Taxi Driver first hit US cinema screens thirty-five years ago. Even today, watching angry, delusional taxi driver Travis Bickle as he moves about the city ‘like a rat through the sewers’ (so screenwriter Paul Schrader) remains one of cinema’s most disturbing experiences. As Wolfram Schütte, writing in the ‘Frankfurter Rundschau’ newspaper on 3.11.1976, puts it: “A very strange … alarming and fascinating film; syncretic, iridescent, a furtive reptile, constantly changing its colours like a chameleon, soaring towards the mystical; a synthetic amalgam of the most contradictory influences, tendencies and metaphysical aspirations: comic, nervous and hysterical.” The film never fails to fascinate. In order to restore the film in spring 2010, the original 35mm negative was first read by a high resolution 4K scanner. The film was also re-graded and digitally restored in 4K: the media files were restored by Sony Pictures in California under the supervision of Grover Crisp; Scorsese’s cinematographer Michael Chapman supervised Scott Ostrowsky as he created a colour matched version that was approved by Scorsese. The 4K files were subsequently given a digital clean up by MTI film in Los Angeles. This involved removing scratches, stains and tread marks from the archived negative. Some scratches proved especially difficult to remove without altering the underlying imagery, particularly the faces of characters. The restoration of the sound was equally extensive and involved the production of a new multi-track stereo soundtrack from the film’s original recordings. The final version of the restored film was approved by Martin Scorsese in January 2011. –Berlinale
Martin Scorsese was born in New York City and soon developed a passion for cinema and a particular admiration for neo-realist cinema which inspired him and influenced his view or portrayal of his Sicilian heritage. After graduating from NYU Film School in 1966 and making a number of shorts, he shot his first feature-length film Who’s That Knocking at My Door (1968) with fellow student, actor Harvey Keitel, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker both of whom were to become long-term collaborators. Mean Streets followed in 1973 and provided the benchmarks for the ‘Scorsese style’. After Scorsese directed Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the trio was reunited for the dark journey of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. After New York, New York Scorsese released Raging Bull. The acclaimed biography of middleweight fighter Jake LaMotta was followed by exploration of fans as pariah in The King of Comedy, dark-comic dreams in After Hours and pool sharks in The Color of Money. Scorsese outraged some religious… read more
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Mondo’s new Taxi Driver poster, Richard Brody & James Gray remember Ric Menello, Rosenbaum is Moving Places again & more.
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Taxi Driver in 2’14".
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Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader’s seminal neo psych-noir, conjured from the mean streets of New York, provided American cinema with a nightmarish, hallucinogenic jolt to the system, ably partnered… read review
The character of Travis Bickle is not so much outraged at the signs of social and physical decay around him as he is frustrated that he no longer knows anything else. He’s also conflicted, attracted… read review
Robert De Niro’s legendary performance of Travis Bickle is what makes Taxi Driver as good as it is. The performance is unparallel to anything he or anyone else has ever done, and it’s done so powerfully… read review