Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taxi Driver analysis - part 5: Scorsese's hint to us about the ending of '2001'



Top Left: At the moment when Travis (with his back to us), confronts the bouncer in the building out of which Iris operates (recall from part 2 of this analysis, that this building represents the monolith from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey), the bouncer raises his right hand toward Travis, and he is heard saying, "Hey--!" just before being shot in the hand by Travis, at which point he abruptly stops speaking. Within a metaphorical context, what the bouncer has said here can be considered to be a word fragment that sounds like the first part of the word "hail", as in, "Hail Hitler!" (spoken in German as "Heil Hitler!", by those loyal to Nazism). Since Travis represents the historical hippies (within a certain context, as discussed in part 2), director Martin Scorsese, by here drawing a correspondence between Travis and Nazism, is metaphorically depicting the hippies themselves as being like Nazis. Also, it is said that Roman soldiers mocked Jesus at his crucifixion by saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" Scorsese is making a reference to this statement also (in addition to "Hail Hitler"), but the implication isn't that Travis represents Jesus - instead, a 'correspondence' between Nazis and certain evil Jews (and by implication, between hippies and these Jews) is here being drawn. Top right: Spectators giving the Nazi salute during German occupation of Czechoslovakia, 1938.[a] Generally speaking, a person raising his or her arm in order to flag down a taxi, looks not unlike someone giving a Nazi salute. Thus, the fact that the people of New York City 'hail' Travis as he drives around in his cab, serves as further indication that the entities he represents are the evil ones just mentioned (hippies/evil Jews). It also symbolizes the idea that the American public itself, as represented by the populace of New York City, where the film is set, has effectively come to be loyal to all that Travis represents. Above left and right: Astronaut David Bowman raises his right hand toward the monolith at the end of A Space Odyssey. (The monolith is the large black rectangular object at the foot of Bowman's bed, as shown in the above right screencap.) The hint Scorsese has given us about A Space Odyssey, via the Taxi Driver scene depicted in the top left screencap, is that the gesture by Bowman represents, in part, a Nazi salute to the monolith. Since the monolith was planted by an alien race, and since this alien race represents 'evil femininity' (i.e., radical feminism, as indicated in the 2001 analysis), Bowman is here giving a Nazi salute to radical feminism (and to 'evil Jewishness', as explained in the 2001 analysis).

a. Image from the Wikipedia 'Nazi salute' page; Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H13160, Beim Einmarsch deutscher Truppen in Eger by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H13160, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, via Wikimedia Commons.


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