It’s hard to quite put into words what Taxi Driver does to a young cinephile. Up until I came upon Martin Scorsese’s classic, my concept of adult movies was something like The Shawshank Redemption, a hugely entertaining production with great acting, solid writing, and a concise, tightly engineered narrative. I wasn’t really sure I needed anything else from a movie, and to a degree, you don’t really need anything more. But finding a set list of requirements for a “good” movie is a very easy way to ignore great ones, to ignore ambitious films that take radical risks in terms of visuals, language, and performance that set the stage for the next wave of “good” movies.
That’s what Taxi Driver was, the film that clued me into the idea that there was far greater game amidst the jungles of American and world cinema that should be sought out, discussed, and dissected. And 40 years later, Scorsese is still the director I turn to when it comes to foreseeing what filmmaking can achieve, whether in the form of Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street or Gangs of New York and Bringing Out the Dead. His new film, Silence, is a major Oscar hopeful for 2016 and the one movie I am furiously impatient to see, but before that, Scorsese is set to celebrate Taxi Driver with a 40th anniversary screening and reunion of the film’s cast and crew at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
The reunion will bring Scorsese together with Tribeca head Robert De Niro, who starred as the titular motorist in Scorsese’s breakout, along with the film’s writer, the filmmaker Paul Schrader, and cast-members Jodie Foster and Cybil Shepard. Following the announcement of the reunion and screenings, Scorsese and De Niro had a few words to share, which you can read just below:
“It’s odd to think that four decades have passed since we shot Taxi Driver on the streets of a very different New York City. It was made in a surge of energy, starting with Paul’s one-of-a-kind script, and I was working with an extraordinary group of artistic collaborators as anyone could ever hope for—Jodie, who was 13 years old at the time, and Bob gave the picture something precious, dangerous, and altogether remarkable. I’m honored to take part in the celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.”
“It’s a great honor for TFF to revisit Taxi Driver. I’m very proud to have worked on this film with Marty, Jodie, Harvey, Cybill, Paul, Michael and Julia as well as the extraordinary cast and crew. I remain equally proud today.”
The screening takes place on April 21st and the conversation between the cast and crew will be moderated by the great Kent Jones, who has been the man to know over at the Film Society at Lincoln Center for some time. Tickets go on sale starting March 24th, and will be going quickly I imagine.