Before being introduced to Martin Scorsese I had no idea who he was. I never watched any of his movies, and really just heard of his big films. Martin’s life before hitting the big stage was pretty interesting. Scorsese attended New York University where he got a Bachelors in English and a Master in Fine Arts. After school he created his first feature film in 1967 called, Who’s That Knocking On The Door. After his first feature film, he was working on the film, The Honeymoon Killers in which he got fired from. Scorsese was suffering from depression and an alcohol addiction at the time. After trying to bounce back from being fired, Scorsese went back to NYU to teach where he got his Bachelors and Master degrees. He then goes on to move to Hollywood where he gains some personal success. Films that helped his success were Mean Streets and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
After those hits, Scorsese shifts his focus to New York where he directs the film Taxi Driver. Scorsese was encouraged to direct this film by Robert De Nero. Robert De Nero plays Travis Bickle as this Vietnam War vet. De Nero plays an interesting character at the time because this film was set in the 1970’s where in New York there was prostitutes, violence, and hatred on women. Throughout the movie we meet Iris who is a young prostitute who works the streets. Travis who at the beginning of the movie saw Iris trying to escape from a man who was taking advantage of her. We get a sense that Travis wants to help her, but he denies to drive her home. In my eyes, I feel like Scorsese later in the movie wanted to make Travis not just a taxi driver, but someone who helps out. We end up seeing Travis try helping Iris out, but Iris doesn’t hesitate to keep trying to take his pants off. She doesn’t want to listen to what Travis has to say.
After watching Taxi Driver I found it very interesting on the things that I read in one of the articles. First, I read that the writer Paul Schrader kept a gun on his desk while he wrote to keep him motivated and inspired. That’s pretty interesting due to the fact that the film was based off Travis being a Vietnam War vet. Another thing that I found interesting was that De Nero was actually a taxi driver a month before production of this film. During this time, De Nero won an Academy Award and surprisingly was only recognized once throughout the month that he spent on the streets of New York City. Jodie Foster who was supposed to play Iris was just casually 12 years old when she tried out for the spot of a prostitute. Turns out that Foster wasn’t able to take that spot, and her sister Connie had to act as her body for most of the movie. Betsy at some points in the production had to be “fed” her lines because she couldn’t remember them.
If you guys have not read the article that I linked, I would highly recommend it.