taxi driver cultural social essay
Audiences had modest expectations for Taxi Driver when it was first released in the winter of 1976. A low-budget film directed by a not-particularly-well-known Martin Scorsese and starring the young Robert De Niro, who had recently won an Oscar for his work in The Godfather, Part II, the film undoubtedly had ingredients to be a success, but no one could have predicted the massive influence it would have on the culture at the time, and for decades afterwards. Whether by design or accident, the timing of Taxi Driver’s unexpected appearance in movie theaters in the winter of the mid 1970s turned out to be integral to its success. With little else in theaters to stimulate much interest, the palpable and imaginatively directed themes of alienation, urban paranoia and psychic claustrophobia were met with recognition and acclaim.
Vigilante stories were particularly popular in the 1970s. Movies in which ordinary people chose the moral high ground to dispense justice at their own discretion had already proved compelling to the general public, with the prior release of films such as Death Wish, Dirty Harry, Walking Tall, and Foxy Brown. While Travis Bickle may seem to bear little resemblance to Dirty Harry Callahan or southern fried Sheriff Buford Pusser, all these characters come from the same trend in movie-making, a trend contextualized by a post-Vietnam and post-Watergate world, during which there was a national sense of alienation and lost control.
My Fair Lady (1964): A Sociolinguistic Analysis In today ‘s generation, Language has been constantly been one of the indicators of a class. Every day, unconsciously and consciously, we have expectations that people in our environment in certain social positions will speak in certain ways. The doctors, lawyers, professors, fund managers, and even top civil servants will speak formally; on the other hand, the truck drivers, factory workers, assembly line workers, labourers, waiters,
Intercultural Communication in Outsourced: A Film Analysis By Sonny Nguyen Student number: 2548985 Email: [email protected] Date of submission: 29 september 2014 Outsourced is a modern comedy romance that addresses the intercultural conflicts that can arise when U.S. and Indian cultures clash. The story focuses on the cultural differences that a U.S. –based manager experiences when he has to work in India when his department is outsourced. The story explore the issue of cultural language
Unsurprisingly, Travis reaches a tipping point which is dictated by his encounters with Betsy and Iris. What is notable about his interactions with both characters is his desire to have (Betsy) and to help (Iris), reflecting Travis’s “normative heterosexual control with a particular spatial organisation.” In writing a letter to parents, Travis notes he is in a relationship with Betsy to imply that he has some stability in his life. In addition, Travis tells Iris over lunch, that he has to attend “secret government business.” Such fabrications tap into Travis’s fantasies of becoming an all-knowing hero and signal his continuing downward spiral. For Travis, both Betsy and Iris have become victims of a capitalist system which ultimately, in crude terms, puts one social status against another. Betsy, much like Travis’s familial approach to Iris, views Travis with “a mixture of idealisation and contempt.” She is intrigued by him initially, only to be spurned by his social ills. Ironically, Betsy’s cold demeanour plays against Travis’s angelic description of her, as her upper-class status renders her just as unsympathetic as the street hustlers of Travis’s milieu. Conversely, Travis feels compelled to save Iris, who embodies the “innocent and the ignorant.” His need to attend both characters rests upon his primal desires: his physical attraction to Betsy and his role as Iris’s caregiver. For Travis, his “heroic” actions culminates in targeting the respective “oppressors”, Senator Charles Palantine and the street hustler Sport.
For Travis, Betsy signifies a sense of hope. In voiceover, he describes Betsy as “like an angel. Out of this filthy mess, she is alone, they cannot touch her.” Travis’s status as a cab driver enables some form of social connection and “allows for a rear-view mirror voyeurism that aligns with his compulsive viewing of television and pornography.” However, due to Travis’s lack of social skills, this kind of work related voyeurism amounts to behavioural stalking when he courts the attention of Betsy and later, Iris (Jodie Foster), a twelve year old prostitute. Before working up the courage of asking Betsy to have coffee with him, Travis routinely gazes at her in the Palantine office from the comfort of his taxi. Given Betsy’s involvement in the Palantine campaign, she represents an upscale citizen, educated and socially able. Thus her appearance establishes the disparity of the socioeconomic classes, which ultimately shapes one’s standing in society. This is reinforced when Travis takes Betsy to a pornography theatre. Disgusted, Betsy makes it clear that she does not want to see him again. What is notable is Travis’s confused reaction, pleading with Betsy that “all couples go here”. Travis’s status on the lower end of the totem pole is obvious through his lack of social etiquette. During a decade in which many critics refer to as “The Golden Age of Pornography”, the phenomenon is associated with a period of sexual degradation, one exploited by a criminal underbelly and welcomed by a societal underclass. Despite Travis’s good intentions, he in the eyes of Betsy, has been judged as a product of his environment.
repudiation of all minority groups and any possible social alternative, in order to re-assert
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The field jacket, the mohawk, the “real rain” that will “wash all this scum off the streets,” the virtuoso tracking shot over the aftermath of a massacre, “You talkin’ to me?”: so many elements of Taxi Driver have found permanent places in cinematic culture, and almost as many have found permanent places in the culture, period. Thanks to its wide-ranging influence as well as its presence that endures more than forty years on, even those who’ve never seen the movie in some sense already know it.