Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: dave jenkins on August 01, 2007, 08:14:19 PM



Title: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 01, 2007, 08:14:19 PM
Screen caps comparison here: http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=132805#132805
I'm sure glad I got the superbit . . .


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 01, 2007, 08:25:54 PM
Screen caps comparison here: http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=132805#132805
I'm sure glad I got the superbit . . .

Did the superbit just come out?


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 01, 2007, 11:46:47 PM
No, it came out in Japan about 2 years ago.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 08, 2007, 05:25:48 PM
Wow! http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews18/taxi_driver_dvd_review.htm


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 08, 2007, 07:46:12 PM
Are you picking up the new DVD being released in a couple weeks jenkins?


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 08, 2007, 08:52:22 PM
It's being released in less than a week, and yes, I've just ordered it (from deepdiscount.com). Those extras convinced me.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 08, 2007, 09:31:53 PM
It's being released in less than a week, and yes, I've just ordered it (from deepdiscount.com). Those extras convinced me.

Yeah, the extras do look good. I'm just debating whether I should double dip or not.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 09, 2007, 09:36:26 AM
Well, I bought Criterion's LD back in the day, and then the Japanese superbit DVD. I don't mind buying it again.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: PowerRR on August 09, 2007, 09:50:32 AM
Taxi Driver is one of my favorite films, but the quality upgrade from my version isn't all too much better, I never listen to commentaries, and I already have the 'making of' feature.

I'd really only be paying for the 17 minutes featurette, slightly better video quality, and an awesome case. Not worth it for me yet.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 09, 2007, 10:28:44 AM
Unless you already own the Superbit, the new disc does provide an image upgrade. The real question is, Should we wait for the Blu-ray? It's a difficult question to answer, since Taxi Driver was intentionally filmed to appear gritty. How well will the new format serve that look? Might the Blu-ray disc make everything appear too clean? I guess we won't know until it's released.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 09, 2007, 10:57:13 AM
Unless you already own the Superbit, the new disc does provide an image upgrade. The real question is, Should we wait for the Blu-ray? It's a difficult question to answer, since Taxi Driver was intentionally filmed to appear gritty. How well will the new format serve that look? Might the Blu-ray disc make everything appear too clean? I guess we won't know until it's released.

Yeah, Taxi Driver is one of those films that I love the gritty look to it. A Blu-Ray or HD upgrade doesn't really impress me that much here.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on September 10, 2007, 08:53:10 PM
For the people who recently picked up the SPECIAL EDITION; How are the extra's?


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 27, 2009, 10:57:11 PM
Taxi Driver
Watched it 3 times in two or three days:

- the regular film
 (9/10 as i wrote the other day)


- with the audio commentary by Paul Schrader
 very interesting. Schrader doesn't speak that much, but what he says is pretty smart and since he is the writer, you tend to trust him when it comes to "travis does this because of that". The commentary is also full of annecdotes about Schrader's life when he wrote this, the making of the film and what ideas come from who. A few good points about Scorsese too.

- with the audio commentary by Robert Kolker
 quite interesting... but flawed. Kolker knows about Scorsese, that's a fact. And he analyses almost avery single shot of the movie. Most of the time, he's right, and he made me notice many things, technics and influences. But he sometimes (whithout knowing it) contradicts Schrader about interpretations of some scenes. Other times, he just over-analyses things, which leads him to go too far. I mean many people are tempted to do such things, especialy with such a strange film like Taxi Driver, and i have no problem with that. Still, when you have the scriptwriter of the movie interpretating the whole movie on the same DVD, you tend to believe the scriptwriter. The last flaw is that he fully follows the Auteur Theory (that's for Jenkins), and tends to attribute everything to Scorsese. Even things that were already in the original script (not the shooting one). All in all, it is still a great and indepth introduction to "the intellectual rigourness" (dixit Schrader) of Scorsese on that film.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 29, 2009, 03:28:48 PM
Still, when you have the scriptwriter of the movie interpretating the whole movie on the same DVD, you tend to believe the scriptwriter. The last flaw is that he fully follows the Auteur Theory (that's for Jenkins), and tends to attribute everything to Scorsese. Even things that were already in the original script (not the shooting one).
Well, that points up the problem right there.

For the record, I don't discount an auteurist approach when it's warranted. Bergman is an auteur, Herzog is an auteur. But they work with small crews on personal projects over which they exercise complete control. With large-scale filmmaking, the individual stamp a creator puts on his work becomes diluted. Hitchcock and Leone, for example, strike me as semi-auteurs: they are somewhat at the mercy of other creators with whom they collaborate (their scriptwriters, their composers) but they nonetheless maintain something over the course of their work that is distinctively theirs. Then there are the total industry hacks--the Ron Howards and Joel Schumakers--whose films are polished by interchangeable. I also think the semi-auteurs have a consistent message they--consciously or not--put over, so I'm not sure people like Scorsese or Kubrick or Huston qualify for what I'm calling the semi-auteur. They obviously aren't hacks, but they really aren't coming at us with a consistent vision. I note that the 3 directors just named have done a good deal of literary adaptation--so, in the nature of the case, they are interpreters rather than auteurs. Needless to say, they are no less the artists for being so.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 29, 2009, 03:45:12 PM
Well, that points up the problem right there.

For the record, I don't discount an auteurist approach when it's warranted. Bergman is an auteur, Herzog is an auteur. But they work with small crews on personal projects over which they exercise complete control. With large-scale filmmaking, the individual stamp a creator puts on his work becomes diluted. Hitchcock and Leone, for example, strike me as semi-auteurs: they are somewhat at the mercy of other creators with whom they collaborate (their scriptwriters, their composers) but they nonetheless maintain something over the course of their work that is distinctively theirs. Then there are the total industry hacks--the Ron Howards and Joel Schumakers--whose films are polished by interchangeable. I also think the semi-auteurs have a consistent message they--consciously or not--put over, so I'm not sure people like Scorsese or Kubrick or Huston qualify for what I'm calling the semi-auteur. They obviously aren't hacks, but they really aren't coming at us with a consistent vision. I note that the 3 directors just named have done a good deal of literary adaptation--so, in the nature of the case, they are interpreters rather than auteurs. Needless to say, they are no less the artists for being so.

Yes... but you definition includes people like Scorsese in the "semi-auteur" group. His consistent vision is far more integrated to almost each of his movies than Leone's one.
Same for Kubrick (maybe less obvious): he partipated enough to his scripts to be at least a semi-auteur.

However, the point is: all in all, I agree.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 11, 2011, 11:53:06 AM
Let there be Blu: http://thedigitalbits.com/articles/taxidriver/interview.html

That link is gone. This works, though:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Taxi-Driver-Blu-ray/1105/


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 03, 2013, 12:20:20 PM
Interesting comment on the new "4K Blu-ray" over at bluray.com:
Quote
Of all the films to release under the "special" "Mastered in 4K" banner, Taxi Driver may be the most befuddling. It's not that it doesn't look fantastic -- it most certainly does -- but the film recently enjoyed a "Mastered in 4K" release back in April 2011. The only exterior difference? The old release doesn't tout the "4K" transfer all over the front of the box. The only nitty-gritty actual picture quality differences? Not many. Direct comparison of replay on a standard 1080p monitor reveals, at best, only a very small difference in color, with this specially branded "Mastered in 4K" release enjoying an ever-so-slightly deeper, more accurate, more vibrant palette. The transfer also enjoys a higher bitrate -- the entirety of the disc is devoted to the film, whereas the previous release housed quite a few supplements alongside the film -- which helps in revealing the absolute finest little nuanced details and colors and grain elements to look just a tad bit sharper, more pronounced, and more natural than the previous release. So this release does offer a marginally improved picture, but not so much that it warrants an upgrade save for the wealthiest and most demanding videophiles who must see Taxi Driver in the very finest presentation currently available. All of the comments from the older transfer apply here; just take the previous five-blue-B score add another .01 to the tally. Most aren't going to notice the difference, particularly those without Sony's new "Ultra 4K" monitors that upscale the material and are capable of revealing a greater color space.



Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: T.H. on June 04, 2013, 06:23:25 PM
That's really odd they would even bother to upgrade that transfer, which is reference quality imo.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 05, 2013, 09:02:33 AM
Well, they're marketing a new line of "4K" titles, and they need as many reference quality discs as they can. And there are always suckers.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: cigar joe on April 20, 2015, 06:46:53 AM
Taxi Driver (1976) On a rewatch -Almost all shot at night, steam/fog, rainy streets, voice over, alienated & obsessed protagonist, Times Square, 42nd Street, Manhattan.... doesn't get much more Noir than this, and I bet most wouldn't think of this as a Neo Noir, 9/10 only because I didn't quite buy Jody Foster in her role. I think a Rosanna Arquette or Ellen Barkin may have been more convincing. Great Bernard Herman score.  O0 O0 O0


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 20, 2015, 07:28:41 AM
Taxi Driver (1976) On a rewatch -Almost all shot at night, steam/fog, rainy streets, voice over, alienated & obsessed protagonist, Times Square, 42nd Street, Manhattan.... doesn't get much more Noir than this . . .
Michael. Chapman.

He doesn't get enough credit for the things he's shot.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 20, 2015, 10:29:41 AM
I'm pretty sure anyone who makes a list of neo-noir would include TAXI DRIVER. If not that, what?
There are probably a lot less books/discussions/lists of neo-noir than noir, but I can't see any list of neo-noir not including TAXI DRIVER. When discussing this movie, the word neo-noir may not hit your lips as instantly as it would if you were discussing, say, CHINATOWN, but no doubt TAXI DRIVER is as neo-noir as anything else.
If it's true that some people don't include it on their neo-noir lists, maybe it is because Scorsese isn't known as a neo-noir director (in a way, just like Hitch wasn't known as a noir director, though if you view each of Hitch's films on its own, some would be considered noir.)


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: cigar joe on April 20, 2015, 10:52:16 AM
I'm pretty sure anyone who makes a list of neo-noir would include TAXI DRIVER. If not that, what?
There are probably a lot less books/discussions/lists of neo-noir than noir, but I can't see any list of neo-noir not including TAXI DRIVER. When discussing this movie, the word neo-noir may not hit your lips as instantly as it would if you were discussing, say, CHINATOWN, but no doubt TAXI DRIVER is as neo-noir as anything else.
If it's true that some people don't include it on their neo-noir lists, maybe it is because Scorsese isn't known as a neo-noir director (in a way, just like Hitch wasn't known as a noir director, though if you view each of Hitch's films on its own, some would be considered noir.)


It's probably the "it is because Scorsese isn't known as a neo-noir director" factor I'm sure


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: PowerRR on April 20, 2015, 08:18:39 PM
Michael. Chapman.

He doesn't get enough credit for the things he's shot.
Space Jam!


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Dust Devil on April 22, 2015, 08:13:00 AM
Taxi Driver (1976) On a rewatch -Almost all shot at night, steam/fog, rainy streets, voice over, alienated & obsessed protagonist, Times Square, 42nd Street, Manhattan.... doesn't get much more Noir than this, and I bet most wouldn't think of this as a Neo Noir, 9/10 only because I didn't quite buy Jody Foster in her role. I think a Rosanna Arquette or Ellen Barkin may have been more convincing. Great Bernard Herman score.  O0 O0 O0

I don't quite buy it a s (neo) noir but I must tell you cj: I think, upon multiple revisits, that TD is perhaps the greatest movie ever made. Seriously, I ain't kidding.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: PowerRR on April 22, 2015, 04:47:16 PM
I don't quite buy it a s (neo) noir but I must tell you cj: I think, upon multiple revisits, that TD is perhaps the greatest movie ever made. Seriously, I ain't kidding.
It's more or less the reason I became enormous movie nerd. If not for Taxi Driver, I feel like I'd still be playing video games like 7th grade Roy.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 23, 2015, 02:33:23 AM
Taxi Driver has as many iconic scenes/lines/characters/moments as any movie ever, but somehow, when you put it all together, it's not one of my all-time faves. I mean, I give it a solid rating (8.5/10) and always enjoy it, but somehow, if I was told I was gonna die and could see 25 movies before I go, this wouldn't be near the top of my list. There's nothing I'd criticize in it, but it just doesn't "speak" to me as it does to so many other people. I could see myself changing my mind on this one day, as I see it more. And I do see it quite often the movies I see most often are those considered classic but which I don't love, because every time they play on TV I tell myself, "Let me watch it again, maybe I'll see what everyone loves in it." So those are often the movies I watch the most. For three years, I didn't miss a showing of Citizen Kane on TCM (and they play it at least three times a year) until I finally came around to loving it. Maybe one day I'll feel Taxi Driver is a great movie. Now, I merely say it is very good  ;)


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: cigar joe on April 23, 2015, 05:50:03 AM
Taxi Driver has as many iconic scenes/lines/characters/moments as any movie ever, but somehow, when you put it all together, it's not one of my all-time faves. I mean, I give it a solid rating (8.5/10) and always enjoy it, but somehow, if I was told I was gonna die and could see 25 movies before I go, this wouldn't be near the top of my list. There's nothing I'd criticize in it, but it just doesn't "speak" to me as it does to so many other people. I could see myself changing my mind on this one day, as I see it more. And I do see it quite often the movies I see most often are those considered classic but which I don't love, because every time they play on TV I tell myself, "Let me watch it again, maybe I'll see what everyone loves in it." So those are often the movies I watch the most. For three years, I didn't miss a showing of Citizen Kane on TCM (and they play it at least three times a year) until I finally came around to loving it. Maybe one day I'll feel Taxi Driver is a great movie. Now, I merely say it is very good  ;)

For me its the Jody factor, actually Cybill Shepherd would have been better as Iris, Jody Foster looks ridiculous in her outfits she almost hunches along clomping about on platform heels like a farm girl with a big floppy hat (perhaps that's look Scorsese wanted)  ;D


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 23, 2015, 06:41:41 AM
For three years, I didn't miss a showing of Citizen Kane on TCM (and they play it at least three times a year) until I finally came around to loving it.
It's interesting that you mention CK whilst talking about TD, because they both suffer from the same affliction: an unsympathetic lead character. Yeah, there are things about CFK and TB that make them entertaining, fun to watch, etc. but at the end of the day they aren't people you can admire or wish to emulate. That's why I prefer films with real heroes: LoA, A Man For All Seasons, OUATITW. I enjoy those films so much more. And while I can appreciate the artistry in something like TD--especially the photography and the score--it's the films with the better heroes I tend to revisit more often.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 23, 2015, 07:15:28 AM
It's interesting that you mention CK whilst talking about TD, because they both suffer from the same affliction: an unsympathetic lead character. Yeah, there are things about CFK and TB that make them entertaining, fun to watch, etc. but at the end of the day they aren't people you can admire or wish to emulate. That's why I prefer films with real heroes: LoA, A Man For All Seasons, OUATITW. I enjoy those films so much more. And while I can appreciate the artistry in something like TD--especially the photography and the score--it's the films with the better heroes I tend to revisit more often.

yeah, well that's why you don't like gangster films; whether or not you like a character as if they were in real life is important to you.

To me, what's important (among other things) is whether or not I like watching the character. In real life I despise gangsters but in a movie, if I enjoy watching Cagney or Pacino or whoever whether as a gangster or another character I don't care if these are characters I wouldn't like in real life. Movies aren't real life. And I enjoy watching Travis Bickle very much.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 23, 2015, 07:21:25 AM
For me its the Jody factor, actually Cybill Shepherd would have been better as Iris, Jody Foster looks ridiculous in her outfits she almost hunches along clomping about on platform heels like a farm girl with a big floppy hat (perhaps that's look Scorsese wanted)  ;D

I have no problem with Jody here. Having Cybill Shepherd as the whore would completely defeat the purpose. The whore is supposed to be clearly underage and therefore in need of 'rescuing.' Not that some adult whores aren't being held against their will, but having the underage element makes it a whole different story you root for Travis to succeed in killing all the men there and rescuing her. In the rescuing-the-whore incident, Travis is the most normal of all the men. And Jody is supposed to look ridiculous like a whore. Just like Harvey Keitel is supposed to look ridiculous as the pimp.

I think that ultimately what doesn't allow me to love this movie like other people do is that I can't relate to the theme or maybe I can't relate to the character's thoughts. Maybe I really am lonely and just can't admit it. I don't know. But I can't relate to Travis's crazed shit.
I'm not agreeing with DJ here that what is important is liking the character; I'm saying maybe people people who love this movie are people who can relate to it more.
I'm really not sure why I don't love it. It's got great pieces but somehow the whole doesn't add up for me to a great whole. Just a very good one.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: cigar joe on April 23, 2015, 09:28:30 AM
I have no problem with Jody here. Having Cybill Shepherd as the whore would completely defeat the purpose. The whore is supposed to be clearly underage and therefore in need of 'rescuing.' Not that some adult whores aren't being held against their will, but having the underage element makes it a whole different story you root for Travis to succeed in killing all the men there and rescuing her. In the rescuing-the-whore incident, Travis is the most normal of all the men. And Jody is supposed to look ridiculous like a whore. Just like Harvey Keitel is supposed to look ridiculous as the pimp.

I think that ultimately what doesn't allow me to love this movie like other people do is that I can't relate to the theme or maybe I can't relate to the character's thoughts. Maybe I really am lonely and just can't admit it. I don't know. But I can't relate to Travis's crazed shit.
I'm not agreeing with DJ here that what is important is liking the character; I'm saying maybe people people who love this movie are people who can relate to it more.
I'm really not sure why I don't love it. It's got great pieces but somehow the whole doesn't add up for me to a great whole. Just a very good one.

There used to be a lot of whores around Times Square right on East 47th Street, none looked like Foster  ;D


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 23, 2015, 12:59:27 PM
What about pimps lookin' like Harvey Keitel? Of course, the character was originally written to be black, but PC Marty couldn't go that route.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 23, 2015, 01:16:26 PM
Actually, I believe Keitel specifically requested that role. In the original script the pimp was a very small role; when Scorsese offered Keitel a part, Keitel asked for the pimp part, did lots of research with real-life pimps, and the part was expanded.
I know that the part was originally written for a black - and I vaguely recall some interview somewhere where it was mentioned that this woulda caused conntroversy, but  ultimately I wonder if Scorsese wouldn't have cast a black if Keitel hadn't requested the part.

As it is, Keitel's is probably the most famous character other than De Niro's.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: cigar joe on April 23, 2015, 02:19:24 PM
What about pimps lookin' like Harvey Keitel? Of course, the character was originally written to be black, but PC Marty couldn't go that route.

You never saw the pimps out on the streets, not like the hookers.  ^-^


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Dust Devil on April 24, 2015, 06:23:26 AM
It's interesting that you mention CK whilst talking about TD, because they both suffer from the same affliction: an unsympathetic lead character. Yeah, there are things about CFK and TB that make them entertaining, fun to watch, etc. but at the end of the day they aren't people you can admire or wish to emulate. That's why I prefer films with real heroes: LoA, A Man For All Seasons, OUATITW. I enjoy those films so much more. And while I can appreciate the artistry in something like TD--especially the photography and the score--it's the films with the better heroes I tend to revisit more often.

Au contraire, au contraire.

To claim the main problem (if we can call it such)  is an ''unsympathetic lead character'' must be as far from the truth as it could be.

The problem is the main character in TD (and CK) is too real for most people to chew on. He reminds them too much of their own fears and social inadequacies than they wish to look and find in themselves, so they rather indulge in self-delusional overspiced caricatures such as Lawrences and the rest. I say read superhero comics for that.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Dust Devil on April 24, 2015, 06:41:02 AM
Besides, I didn't have a problem neither with JF nor HK - I though they were perfect for what they were meant to represent, which isn't just a whore and a pimp. Iris represents a very distilled solution of what is the basis of Western puberty/adolescent development psychology, and ironically - though much harder to decrypt - Sport as well, while Travis is somewhere in the middle, in limbo, he acts more as glue than a main/leading character, a navigating agent. Otherwise, if this isn't true, how can he know the things he does (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxmPzFQe63w) , if he's such an emotional fuck-up?


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Dust Devil on April 24, 2015, 06:43:35 AM
Sport was supposed to be black... are you kidding me, that bothers you, what would that change in essence? I really fail to see. 'Authenticity' maybe? - Please.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: Groggy on April 27, 2015, 05:32:46 PM
Also, "PC" wasn't really a thing in the '70s.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 28, 2015, 07:05:54 AM
Marty was always ahead of the curve.


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 27, 2016, 12:01:21 PM
guy who shot Reagan, as an expression of love to Jodie Foster inspired by Taxi Driver, set to go free

AP: http://goo.gl/k7lmD

Washington Post: https://goo.gl/be9CPt


Title: Taxi Driver (1976) New York Neo Noir Masterpiece
Post by: cigar joe on September 01, 2016, 01:31:29 PM
(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JDmrA60bivI/V7x-ERt78fI/AAAAAAAAFN8/AnSZPhQDGsAmacqWcLc6NCIIXIsuyMlngCLcB/s320/TD%2Bposter.jpg)

Directed by Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull (1980), After Hours (1985), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995)), written by Paul Schrader (Hardcore (1979), Raging Bull (1980)), cinematography by Michael Chapman (Hardcore (1979), ), Music by the legendary Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane (1941), On Dangerous Ground (1951), Psycho (1960), Cape Fear (1962).

The film stars Robert De Niro (Raging Bull (1980), Angel Heart (1987)) as Travis Bickle, Jodie
Foster (The Silence of the Lambs (1991)) as hooker Iris, Harvey Keitel (The Two Jakes (1990), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Bad Lieutenant (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), ) as the pimp Sport, Cybill Shepherd (The Last Picture Show (1971)) as Betsy, Albert Brooks as Tom, Leonard Harris as Charles Palantine, Peter Boyle (The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), Hardcore (1979), Hammett (1982)) as Wizard, Harry Northup as Doughboy, Norman Matlock (Across 110th Street (1972)) as Charlie T, Martin Scorsese as Passenger Watching Silhouette, Steven Prince as Andy - Gun Salesman, Diahnne Abbott as Concession Girl, Bob Maroff as the Mafioso and finally New York City circa 1976.

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6yeVUo4NSa0/V8UAmw0EGsI/AAAAAAAAFPA/K44mpUiWX3gUROJtx_Q4hajPj2agkg6OQCEw/s640/Checker%2BTaxi%2BDriver%2B%25281975%2529.jpg)

The film and credits start with a cloud of steam hissing into the wet night on a Manhattan street.
Bernard Herman's dual score begins with stylized discordant city sounds that slowly build tension, punctuated by a pulsing beat that's ratchet sprung. The pressure is getting jacked. A yellow Checker Cab glides through the frame, dispersing the vapor and exposing the city.

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eNKbNFISjDw/V8UAm1BB2EI/AAAAAAAAFO8/EDzfjIxHss0X4uUtsaxJ4xXI4plKSKkbACEw/s640/Travis%2Bfirst%2Bview%2BTaxi%2BDriver%2B%25281975%2529.jpg)

We see a closeup of a pair of observing eyes and then segue to what they see.

The score now changes to a classy brassy iconic motif for New York City it's along the lines of Alfred Newman's "Streetscene" a score that was reused for a handful of classic 20th Century Fox New York based Noir. Our view simultaneously changes we see a New York through Classic Hollywood "tinted" glasses in the subsequent sequences the city is a dreamscape of Broadway lights, chase lit theater marquee, and streetlamps floating through the blurry sheen of rain on a Checker windshield. Neon lights shine and reflect off wet pavement, passing vehicles and drops of rain on plate glass.

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YbMnfVygdhM/V8UBH1r-qbI/AAAAAAAAFPE/tOZVcVwl_W4Idv52RWWnyZRi41B--c3XACLcB/s640/Noirish%2B01%2BTaxi%2BDriver%2B%25281976%2529.jpg)

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UK4MmkYY-sk/V8UBHwl9e9I/AAAAAAAAFPI/1B0_eZs5eCUTGdCQMX2mPe1rPmTr247GgCLcB/s640/Noirish%2BTaxi%2BDriver%2B%25281976%2529.jpg)

The film is full of gorgeously stylish musical interludes showcasing timeless impressions of New York City.

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SqIAm5hDORg/V8UBaG9zqDI/AAAAAAAAFPM/sVABexWQp8ocgB8cWNLSe1HraQfrJV8MgCLcB/s640/Travis%2BTaxi%2BDriver%2B%25281975%2529.jpg)
Travis (De Niro)

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Travis Bickle is an alienated ex-jarhead who follows his dream and comes to New York, but New York isn't for everyone it's real not a fantasy. Travis is wound a bit too tight, he's a nut job, a psychotic, he can't quite go with the flow or melt in the pot. Pill popping habitually chills him out, and insomnia keeps him awake, he walks the streets guzzling peach brandy, he rides the subways, the busses, he crashes and burns in 24 hr porno grindhouse theaters. He figures that if he's doing anyway, he might as well get paid for it. Travis applies and becomes The Taxi Driver. In a contemporary semi-hard boiled manner Travis narrates the  thoughts and feelings that he writes in his diary. His personality and the musical motifs, phasing from wistful dreamer to disgusted realist, are in mesmerising accompaniment to the triggering images that flow past his cab windows.

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Travis Bickle: Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man

The tension continues to escalate, The days go on and don't end, the score transitions into the slow methodical haunting beat of an ancient war drum. You get the impression that when the drum stops you know something is going to happen.

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Travis Bickle: All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go
all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no
difference to me. It does to some. Some won't even take spooks. Don't make no difference to me.

Travis manages to find a relief valve is the form of a beautiful angel named Betsy. Betsy is dream girl, she's proper, looks like a sorority sister, a booster, a princess. She works for presidential candidate Charles Palantine in a temporary office. Travis is infatuated. Travis is obsessed.

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Betsy...They... cannot... touch... her. (Shepherd)

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Travis Bickle: I first saw her at Palantine Campaign headquarters at 63rd and Broadway. She was wearing a white dress. She appeared like an angel. Out of this filthy mess, she is alone. They... cannot... touch... her.

It's his destiny, but he tries too hard, he comes on too strong. He volunteers or Palantine. Betsy is intrigued though, Travis knows what he wants and she is flattered. They meet then make a date.

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exit from porn theater

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Betsy gives Travis the brush

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Travis left to the whores and skunk pussies

continued....


Title: Re: Taxi Driver (1976) New York Neo Noir Masterpiece
Post by: cigar joe on September 01, 2016, 01:32:01 PM
continuing....

Clueless Travis takes her to a pornflick, she balks at the box office but Travis tells her that it's not
that kind of movie and that a lot of couples go. She goes in reluctantly. But it is that kind of movie. Betsy doesn't kink that way. Betsy dumps him on the sidewalk and leaves in a cab. Travis is distraught, he tries calling, he sends flowers, they come back, finally he stomps into the office for a final confrontation. He's asked to leave and he tells Betsy that she is like all the rest of them.

The war drum beat begins again. The daily grind. Travis is boiling. Travis is nearing a tipping point. He confides to Wizard that he has this irresistible impulse, he's going to do something. He's got bad ideas in his head. He's going to break bad. Wizard doesn't pick up on this feeble cry for help. In Travis's hate for Betsy he's fixating on Palantine. Assassinating him will hurt Betsy.

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"I'm gonna do something"

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Wizard (Boyle) and Travis (De Niro)

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"Are you talking to me"?

Travis gets a connected with a gun salesman from fellow cabbie Doughboy. Travis purchases a personal mini arsenal, a .44 magnum, a .38 snubnose, a Colt .25 automatic, and a .380 Walther. He also straps a knife with tape to his boot.

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Iris (Foster)

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Travis and Sport (Keitel)

A new quasi outlet appears in the form of teenage hooker named Iris who climbs quickly into his cab one night in the East Village. Before Travis pulls out, Sport a pimp drags Iris forcefully out of the cab. Travis' new dream is to try to save Iris, to be her knight in shining armor. Travis begins to cruise the East Village watching for Iris. When he finally finds her he pays for her services but instead of sex he tries to get her to split from Sport. Iris is reluctant to leave, she doesn't want to go home frustrating Travis. He makes a date for breakfast the next day and he tells her that he may be going away for a while

Travis writes a letter to Iris at his apartment saying he will soon be dead, and the money he's putting in the envelope is for her to return home, but Travis's attempt to kill Palantine is aborted by the Secret Service, so he goes to plan two and heads for the East Village whorehouse to "save" Iris.

Of course it all goes Noirsville in a very twisted way.

[size=140pt]Noirsville [/size][/b]

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Lt. to Rt. Charley T (Matlock) Wizard (Boyle), Doughboy (Northup), Travis (De Niro)

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The cast is perfect, De Niro's universal hayseed in shitkickers, Travis, is thoroughly believable. His fellow cabbies, Wizard (Boyle), Doughboy (Northup), Charlie T (Matlock) add touches of comic relief. Cybill Shepherd, is excellent the caste campaign worker Betsy. Jodie Foster nails the part of Iris, though she comes off a bit too gawky looking for a streetwalker. Harvey Keitel plays a believable Pimp. He as a sequence with Iris where he displays his sweet talking, silver tongued devil, charm to control her. Albert Brooks is Betsy's nerdy, flirting, fellow campaign worker.

Watch for the sequence with director Martin Scorsese as a cab passenger and fellow lunatic, who rants about killing his wayward wife to Travis. She is screwing a black man and they watch the suggestive silhouettes on an apartment window from the cab. As Scorsese talks the transformation on Travis' face as he recognizes a fellow traveler on the road to wingnut-ville is priceless.

Another great sequence is Travis unloading his feelings to Wizard it's shot in the Neo Noir classic red/green clashing color scheme, emphasising the unease. This color scheme is repeated throughout the film in segments where a traffic light shines green or red upon Travis while other light take the opposite color.

Taxi Driver is not the first Noir to employ a taxi driver as the protagonist, John Payne played an ex pug cab driver in 99 River Street (1953), whose wife is cheating on him with a jewel thief. There is also some quotes of Kubrick's Killer's Kiss (1955) in the Times Square sequences and later the V.O. of a letter from Iris's father.

Enough cannot be said for the score. You can eliminated all the dialog and just watch the images accompanied by the music, to me it's New York distilled to its purest essence and on par with Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue. Bravo 10/10 Taxi Driver (1976) New York Neo Noir Masterpiece