Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Last Cinema Standing presents: Taxi Driver Week

Robert De Niro is Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver was released Feb. 8, 1976. Three month later, Scorsese won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Less than a year after that, it was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. Now, 40 years on, its place as one of the greatest films ever made is set in stone. It is an unimpeachable classic that still has the power to shock, disturb, and provoke.

To commemorate this landmark achievement and in anticipation of a special 40th anniversary screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, Last Cinema Standing is devoting this week to Taxi Driver. We will have a number of features and reflections over the next several days, all culminating in our coverage of the anniversary screening, where Scorsese, stars Robert De Niro, Jodi Foster, and Cybill Shepherd, and screenwriter Paul Schrader will gather to discuss the film.

This will be an opportunity to look back through the modern history of cinema, of which Taxi Driver is an integral part. We will analyze the film’s legacy and lasting influence, the controversy surrounding its depictions of violence and insanity, and the ways it has seeped into our cultural consciousness. My hope is we will have a lot of fun along the way, too.

Taxi Driver is among my favorite films of all time – there were several years where I would have put it right at the top of the list – and I could not be more excited to see the cast and filmmakers present it on the big screen. If I can translate even a fraction of the joy I take in discussing and viewing this film into the words I write in this space, it will be worth it. So please, join me here over the next few days as we dive into one of the undisputed treasures of cinema.

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