Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#101 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:46 pm

I don't think that's the part he was inquiring about- as I recall, the earlier scene (where Betsy walks dreamily by Scorsese) was the cameo Scorsese had planned to include, so it's plausible that there was some kind of hidden meaning within it.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#102 Post by Roger Ryan » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:43 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:I don't think that's the part he was inquiring about- as I recall, the earlier scene (where Betsy walks dreamily by Scorsese) was the cameo Scorsese had planned to include, so it's plausible that there was some kind of hidden meaning within it.
Yes, I figured that Scorsese filmed his "Hitchcock" cameo in the scene where Betsy enters the campaign office well before he realized he would end up playing the jealous husband role later in the film (after the actor he had originally cast had an accident). I'm sure he never would have included himself in the earlier shot had he known he'd be acting in the later scene.

Since this was a fairly low-budget production, I suspect that when Scorsese felt he wanted more extras in a shot, members of the crew would help out; hence, a crew member wearing a Columbia Pictures t-shirt is told to turn the t-shirt inside out and walk through the scene. I noticed there are several times when an anonymous passenger enters the cab during montage or linking shots and it always seems to be Director of Photography Michael Chapman! "Quick, just get in the shot - we have to keep moving" is probably something Scorsese said a lot during this shoot.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#103 Post by Zumpano » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:40 pm

I'll look for Chapman when watching the commentary. Thanks!

Re: The Columbia shirt guy, I figured it was a case of a "run-and-gun" scenario. But the fact that he was in the same shot as Scorsese made me wonder for (apparently, longer than) a moment. I mean: the dude could've put a different shirt on. I knew the backstory regarding the backseat moment, the other cameo just always made me wonder.

Another thing about this Blu-Ray: the thing sounds great. The score is really clear and full; giving some of those snare hits that extra power. It's pretty impressive and benefits this film whose score really adds to the atmosphere.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#104 Post by aox » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:57 pm

Wow, I had no idea the jealous husband who is about to commit murder was Scorsese.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#105 Post by Roger Ryan » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:27 pm

aox wrote:Wow, I had no idea the jealous husband who is about to commit murder was Scorsese.
And it's a great performance as far as I'm concerned. Scorsese could have made a career out of playing these deranged, nervous types.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#106 Post by knives » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:42 pm

Sometimes I wish he and Cronenberg would get cast together as the villains in some movie, both are surprisingly talented actors.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#107 Post by domino harvey » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:51 pm

I'm sure John Landis is already way ahead of you

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#108 Post by aox » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:00 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:And it's a great performance as far as I'm concerned. Scorsese could have made a career out of playing these deranged, nervous types.
That's the thing though, when I watched the BD the other night (hadn't seen the film in a while), I was struck by what a good performance that was. Weird.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#109 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:53 pm

I haven't seen it yet, but doesn't Scorsese have a sizable role in Kurosawa's Dreams? He's clearly someone comfortable in front of a camera, given the number of documentaries about movies he narrates and appears in.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#110 Post by knives » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:57 pm

He plays Van Gogh in a section of the film. It's one of the better parts in what I feel is his best colour film (but enough of that).

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#111 Post by bdsweeney » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:17 am

aox wrote:That's the thing though, when I watched the BD the other night (hadn't seen the film in a while), I was struck by what a good performance that was. Weird.
If I remember correctly, Pauline Kael wrote that his cameo 'burnt a small hole on the screen' because of its intensity. And she's right.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#112 Post by MyNameCriterionForum » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:03 am

bdsweeney wrote:
aox wrote:That's the thing though, when I watched the BD the other night (hadn't seen the film in a while), I was struck by what a good performance that was. Weird.
If I remember correctly, Pauline Kael wrote that his cameo 'burnt a small hole on the screen' because of its intensity. And she's right.
It was probably the coke that burnt the hole in the screen

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#113 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:53 am

MyNameCriterionForum wrote:It was probably the coke that burnt the hole in the screen
You know Scorsese had a problem when he not only gives his dealer a role in the movie but a documentary all his own (though Prince's performance was if anything more chilling than Scorsese's.)

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#114 Post by knives » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:27 am

Are you referring to the guy who played the gun dealer because that is definitely a drug dealer level of creep right there.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#115 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:57 am

Yeah, that's Steven Prince- as I understand it, it was a pretty open secret that he was the actual drug dealer for the set in general and Scorsese in particular. Scorsese did a short documentary about him, American Boy, which is both really interesting and in many ways more unsettling than Taxi Driver (if only because there are a lot of glimpses of Scorsese himself coked out of his mind.)

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#116 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:28 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:Yeah, that's Steven Prince- as I understand it, it was a pretty open secret that he was the actual drug dealer for the set in general and Scorsese in particular. Scorsese did a short documentary about him, American Boy, which is both really interesting and in many ways more unsettling than Taxi Driver (if only because there are a lot of glimpses of Scorsese himself coked out of his mind.)
If there is anyone who didn't need to be on coke, it would be Scorsese :lol: All the same, Scorsese's performance in the film is a good one as was his choice to put Prince into the gun dealer role - it's inspired casting that gives the film an unexpected punch just where it needs it.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#117 Post by MichaelB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:58 am

bdsweeney wrote:
aox wrote:That's the thing though, when I watched the BD the other night (hadn't seen the film in a while), I was struck by what a good performance that was. Weird.
If I remember correctly, Pauline Kael wrote that his cameo 'burnt a small hole on the screen' because of its intensity. And she's right.
That's pretty much spot on - her entire description of his performance is:
Pauline Kael wrote:Scorsese himself is sitting on the sidewalk when Travis first sees Betsy, and then he returns to play a glitteringly morbid role as one of Travis's fares - a man who wants Travis to share his rancid glee in what the Magnum he intends to shoot his faithless wife with will do to her. As an actor, he sizzles; he has such concentrated energy that this sequence burns a small hole in the screen.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#118 Post by Fiery Angel » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:10 am


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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#119 Post by swo17 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:13 am

Prince also has a memorable scene in Linklater's Waking Life (he's the guy at the bar with the gun).

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#120 Post by MichaelB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:14 am

Fiery Angel wrote:A contrarian view
I guessed that would be John Simon even before I clicked on the link. Aside from I vitelloni, Persona and Bruce Beresford's King David [sic], did he ever unequivocally like anything?

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#121 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:57 am

MichaelB wrote:
Fiery Angel wrote:A contrarian view
I guessed that would be John Simon even before I clicked on the link. Aside from I vitelloni, Persona and Bruce Beresford's King David [sic], did he ever unequivocally like anything?
Well, he does say he likes BADLANDS...

Seriously, I can't believe Simon criticized Cybil Sheperd's weight, claiming she looks like "Mussolini in drag". Pathetic.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#122 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:08 pm

Was John Simon seriously one of the more influential critics back in the day? I can see why few people mention him anymore. What a d-bag.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#123 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:19 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Fiery Angel wrote:A contrarian view
I guessed that would be John Simon even before I clicked on the link. Aside from I vitelloni, Persona and Bruce Beresford's King David [sic], did he ever unequivocally like anything?
If you've seen the film, it comes as no surprise that he liked Don Roos' The Opposite of Sex.

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#124 Post by aox » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:14 pm

Finally had some time to sit through the 1980s Criterion Commentary track with Scorsese and Schrader. Very informative and entertaining. I wish Scorsese did more commentaries. It also had the unintended consequence of making me hate Bringing Out the Dead even more, and I didn't think that would ever be possible.

Are the other two on the BD worth listening to?

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Re: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

#125 Post by Tom Hagen » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:41 pm

Why did it make you hate Bringing out the Dead more?

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