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Taxi Driver (BFI Film Classics) Paperback – January 22, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851703933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851703930
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,539,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sight and Sound is the last word on Scorsese's powerhouse." -- Film Comment

About the Author

Amy Taubin has been a film critic for the Village Voice since 1987, and is contributing editor of Sight and Sound. She started her professional life as an actress, appearing on Broadway, most notably as Sandy in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1968), and in avant-garde films, among them Michael Snow's Wavelength (1967) and Andy Warhol's Couch and The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women (both 1964).

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Customer Reviews

When she sticks to pure analysis, she does not do half bad.
Dash Manchette
Amy Taubin, long-time film critic, has written one of the best works on film I've ever read, about one of the most compelling films ever made.
Tillwhen
To those who lack a laserdisc player, I would suggest this book.
Mark L. Ayala

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Krieger on October 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
With this entry in the BFI Film Classics collection, Amy Taubin has written a very well-researched, entertaining and informative examination of this indisputable American film classic. In addition, this book isn't too literate or hard to understand, as some of these type of film analyses can be. It is written clearly and with a great deal of detail. A must for any fan of this film, anyone interested in American cinema of the 70's, or fans of legendary director Martin Scorsese. Excellent!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark L. Ayala on December 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
So, I honestly love Amy Taubin. All her reviews I've read, and the essays she's done for Criterion Collection releases, and even her shared love for My Own Private Idaho sold me on buying this book.

I ended up coming away a bit dissapointed.

The book doesn't really shed anything new on the film. Almost everything she's discusses it mentioned by either Scorsese or Schrader on the old Criterion laserdisc commentary of this film.

There were only a couple of new ideas I gathered from this book. First, the heavy handed sexual themes. I always knew they were there, but not in the way she brings it up. The scene on the cover of the book, I never really put together in my head that he's trying to reinact a fantasy of killing people performing intercourse. Even the scene where he kills Keitel, he whips out his gun and says "Suck on this!". The sexual connotation never hit me.

The other thing this book shed light on was the parallel between cowboys and indians. She brings up many parallels to The Searchers and how Jodie Foster is the Natlaie Wood character, Sport is the indian dresses in beads and feathers, and Travis with his boots is the cowboy who thinks he'll save the day.

Aside from that, it offers nothing new. To those who lack a laserdisc player, I would suggest this book. You honestly can't beat the price.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good look at "Taxi Driver." Taubin covers the making of the film (the money Scorsese got for making it might buy one day's worth of catering today) and gives the movie a very close analysis. She touches on key issues such as 1)how it stays close to and deviates from Arthur Bremer's experiences as he tracked George Wallace 2) the interplay between Bernard Herrmann's score and the images 3)how "Taxi Driver" can be seen as borrowing from the horror film 4) how Travis Bickle relates to black people. These are topics that, to me, have not really been covered in such depth before.
"Taxi Driver" is very well done, one of the best in the BFI series.
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Format: Paperback
There is so little "behind-the-scenes" literature on Taxi Driver that anything is appreciated. And while Taubin does bring out some tidbits of production, and some valid social context and symbolism, there is precious little of it; the pages rather filled with a recounting of the story itself, with multiple mistakes in narrative, details, and interpretation. Little things like indicating Travis drinks apricot brandy when the bottle says "Peach", or throwing his gun on the grocery counter when it is actually taken from his hand by the proprietor, or Sport's hair being black instead of dark brown, etc. Some of her personal social biases can be read into her description of Travis's relationship with fellow cabby, Charlie-T. He does not give Charlie any unusual or prejudiced looks, in fact he even borrows money from the man.

Little boo-boos like these can severely hamper the believability of the rest of an authors "expertise" on a given subject.
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Format: Paperback
As much as I have come to love the BFI Film Classics series, Taubin's left wing politicking about Schrader/Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" does the books a rare disservice. Potential readers should be advised that unless they share Taubin's view that masculinity should be viewed with a mixture of suspicion and pity, and that firearms aren't tools but phallic symbols that show that Travis has secret homosexual urgings, may do well to steer clear.

For some actual film analysis instead of chunks of synopsis interspersed with feminist rambling, check out the BFI Film Classics books on "Last Tango in Paris" and "Back to the Future" instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amy Taubin, long-time film critic, has written one of the best works on film I've ever read, about one of the most compelling films ever made. Taubin's intelligence, cinematic sophistication, and great knowledge of film history help one think about "Taxi Driver" with more dimension and pleasure, if pleasure's the right word. She's written a fascinating story about this film.
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