I love film, as I am naturally drawn to romance, some action, sci-fi and there is always time for the “who done it” mystery. Now I love musicals, but for me they are best seen in their original genre, live on stage. So how does the movie “Taxi Driver” fit in to this reportage? This movie is not supposed to work for me, even given all the rave reviews. I am uncomfortable with looking or delving into the ugly places and spaces of our society. While harder to do in the year 2016, never ever take away my rose color glasses, at least not too quickly.
But more seriously after the two hours or so time spent in the mind of a crazy man, I came away from this movie with a sense of reverence for the art form that is film. The visually laid out symbolism explaining the environment and mind of the lead character held a deeper impact for me then dialogue alone would be able to have revealed. And although I am highly adverse to films subjugated to dark violence and racism I did get caught up in the vehicle, the conduit use of film to tell this story is art at it’s finest.
The film takes on multiple topics including loneliness, violence, depression, prostitution, pornography to a lesser extent, and racism.
One key characteristic of Travis [Robert Di Nero] was his deep racist attitude toward black people. While he never verbally expressed his aversion to the resident population of Harlem back in the late ‘60s, along with the character’s facial and body expressions and tensions projected a deadly hatred for blacks, my people. And given that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is one of my all time favorite movies, and that I am a black woman, this movie was not suppose to work for me? But having seen it just this week from beginning to end, it did work. And maybe it did not work back when because I was this 1960’s young naively vulnerable woman. However, in today’s world of cable TV, shock for shock value reality TV, cellphone video in real-time of dehumanization and murder of black men, today I am it seems able to watch this movie I once called abhorrent and to understand what it was attempting.
And so it has taken me many decades to finally sit through the movie and alas I understand and agree this movie was then and remains to this day a masterpiece of film. This movie took me out of my comfort zone and kept me suspended there long after it ended, trying to understand the captivation. This movie is cinematic genius.
Okay I just reserved a book online with my local public library for my next book club meeting. They only had one copy and I got it!!! So someone please remind me again as to why I am supposed to hate technology? I can do all my banking online including depositing checks, paying bills, putting a stop on checks, etc. My entire shopping, yes all online if I choose. I can purchase an eBook from “Amazon” or “iBooks,” I can get audio books or rent/buy videos and movies. Who needs cable TV anymore? And what about “YouTube,” are you serious? I have found decades old video of favorite long gone artists like Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, all kinds of music in some cases going back to the origins of recorded sound, and if I want to learn how to add extensions to my hair, sew, knit, learn to mambo, understand calculus it is all there. Now with the vendor apps, i.e. “Starbucks” for my café latte, “Fandango” for my movie tickets, I can keep track of how much I spend for items and what’s on sale. I use “iTunes” to create playlists for teaching water aerobics classes where I tunnel the music to my class through beautiful surround sound “Ue Boom” bluetooth speakers; and then there’s “iTunes Radio” and “TuneIn Radio” all making it possible to listen to radio stations around the world. And Sundays the variety of churches offering online services is mind boggling, if you are not in the mood for fellowship you need not leave your home to know what the Pastor had to say this week. Exactly what is there to hate about this technology, it was maybe 15 years ago at best that we were standing on long lines at the bank to cash a check, and remember the good old days of “Blockbusters” and heading out on snowy days to get a movie and wait on line for the cashier, then trying to get it back on time to avoid the penalty. Just owning an iPhone meant for me no need for a landline. I can talk to friends and family and know that they have not yet gotten out of bed via Skype or Facetime. Wow the cell phone has made phone booths obsolete. And the Internet/Google has completely placed the world at my fingertips. And what about airline ticket purchases using the Internet as opposed to a travel agent, seriously what’s not to like?
Hey light bulb moment! Look at all the middle management and introductory positions/jobs that are no longer necessary. So how do we go forward with all these ingenious amenities yet keep our citizens working for a decent wage? I want all the conveniences offered by technology and I want people to survive, to continue to make it beyond just getting by. Is modern technology advancement, or is it the decline of our nation, of our world? Why can’t we use this technology to find a solution? After all it does everything else.