Writer Paul Schrader stops by Studio 9 to discuss the origins of Martin Scorsese's 1976 psychological thriller, TAXI DRIVER.
Hallucinatory, mesmerizing, and strikingly violent, Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader's plunge into the twisted psyche of a cab-driving Vietnam vet doubles as a nightmarish voyage into the seedy underbelly of pre-Giuliani NYC. In perhaps his greatest performance, Robert De Niro brilliantly incarnates the lonely and profoundly troubled Travis Bickle, a walking shadow adrift in a sea of random violence, racial tension, porno theatres, and prostitution. Desperately striving to be a "normal person," Bickle becomes obsessed with "saving" a pre-teen prostitute (Jodie Foster) from her manipulative, jive-talking pimp (Harvey Keitel) — an act of redemption which demands a blood sacrifice. Tempering the bleakness and darkness of Schrader's script — which drew inspiration from John Ford's The Searchers, Robert Bresson's Pickpocket, and the diaries of would-be George Wallace assassin Arthur Bremer — with a seductively noir-ish visual style and a romantic, luxurious score by the great Bernard Herrmann, Scorsese created one of the cinema's most searing portraits of incipient madness.http://tiff.net