TAXI DRIVER (1976)
A disturbing character study that is as relevant now as ever. Scorsese's technical prowess is matched by a brilliant performance by De Niro, capturing self-induced loneliness perfectly. Paul Schrader wrote this classic script about a sociopath who, despite attempts, can't quite connect with others. All of which leads to Travis acting out his fantasy of having some sort of purpose. He strikes out at the two patriarchal "fathers" who control both the Madonna and the Whore that he becomes obsessed with. The orgasmic bloodshed is frightening and cathartic. However, Travis is like a ticking time bomb that may go off again. Herrmann's unforgettable score underlines both the romantic loner quality, coupled with the sleazy and violent force that almost appears like a angelic nightmare. Despite Travis' racism and inability to understand people, we still care about this incredibly lonely individual. Taxi Driver is both a powerful feminist film and part serial-killer movie. Either way, Scorsese, Schrader and De Niro all feel strongly in portraying this character as honestly as possible. Perhaps because there's a little bit of Travis Bickle in all of us.
Director: Martin Scorsese