There isn’t much that this writer can say about “Taxi Driver” that hasn’t been said a million times already. Lonely Travis Bickle’s slow descent into madness brought on by a nightmare vision of New York City is one of the greatest films ever made, as well as one of the most iconic examples of the best era in film history, ’70s American cinema.
As timeless and universal as the themes of “Taxi Driver” are, the film also works as a perfectly stylized time capsule depicting the scummy, sinister, and dangerous streets of mid-’70s New York. The city itself is drenched in a sewer stream fog, which works as the ideal metaphor for the way Bickle looks at the world around him. The way DP Michael Chapman captures these streets finds a delicate balance between stark realism and an almost fairy tale depiction of an evil land. We see the city the way it is, but we also see it through Bickle’s point of view.
In order to have audiences fully appreciate the streets of “Taxi Driver,” Film-Drunk Love has put together a supercut of the street-shots from the film, set to Bernard Herrmann’s sublime alto-sax score. It makes sense that the montage ends with the infamous slow motion shot of director Martin Scorsese leering at Cybill Shepherd’s Betsy, emphasizing on the concept of “director as voyeur.” You can watch it for yourself below.