Introduction to TAXI DRIVER by DAVID YASSKY (Recorded March 22, 2011)
Thursday, March 8
$7 Member $12.50 Regular
(1976, Martin Scorsese) “You talkin’ to me?” Robert De Niro’s insomniac hack Travis Bickle yearns for a rain that’ll “wash all the scum off the streets,” transforming himself into a mohawked, armed-to-the-teeth avenging angel, meeting his own judgment day in the form of child hooker Jodie Foster and her pimp Harvey Keitel.
"TAXI DRIVER STILL STUNS! Hysterical yet sublime, the movie crystallizes one of the worst moments in New York’s history—the city as America’s pariah, a crime-ridden, fiscally profligate, graffiti-festooned moral cesspool... No nostalgia, though: In other aspects, the world of Taxi Driver is recognizably ours. Libidinal politics, celebrity worship, sexual exploitation, the fetishization of guns and violence, racial stereotyping, the fear of foreigners—not to mention the promise of apocalyptic religion—all remain. Taxi Driver lives. See it again. And try to have a nice day."
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“THE PROPHETIC MASTERPIECE OF THE 1970s! Brilliantly acted and rhapsodically beautiful. TAXI DRIVER will last forever!”
– The New York Times
“ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST POWERFUL OF ALL FILMS!”
– Roger Ebert
“WHAT A MAD AND BRILLIANT FILM IT IS: 1,000-DEGREE PROOF SEVENTIES CINEMA! No other movie can plunge you, so sensuously and so completely, into the forgotten 70s New York of checkered cabs and porno-chic, with all the extraordinary sights and sounds. ROBERT DE NIRO IS ALMOST RADIOACTIVE WITH CHARISMA.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Scorsese put all the city dweller’s irrational, guilty fears into this story of a one-man rampage against the ‘scum’ — pimps, whores, muggers, junkies, and politicians... A delirious, full-color successor to expressionism, in which the cityscape becomes the twisted projection of the protagonist’s mind.”
– Dave Kehr