Messing with Memories: ‘Taxi Driver’

Film: Taxi Driver
Original release date: 1976
Scheduled remake release date: Not Happening!
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd

Wow, that was quick! Just a few days ago, every film site on the net was buzzing about a Trading Places-like bet between director Lars von Trier and Martin Scorsese, in which the latter would resculpt his 1976 masterpiece with a handful of hurdles thrown in his path, a la Danish director Jorgen Leth with his 1967 surrealistic film The Perfect Human for von Trier’s The Five Obstructions.

In that film, Leth had to remake his film, but with certain criteria dictated by von Trier (set in Cuba, must be animated, etc.). When he and Scorsese met recently, speculation swirled that the two agreed to give the same treatment to the iconic Travis Bickle.

But in an article by Geoffrey Macnab of Screen, one of von Trier’s business partners, Peter Aalbaek Jesen, shot holes in the rumors as “rubbish.”

So, thankfully, the original Travis Bickle will live to pick up another fare.

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4 Comments

  1. …these days no film appears safe from the dreaded remake.

  2. At least this one has escaped the chamber just yet. And, honestly, at leat the approach was just different enough to make it an interesting car crash. A car crash, nonetheless, but…

  3. Wonderful that this gem of gems isn’t going to be touched.

    Having said that, didn’t Scorsese himself sort of remade it in a crappy way with
    that horrid Nick Cage ambulance movie?

    I’ve always believed that Scorsee’s best work is behind him. He’s still better
    than 99% of the directors out there, but his modern work can’t compare to his
    70’s-earl;y 80’s work.

    • You know, that would be a decent film to revisit, as I wonder how that film has aged, and it’s often overlooked in the montages. I tend to agree with you that while his films now feel more inflated, he’s lost the raw edge that has made his early work so vibrant. That said, he still loves the language of film and for that I will see whatever he decides to tackle.


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