Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

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Cash Flagg
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#76 Post by Cash Flagg » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:14 pm

hearthesilence wrote:New Taxi Driver restoration to premiere at Berlinale....perhaps THIS is something that will be used for an upcoming (and long f-ing delayed) Blu-Ray edition?
April 5th, according to the Amazon pre-order.

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arsonfilms
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#77 Post by arsonfilms » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:44 pm

Person wrote:I wonder if Michael Chapman was involved. The reds of the blood were dialled down during the answer print in 1976 but if they could be finally realised in our gizmo age, we'd all be happy. Maybe.
My understanding of this is that the reds were desaturated at the MPAA's request to achieve an R rating. When the saturation came down the contrast went up though, which meant that even the shadows looked like blood, making the whole ending even more gruesome. They may have been forced into the desaturation, but I thought that Chapman and Scorsese were pleased by the effect. I'd be very surprised if they chose to reevaluate the color timing.

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#78 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:08 pm

arsonfilms wrote:When the saturation came down the contrast went up though, which meant that even the shadows looked like blood, making the whole ending even more gruesome. They may have been forced into the desaturation, but I thought that Chapman and Scorsese were pleased by the effect. I'd be very surprised if they chose to reevaluate the color timing.
I seem to recall hearing that Scorsese liked the desaturated effect but Chapman wished it could be reverted back to its original state.

While we're on the subject, does anyone know what ended the Scorsese/Chapman work relationship? Their collaborations were really wonderful, but Chapman seemed ousted for Michael Ballhaus and Robert Richardson (not that I'm complaining about them).

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Dylan
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#79 Post by Dylan » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:31 pm

Professor Wagstaff wrote:I seem to recall hearing that Scorsese liked the desaturated effect but Chapman wished it could be reverted back to its original state
So does make-up artist Dick Smith, who has stated a number of times that it was some of his most realistic work until the colors were desaturated.

I'm not sure Scorsese was ever happy with the desaturation. I get the impression he just seems to cope with it, while Chapman and Smith (and others) are more vocal about their preference for the original footage.

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Person
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#80 Post by Person » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:42 am

Blood is red. Curiosity aroused when it is brown.

To see a child as a money-hole, a hooker, a cunt, a piece of abuse is more disturbing. But I just wondered if the refurbishment of 35 elements was spotted by by the man who made them. Who cares. It's all illusion anyway.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#81 Post by zedz » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:02 pm

Professor Wagstaff wrote:While we're on the subject, does anyone know what ended the Scorsese/Chapman work relationship? Their collaborations were really wonderful, but Chapman seemed ousted for Michael Ballhaus and Robert Richardson (not that I'm complaining about them).
I know almost nothing about this subject, except that I think Scorsese chose Ballhaus for After Hours because he needed somebody who could work extremely fast and extremely cheap, but still deliver complex set-ups and camera movements, and Ballhaus's experience with Fassbinder ticked every box. From what I understand, Scorsese liked this way of working and continued the relationship.


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Jeff
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#83 Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:06 pm

It is absolutely one of the best commentary tracks ever recorded, and its absence made none of the DVDs feel like a definitive release, which this Blu-ray release certainly does. I notice that Sony is trumpeting the fact that it was the track recorded for Criterion in their press release. It should be a major selling point. I imagine that the current Sony licensing agreement with Criterion had something to do with acquiring it.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#84 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:09 pm

That's made this a certain buy for me, I'm tired of syncing up my mp3 of that damn commentary.

I hope this isn't a one off situation, as Raging Bull was- if more lost Criterion LD commentaries got attached to things, that would be fantastic.

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Jeff
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#85 Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:17 pm

This is already being discussed in the Amazon thread, but in this case, it bears repeating here. This new, loaded, 4K-sourced Blu-ray is currently available for pre-order for $12.99 (nearly 50% off MSRP).

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#86 Post by Jeff » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:19 am


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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#87 Post by MoonlitKnight » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:51 pm

Jeff wrote:This is already being discussed in the Amazon thread, but in this case, it bears repeating here. This new, loaded, 4K-sourced Blu-ray is currently available for pre-order for $12.99 (nearly 50% off MSRP).

\:D/ \:D/


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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#89 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:10 am

Saw the restoration at an AMC theatre tonight and thought it looked beautiful. It was strange, as I've always watched Taxi Driver and focused on the lurid, uglieness of the city and this time around I couldn't help thinking of those same images as being gorgeous with their sharp picture and vivid color (like the porno marquees, the pimp outfits, or Iris's place).

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#90 Post by aox » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:21 am


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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#91 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:27 pm

My Taxi Driver blu showed up today, and I was pleasantly surprised by the packaging- from the picture on Amazon, I was expecting a little nothing cardboard thing like the special edition DVD had, but it's a really thick, well made, pleasant to hold digipack. I have no idea of what I'm supposed to do with the little movie postcard pictures that come with it, but they're nice, I guess.

There are goddamn BD-Live ads on the menu screen, though, which is kind of infuriating.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#92 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:18 pm

I can't be the only one who tried to think of what book they ordered before opening the packing envelope for this-- it weighs a ton!

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#93 Post by Jeff » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:19 pm

domino harvey wrote:I can't be the only one who tried to think of what book they ordered before opening the packing envelope for this-- it weighs a ton!
I had the exact same experience. Packaging is somewhat similar to Universal's Legacy Book DVD series (specifically like the To Kill a Mockingbird set). It eats a pretty good-sized chunk of shelf real estate, but it's definitely a quality set. I can't reiterate enough what an incredible deal this is. $13 for a great film in a stunning transfer with a package of supplements as good as anything Criterion has ever done. Sony deserves some kind of award for the care they put into this. It's perfect.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#94 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:46 pm

This is the best value, excluding price mistakes, for a release date media purchase that I can remember. Gorgeous packaging, although I wish that studios could at least make an effort to get the height and depth of Blu special edition packages under control - this looks absurd next to the rest of my alphabetically shelved Blu-rays.

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Der Spieler
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#95 Post by Der Spieler » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:36 am

The only complaint I may have, and it's almost ridiculous to point out, is against the glued paper piece with the extras listed. I would've thought of a better way to present them. But it's not really important as this package isone of the greatest I ever owned.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#96 Post by Roger Ryan » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:17 pm

Just a mention that the "1986" recording date for the Criterion commentary track (featured in the Blu-ray promotion and on the disc's menu) can't possibly be correct. Scorsese references both THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and GOODFELLAS in his comments, specifically saying that the latter (his "most recent" film) is one of the few works he can watch in its entirety without becoming frustrated. This would appear to date the actual commentary recording to no earlier than late 1990.

This is a great track, by the way, and I'm very pleased to have it added for the Blu-ray release. As others have mentioned, the restoration is wonderful and the package is packed with extras, making it a tremendous bargain at $13.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#97 Post by greggster59 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:51 am

Roger Ryan wrote:Just a mention that the "1986" recording date for the Criterion commentary track (featured in the Blu-ray promotion and on the disc's menu) can't possibly be correct. Scorsese references both THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and GOODFELLAS in his comments, specifically saying that the latter (his "most recent" film) is one of the few works he can watch in its entirety without becoming frustrated. This would appear to date the actual commentary recording to no earlier than late 1990.
You are correct. I think it was 1991. I remember hanging out at Laserland when the manager unboxed the shipment. The commentary was a high water mark, even for Criterion. The best director commentaries I ever heard came from Scorsese and Terry Gilliam during the laser disc days.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#98 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:54 am

That track, and Gilliam's on the Fisher King, were two of the only ones worth taking the trouble to sync up mp3s for (there are a few mp3s of laserdisc commentaries floating around, but you have to sync them manually, like a rifftrax.) I was really let down by Scorsese's commentaries on the Powell/Pressburger movies, which are fine, but don't begin to compare to the ones he did on his own- not just this, but Raging Bull and Last Temptation as well.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#99 Post by Zumpano » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:19 pm

Got the new Blu (which looks fantastic), and watched with the girlfriend last night who'd never seen it ("Okay! I'll watch The Taxi Driver!"). One thing I've never really seen talked about:

Everyone talks about Scorsese's scene in the back of the cab w/ Bickle; but what do you guys make of his appearance earlier in the film when they introduce Betsy and he's just sitting there in the background? And then, as Betsy walks into the campaign building, a guy walks out of the building wearing a Columbia Pictures (the studio that made the film) shirt with the logo backwards. Was I just high or is this supposed to have some sort of (meta-)significance?

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#100 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:19 pm

There's no significance to it. Apparently on the night they were filming the scene with the disgruntled husband, the actor originally hired for the part never showed up. Scorsese simply jumped in and took the role.

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