Taxi Driver, made in 1976 and synonymous with De Niro and Scorsese, has become a classic. Robert de Niro plays a taxi driver named Travis Bickle who is losing his mind and decides to cleanse New York of its dealers, pimps and other scum. Last summer the EYE film museum re-released a perfectly restored cinema version of this masterpiece.
As a taxi driver, war veteran Travis Bickle sees New York’s night life and it disgusts him: is this what he has fought for? His loneliness and social isolation are particularly palpable, thanks to Paul Schrader’s script based on his own experiences, Michael Chapman’s atmospheric cinematography and the score by Bernard Herrmann.
The scene in which Bickle, sporting a Mohawk haircut, talks to his mirror image (‘You talkin’ to me?’) has become of the most iconic scenes in film history. Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster and Cybill Shepherd make debut appearances in memorable supporting roles. Taxi Driver won the Golden Palm at Cannes and received four Oscar nominations: Best Film, Best Actor (De Niro), Best Female Supporting Role (Foster) and Best Film Music.