New York City was basically founded in 1626 when the Dutch bought Manhattan from the indigenous Lenape Indians. They promptly named the island New Amsterdam. The island was later to be named New York by the British in 1664. Manhattan merged with the other four boroughs to form New York City in 1846. It goes without saying that New York City, once United States’ capital for five years, is a hub of history, politics, economics and of course the epitome of social diversity. Films and literature capture these characteristics differently. Manhattan, though, has time and again been portrayed as the only borough, overlooking other boroughs such as Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island. Films have led even the New Yorkers to believe that Manhattan is New York City. This alone is enough to tell the role of the films in shaping the people’s attitude and contributing in their ignorance as well. Manhattan could be the most outstanding island and to which most attention is paid to but in a real sense, New York City is much more than a single island.
The films that have encompassed the city so wholesomely include those directed by Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Woody Allen. These works of these directors are a clear indication that they went to completely different schools of thought regarding New York City, also known as the Big Apple. Martin is behind the film, Taxi Driver, a film that has served to lead many to cast aspersions on this city that both figuratively and literally never sleeps. In this particular film, New York is illustrated as a terrible place to live.
The New York City populace is portrayed deranged and to some extents crazy, all in an aura of political despondency. There is an unmistakable air of indifference in the film, with people unregretful about taking the lives of others if they cross their paths. There is a particular scene where a cheated husband vows to shoot his wife. Nobody can hide from the claustrophobic sense of dread that grips the film from the very beginning and its violent climax.