Thursday, January 26, 2012

TODAY'S NUGGET: #43 WGA Script of All Time - Taxi Driver (1976)

[Quick Summary: A lonely war vet turned taxi driver turns violent to clean up what he views as "trash" in NYC, and manages to save a young prostitute in the process.]

Paul Schrader, the writer, said he knew he was writing about loneliness in this script.

Later, he figured out he was writing about the "pathology of loneliness," i.e., how a person reinforces his loneliness by his own behavior.

What is so compelling about this script is that it announces what it is about, keeps it cohesive, and delivers what it promises in every scene. 

ex. "TRAVIS looks like the most suspicious human being alive.

His hair is cropped short, he wears mirror-reflecting glasses. His face is pallid and drained of color, his lips are pursed and drawn tight. He looks from side to side." 

Now that is loneliness personified just in a description.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: This script reaches a very deep "a-ha! I've been there" feeling that's hard to express.  

[Even Scorsese said he had to make this picture to express the emotions that he could not express otherwise.]

Taxi Driver (1976)
by Paul Schrader

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