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Yates, C. (2011). Reviews and Their Uses as Affective Texts: Viewing and Re-Viewing Taxi Driver (M. Scorsese, US. 1976). Free Associations, 12(1):96-115.

(2011). Free Associations, 12(1):96-115

Reviews and Their Uses as Affective Texts: Viewing and Re-Viewing Taxi Driver (M. Scorsese, US. 1976)1

Candida Yates

This article examines the significance of film reviews and their relationship to issues of masculinity, spectatorship and history. The paper uses the film Taxi Driver (M. Scorsese, US. 1976) as a case study to discuss the affective, psychosocial significance of film reviews and their relationship to the fantasies of film texts and their mode of address. It argues that fantasies of male jealousy evoked by the film's mode of address are also present in the film reviews, suggesting the inter-relatedness of the psychosocial fantasies of masculine jealousy across those spheres of analysis. Taxi Driver was first released in 1976, and was re-issued in 1996 for the cinema and on DVD. The paper includes discussion of film reviews from both periods, providing insights into contemporary fantasies of masculinity, and the mediation of memory as constructed through those reviews. The enduring appeal of the film Taxi Driver as a ‘classic’ film, and its troubled protagonist ‘Travis’ are examined in the light of discussions regarding the continuing instabilities of Western masculinities and the alleged cultural backlash against feminism.

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