Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Friday, June 10 - Saturday, June 11
“A vet who takes to nocturnal cab-driving as a distraction from chronic insomnia, Travis Bickle is a casualty of the sex war as well as Vietnam, seeking to ‘rescue’ first Presidential campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) and then juvenile prostitute Iris (12-year-old Jodie Foster, already adept at spinning humiliation into self-reliance) from what he perceives as the cesspit of Manhattan. Scorsese offers a fair bit of support for this perspective, from the banal closed-mindedness of Bickle’s fellow drivers to the director’s own cameo as a murderously jealous passenger.
“Initially, De Niro’s performance is a masterclass in contained indignation and a creepy willingness to be amused; Herrmann’s bluesy saxophone voices Bickle’s world-weary romanticism even as cymbal and snare crescendos hint at seismic ructions rumbling underneath. Once set on a course of self-aggrandising retribution, the score echoes his determination, with martial horns and drums unnervingly offset by the hysterical harp of a self-appointed avenging angel. Yet when the metal trap into which Bickle has translated his body is sprung, the resulting carnage – still horrific two decades on – unfolds without music, before Scorsese ushers us into a profoundly unsettling coda. New York may have changed, but TAXI DRIVER is as powerful and painful as ever.” – Time Out (London)R,