Taxi Driver: Special Edition

August 15, 2007

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Out: August 13th 

If you don’t own this film, now is the time to buy it. A classic in every respect, from the cinematography down to Robert De Niro’s tour-de-force performance, Taxi Driver brought the ‘nobody dreaming of being somebody’ concept to Hollywood. That’s the tagline in fact. It’s nice (perhaps not nice, but refreshing) to see a New York on screen where the streets aren’t paved with gold and the tramps wear suits. Scorcese’s orginal masterwork pulls into focus a black and gritty part of town, every character a potential timebomb for some grisly events. That’s not to say its a gore-fest; the skill is in creating the constant threat of danger in the air. This lonely taxi driver is walking our streets, living by neighbours oblivious to the plans unfolding in his mind… it’s a nervous, sweaty wait until the pitiful outcast blows his last fuse. Featuring an awesome turn from young Jodie Foster and some of the most quoted lines in cinema history, Taxi Driver is an influential milestone of film, a superb social study of a very familiar and very dangerous character. And it seems ultra-brilliant at this very minute as i’ve just seen Evan Almighty.

The new edition features an impressive selection of extras, including a commentary with writer Paul Schrader and theorist Robert Kolker, author of Cinema Of Loneliness. This and many of the other DVD features look at the social impact and ideas behind the film, and why three decades later it still packs a punch. This brand of analysis is a great companion to the work, avoiding a repeat of the tired ‘making of’ featurette route many so-called re-releases and ‘special editions’ choose to take. With photo galleries, a new Scorcese interview and other vignettes of Taxi Driver culture, this DVD deserves your cash, not least because it’s genuinely one of those movies you will need to keep watching again and again.  

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