linked back to my Grandpa being mid flight when he saw Little Boy wiping out Hiroshima. Maybe those orange bottles and fusing metal into half my body (nuclear bomb mashing cancer, metal from the plane, and my flesh together generations down the line? Cool idea… weren’t the Japanese into this too? See: Tetsuo) were part of the aftershocks.
…cool Earserhead / Pi feel too…
Karma coming back after he helped bomb the shit out of the South Pacific… but I mean it was WWII, shit was out of control. Side note to the side note, apparently my Grandpa was stranded on an island, only one chopper could rescue half the people, the cut off was A-K for last names, his name was Kale. Damn, so close to not even being here. Now my dad defends pesticides and herbicides, funny how things work out… isn’ it ironic, don’t you think? Now today, every time I’m in an airport or any other mass transit building, we’re always in “Threat Level: Orange.” Maybe it’s just the color before the system is in the red… or maybe it’s just clockwork. Done side rant/rambling.
Another jam for getting your system up to the red…