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Point of view in Taxi Driver

by Michelle Langford

This clip from Taxi Driver is useful for introducing students to the concept of the auteur and to look at the question of stylistic signatures. In terms of Scorsese, this clip demonstrates his capacity to render the subjective fantasies and fears of his characters through the use of highly stylised point of view shots combined with stylised reverse shots that let the viewer in to the character's mental world. Here the slow zoom in to the bubbling Alka-Seltzer emphasises the way Travis is immersed in his own twisted world view, disconnected from the conversation taking place. The point of view shots also show us his troubling attitudes to race.

Taxi Driver - Travis Bickle's Alka-Seltzer

Clip from Taxi Driver - Travis Bickle's Alka-Seltzer

from Taxi Driver (1976)
Creator: Martin Scorsese
Distributor: Columbia TriStar
Posted by Michelle Langford