R, 120 minutes
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle
In a new partnership with the Revue, The Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival presents a 40th anniversary screening of Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver, followed by a panel discussion on the film's depiction of mental illness.
Every bit as powerful, dark and unsettling today as was when it opened forty years ago, Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver remains a towering inside-out examination of psychosis and alienation, a depiction of New York City at the nadir of its pre-Guliani urban decay, and perhaps the last great emanation of the brief period in Hollywood history when young directors worked with unprecedented freedom to craft personal visions of the world as they saw it.
And what Scorsese saw was a kind of hell. Inspired equally by the 1972 assassination attempt on Governor George Wallace by the delusional Arthur Bremer, John Ford's The Searchers, film noir, vigilante pulp movies and screenwriter Paul Schrader's own experiences as a hack with depression, Taxi Driver was unprecedented for its immersion into the mind of its 'hero', the Vietnam veteran who drives through the city at night, possessed by visions of a fallen world in need of a saviour, terminally dissociated from the reality around him and percolating with visions of violence and Biblical retribution. Shot as a kind of impressionistic fever dream by Michael Chapman, scored to the surging, unsettling strains of the great Bernard Hermann, and featuring Robert De Niro in one of the decade's most iconic performances, the movie sprung upon the mid-70s zeitgeist like a panther. One of the unlikeliest hits of the year between Jaws and Star Wars, Taxi Driver still looms as a sui generis masterpiece of the cinema of first-person madness.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion led by festival programmer Geoff Pevere and Dr. Bruce Ballon, who has a particular interest in pop culture’s depiction of mental disorders.
Special event pricing: General $13 Members/Students/Seniors $10. Buy tickets at taxidriver40.eventbrite.ca.