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The Essentials: Taxi Driver (1976)

Scorsese’s 1976 masterpiece is the all-too-real story of a psychotic New York cabby who is driven to violence in an attempt to rescue a teenage prostitute.
(R, 112 min.)


Sunday, November 3, 2019

7:45 PM

Monday, November 4, 2019

7:00 PM

The Essentials: Martin Scorsese

Synopsis: "All the animals come out at night" -- and one of them is a cabby about to snap. In Martin Scorsese's classic 1970s drama, insomniac ex-Marine Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) works the nightshift, driving his cab throughout decaying mid-'70s New York City, wishing for a "real rain" to wash the "scum" off the neon-lit streets.Taxi Driver went on to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, but it lost the Best Picture Oscar to the more comforting Rocky. Anchored by De Niro's disturbing embodiment of "God's lonely man," Taxi Driver remains a striking milestone of both Scorsese's career and 1970s Hollywood. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Starring:Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel
Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre(s): Drama, Thriller, Crime

Essentials tickets are $9/Adult, $8/Seniors & Students, Free for Members.

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"It’s a powerful film, an excellent credit for Scorsese, and a terrific showcase for the versatility of star Robert De Niro."

— A.D. Murphy, Variety

"The blend of Schrader's script, Scorsese's direction and De Niro's performance is both riveting and unnerving. A film that will stay with you forever."

— William Thomas, Empire

"Scorsese’s direction always keeps us uncomfortably close to Travis’ subjectivity, whether we’re prowling night time Manhattan or gazing into a glass of Alka-Seltzer until the whole world disappears into the healing hiss."

— John Bleasdale, CineVue

"Forty years on, Taxi Driver remains almost impossibly perfect: it’s hard to think of another film that creates and sustains such a unique, evocative tone, of dread blended with pity, loathing, savage humour and a scuzzy edge of New York cool."

— Tom Huddleston, Time Out

"Taxi Driver was a powerfully summarizing work. It synthesized noir, neorealist, and New Wave stylistics; it assimilated Hollywood’s recent vigilante cycle, drafting then-déclassé blaxploitation in the service of a presumed tell-it-like-it-is naturalism that, predicated on a frank, unrelenting representation of racism, violence, and misogyny, was even more racist, violent, and misogynist than it allowed. [35th Anniversary Release]"

— J. Hoberman, Village

"Hitchcockian unease permeates the film, but so too does a Godardian use of space and a Bressonian focus on obsession heighten the mounting sense of dread. These elements are groovy for film buffs but are mere icing on the proverbial cake; you don’t need to be in the know to relish Scorsese’s mastery of the form, and what may astonish even more than the creative prowess is how compulsively entertaining the results are."

— Rob Humanick, Slant