TAXI DRIVER (Dir. Martin Scorsese, 1976, US) – Omniscience

The Scorsese-Schrader-De Niro Taxi Driver has resurfaced yet again on the blu ray format with a plethora of additional material. The blu ray transfer makes for an astonishing improvement on the existing DVD of the film and what really jumped out at me which didn’t before was the clarity of the neon signs that act as a visual marker of Bickle’s descent. (dvdbeaver has a technical breakdown) I’m not going to comment on the critical value of the film as pretty much everything has been said and in many ways articulated quite strongly for the film’s significance to American cinema in the 1970s. One recurring visual/compositional motif is the repeated use of overhead shots throughout the film, culminating in the famous final reverse sweep through the apartment at the end. Both Schrader and Scorsese have examined and re-examined the impact of religion on their perceptions of reality and the overhead shots could be interpreted as a shared expression as it points to an omniscience which has its distillation in the line, ‘I’m God’s lonely man…’

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