Tag Archives: Taxi Driver

Auto da Fé: The long life of Taxi Driver

by Niall Anderson

When we talk about iconic character shots in film, we’re generally talking about shots where something clever and technical happens. The simultaneous track-back and zoom when Roy Scheider sees Jaws at the beach. The puff of steam from the waiting train as Marilyn Monroe is revealed in Some Like It Hot. The subliminal flash of a skull on Anthony Perkins’s face at the end of Psycho. Taxi Driver is full of these sort of shots – full of elegant trickery and long fluid sequences that belie the rehearsal that must have made them possible – but the single scene that sticks in people’s minds couldn’t be simpler: the unbroken, unmoving shot of Travis Bickle taunting his imagined enemies in the mirror, goading himself into action.

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