Dr. Laura Wilhelm to Discuss Taxi Driver Underground Man Review

“Taxi Driver, Underground Man”
Part 1 & Part 2

Monday, 11/13, 4 pm – 5:30 pm (Part 1)
Monday, 11/20, 4 pm – 5:30 pm (Part 2)
Entertainment Media Room E100

About the lecture:

“Taxi Driver, Underground Man” is the title of a movie review published in THE NEW YORKER on February 9th, 1976 by the well-known film critic Pauline Kael (1919-2001). Kael notes that the iconic 1976 American film TAXI DRIVER directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro as title character Travis Bickle is “the fevered story of an outsider in New York–a man who can’t find any point of entry into human society. . . .It’s a two-character study–Travis versus New York.” As Kael points out in her review, the film owes its biggest debt to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s seminal 1864 work NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, now thought to be the world’s first existential novel.

In this age of globalization and random acts of terror such as those witnessed in TAXI DRIVER, the mechanisms of urban alienation and indifference seem more relevant than ever. Kael’s characterization of TAXI DRIVER as “one of the few truly modern horror films” hardly overstates her case. The film TAXI DRIVER will be screened in its entirety on Monday, 11/13; and followed by a discussion on Monday, 11/20.

About the speaker:

Dr. Laura Wilhelm graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College with a major in Russian and a minor in Classics in 1988. She received her doctorate in Russian language and literature with honors from the University of Kansas in 1994 and was inducted into Dobro Slovo, the national Slavic honor society.

Since May 2009 Wilhelm has run a business and talent development company called LauraWil Intercultural. Her associates comprise major international names in the arts, entertainment, fashion, fitness, literature, and science.

On July 27th, 2016 Wilhelm was given an International Award of World Excellence in Peace Building through the International Platform for Peace. She had worked closely with the IPFP on a 1000 Women in White/100 Men in Black global peace march that culminated in President Obama’s visit to the USC Radisson on January 9th, 2016.