Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rent this: Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver 1976

Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Peter Boyle, Cybil Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Albert Brooks. Cinematography by Michael Chapman, and excellent old school jazz sountrack by the last great Bernard Hermann, who back in the day scored Citizen Kane.

Taxi Driver remains one of my favorite movies of my favorite decade in film. It has aged surprisingly well. I also realize the film is an acquired taste too, but as for pure storytelling goes and a tour de fore performance, you should be able to admire it as a work of art if anything.

This was only the second collaboration among the many between Scorsese and De Niro, and it's evident that things are working very well between filmmaker and actor. A filmmaking team was born.

The film is a classic characterization of a man living inside his own mind, who feels alienated by society and the streets of New York where he spends most his nights driving a cab in the worst parts of New York City.

De Niro is amazing in the role as off kilter Travis Bickle. A Vietnam Vet having a difficult time ( as many vets ) adjusting to civilian life after the war. He plays Bickle so well that you identify with him in a sort of morbid curious way. Mainly due to the performance by an actor who was just beginning to really hit his stride for what has made him one of the all time best.

There isn't a weak performance in the film, even from a 12 year old Jodie Foster in a bravura performance playing an underage prostitute that Travis feels compelled to save.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards; Best Picture, Actor ( De Niro ), Supporting Actress Foster ) and Original Music ( Hermann ).

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Started to really pay attention to film ( movies ) what was going on in front of the camera, but more interestingly, behind it as well at about as far back as age 10. Motion pictures ( when good ) are a fascinating medium. All the work and prep that goes into filmmaking. It's an amazing process !