Baby, you can drive my taxi

I’ve just been thinking about the Martin Scorcese film Taxi Driver, which is going to be playing at the NZ International Film Festival this year (in a lush 35mm restoration, hellz yeah).

I first saw Taxi Driver when I was 11 years old. I was a big Jodie Foster fan, due to enjoying her work in the original Freaky Friday film (which is sassy and all, but was actually surpassed by the Lohan/Curtis remake due to that losing the Disney slapstick ending and *ahem* sticking more to the flavour of the book).

Anyway, the Listener’s TV listings noted a late-night broadcast of film called Taxi Driver starring Ms Foster. I was all “Yay!” and set the video recorder. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Maybe a sassy young girl whose solo-dad father drives taxis.

When I started watching the film, I was immediately freaked out by the menacing opening titles, courtesy of Bernard Hermann’s score. But I persisted, going through various stages of “WHAT IS THIS? WHAT! IS THIS!” Jodie Foster was there all right, but playing a – gulp – street hooker.

The video timer hadn’t worked properly, cutting off the end of the film so I never knew how it ended until I saw it again a few years later in a slightly more mature frame of mind. By then it was too late. It had entered my DNA and become one of my favourite films ever.

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