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Taxi Driver

USA 1976
produced by
Julia Phillips, Michael Phillips for Columbia
directed by Martin Scorsese
starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, Diahnne Abbott, Frank Adu, Gino Ardito, Victor Argo, Garth Avery, Harry Cohn, Copper Cunningham, Brenda Dickson, Harry Fischler, Nat Grant, Richard Higgs, Beau Kayser, Victor Magnotta, Bob Maroff, Norman Matlock, Bill Minkin, Murray Moston, Harry Northup, Gene Palma, Harlan Cary Poe, Steven Prince, Peter Savage, Martin Scorsese, Nicholas Shields, Ralph S.Singleton, Joe Spinell, Maria Turner, Robin Utt
written by Paul Schrader, music by Bernard Herrmann, special effects by Tony Parmalee

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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New York City, New York: Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is a Vietnam veteran who since being dispatched suffers from inssomnia. And since he is a bit of a simpleton with no real interests, and he dosn't like to hang out in porn theatres all the time, he becomes a taxi driver, working primarily the night shifts. He drives everything, from politicians to perverts to hookers to low-lives, and he's one of those drivers who goes to all the burroughs, too.

Very slowly, Travis comes to the conclusion that somebody has to do something to clean up the filth soiling the city, but that's no more than a crude idea. When young Iris (Jodie Foster) jumps into his car and asks him to get her out of here but gets pulled out of his car again and he's paid money to forget everything, he realizes he has become part of the filth though. However, he never spends this money.

Travis falls in love with a campaign worker, Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), and after initially hesitating, she goes out with him, too, and at first finds him fascinating, mainly because he's very different from and more down to earth than the college crowd she normally hangs out with. But then, when she suggests to go to the movies, he takes her to a porn theatre - after which she breaks off all contact. Travis becomes enraged, and he wants to take his rage out on Palantine (Leonard Harris), the very politician Betsy is campaigning for ...

Travis meets Iris again and finds out she's an underage prostitute. She wants to save her from her pimp (Harvey Keitel) and from her life of mysery, even though she claims she doesn't need saving. Her encounter with Travis has however seeded some doubts inside her that what she is doing is right ...

Travis buys himself all sorts of weapons and prepares to kill Palantine, but when he's already at the scene, he is found out by a secret service man and can only just get away. So Travis rechannels his rage and goes to the place Iris is doing business at, blows away her pimp, shoots at everything that is moving around her (but leaves her unharmed), and ultimately he wants to kill himself, but has no bullets left and thus waits for the police to show up ...

Ironically, his killing spree has made Travis into a hero, and has made even Betsy proud of him ... but this might just be a daydream ...

 


A deserved classic and a very powerful film, Taxi Driver is remarkableprimarily for its directorial and narrative understatement: The story is extremely slim and anjoyably devoid of unnecessary subplots or endless explanations, the camera shows New York City as what it is, often captures street scenes and the like, rather than painting pretty, high-gloss pictures, and the action scenes are raw and brutal, but devoid of gratuitous violence or glorifying the violence as such. Add to this Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster, who are both amazing in their roles, and you got a masterpiece!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD