Taxi Driver

Monday, November 26
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1hr 53mins // directed by:Martin Scorsese // featuring:Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster // 35mm

Before the film, Nobel prize winner Michael Rosbash will discuss circadian rhythms and how they play into Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated drama.

Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is an ex-Marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, he spends his time working as a cabbie at night, watching porn movies at seedy cinemas during the day, or thinking about how the world, New York in particular, has deteriorated into a cesspool. He's a loner who has strong opinions about what is right and wrong with mankind.

For Travis, the one bright spot in New York is Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), an employee on the presidential nomination campaign of Senator Charles Palatine. Travis becomes obsessed with her, but after an incident he believes he has to do whatever he needs to make the world a better place. To do that, he feels that he must save Iris (Jodie Foster), a twelve year old runaway and prostitute who he believes wants out of the profession and under the thumb of her pimp and lover "Sport" (Harvey Keitel).

About the Speaker

Michael Rosbash is an American geneticist known for his discoveries concerning circadian rhythm, the cyclical 24-hour period of biological activity that drives daily behavioral patterns. Rosbash worked extensively with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, involved in the regulation of biological rhythms in all animals including humans. The work had far-reaching implications, particularly for understanding the influence of circadian rhythms on daily physiological processes like metabolism and sleep. For his discoveries, he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (shared with Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael W. Young).