40 years later, Travis Bickle has won

Art doesn’t change over decades, but its public does, and so political interpretations.

When I saw Taxi Driver for the first time, at 12 or 13, I was living in a small version of Scorsese’s world; Napoli was not quite like the mid-1970s Harlem, but at 2 a.m. the ambiance was just as shady and surreal. Travis Bickle, the insomniac loner wandering through the steamy inferno of New York, held me spellbound for years.

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Things that were happening in Italy last time we won the Oscar


As largely anticipated, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) has won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. The last Italian movie to achieve this feat was Benigni’s Life is Beautiful. It was sixteen years ago. More precisely, March 22, 1998. (and Sorrentino must hope to avoid the curse of “Roberto!”, whose subsequent flicks resulted in terrible fiascos)

It’s been a while, and to give you an idea of how long it’s been, here’s a few things that were happening back in those days (in Italian).

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