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‘This is a dirty movie’ – Taxi Driver and ‘Swedish sin’

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This article examines a well-known sequence in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film Taxi Driver in which the main character Travis Bickle takes his date Betsy to the movies and convinces her to see a Swedish sex education film. The article analyses the representation of Swedish cinema and Swedish sexuality in Taxi Driver, but also discusses the short sequence from a Swedish perspective, revealing a contemporary popular Swedish misconception about it. For this purpose, the sequence as well as the subsequent Swedish interpretation of it are contextualized and considered in relation to the widespread notion of ‘Swedish sin’.

Keywords: Language of Love; Swedish sin; Taxi Driver; intertextuality; sex education film

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Lund University

Publication date: 2011-06-17

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  • The Journal of Scandinavian Cinema is a new scholarly journal devoted to film in the Scandinavian countries. It aims to become the prime site for excellent research and engaging discussions on cinema in Scandinavia, both within the national context of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and as a region existing in a globalized world.
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