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Vertigo was named the greatest film of all time earlier this year by Sight and Sound. Celebrating this, Martin Scorsese did an interview for the BFI talking about what impact Vertigo had on him,  as he was one of the many filmmakers and critics that voted for the film. There are quite a few clips that can be found on Youtube of Scorsese talking about Vertigo, and he talks about the film passionately, not as a world renowned filmmaker but a humble fan. But as I was watching the brand new interview clip, I realised that just as he used the shower scene in Psycho as a template for the fight scenes in Raging Bull (see first video clip), he also based a lot of Taxi Driver on Vertigo. I feel stupid for not noticing it before as Taxi Driver is one of the favourite films. The way James Stewart is obsessed with Kim Novak, the hypnotised expression on his face as he pursues her and of course Bernard Herrmann’s score. There are many parallels between Vertigo and Taxi Driver, Travis’s obsession with Betsy, his escalating psychosis. I’m not saying that they are both similar films, but the influence of Vertigo can clearly be seen. In the second clip, Scorsese talks about the fact that what makes Vertigo a true classic is not the story or plot but the character and the following of his obsession. Taxi Driver also happens to be one of the great character studies on film and we also follow his obsession. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, it is always inspiring to see great directors being influenced by and paying homage to the great directors before them.

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