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.