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Greenberg and Other Character Studies

Posted March 08, 2010 to photo album "Greenberg and Other Character Studies"

Noah Baumbach’s comedy Greenberg probes the psyche of a man in search of himself. We consider other films that study character.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Citizen Kane - Character as perception
Slide 3: Sunset Boulevard - Character as reflection
Slide 4: The Searchers - Character as manifest destiny
Slide 5: Taxi Driver - character as psychosis
Slide 6: The Entertainer - Character as characters
Slide 7: The Motorcycle Diaries - Character as destiny
Slide 8: Le Samouraï - Character as style
Slide 9: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - Character as surface
Slide 10: The Ice Storm - Character as cultural confusion
Slide 11: All That Jazz - Character study as musical
Slide 12: The Graduate - Character as ambivalence
Slide 13: Sweet Smell of Success - Character as calculation
Slide 14: What is yours?
Slide 5: Taxi Driver - character as psychosis

Slide 5: Taxi Driver - character as psychosis

Move The Searchers up a century and plunk it down in the middle of New York City and Taxi Driver is what you might get. Writer Paul Schrader and director Martin Scorsese partially based their color-saturated noir about Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), an ex-marine cabby on a quest to save a teenage prostitute (Jodie Foster), on John Ford’s masterpiece. Taxi Driver remains one of the great character studies of contemporary cinema, an intoxicating mix of urban psychosis and American virtue. For Scorsese, “Travis really has the best intentions, He believes he’s doing right, just like St. Paul. He wants to clean up life, clean up his mind, clean up the soul. He is very spiritual, but in a sense Charles Manson was spiritual, which doesn’t mean it’s good.”