Suck on This: the aesthetics of violence and sexual frustration in Taxi Driver
For the introduction, I briefly talk about the state of film during the release, which was during the mid 70’s. The people responsible for creating the story, Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader, wanted to dive into the bowels of American society and show its darkest form. Travis embodies with his lack of connection and disdain for the world around him. The loss of values and morals is juxtaposed onto him, and rejects everything he sees. The world is a dirty place, therefore Travis is stuck inside this world, trying to get out but not knowing how to go about doing so.
For the dueling thesis, scholars say Travis’s violence is an overall reaction to dirt and grime overcoming him. In some ways, he resorts to vigilantism to gain an identity or control over his life. While I argue, he is releasing himself. Throughout the entire story, he is never at ease. He continues to allow his hatred for the world build. While this happens, the world and its inhabitants continue with their repulsive behavior, debauchery being a primary contributor. Travis’s violence is his release and punishment/cleansing of a rotten world.
For the CVC, I looked at four sources. One deals with Travis’s return from Vietnam, the soldier in him is still there and his violence is a way of showing he has not left the war. Another scholar discusses the Existential search for identity. The third looks at Taxi Driver‘s play on genre. The film has good deal of Western and New Hollywood elements. The fourth looks at Travis as hero or anti hero.
For the CRC, I discuss Travis’s rampage on Sport and his gang. Travis’s sexual frustration and alienation lead him into a release. Through the violence that has been influencing him, he can finally rid himself of the anguish inside, all while punishing the evil doers.