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Taxi Driver

Sunday 30th July to Thursday 3rd August

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Screen 2

Director: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster

Rating: 18

USA 1976, 114mins

Infamous for having more or less inspired a real life assassination attempt – John Hinckley Jr’s pot-shot at Ronald Reagan in 1981 – Taxi Driver has a strong claim to being one of the most dangerous films ever made.

That might sound a tad dramatic, given how pop culture has since worked to tame it through parody – most notably, of course, of De Niro’s mirror scene. But if you step back a moment, and try to watch Taxi Driver with fresh eyes, its provocations become as spikier as ever. In this film Scorsese puts us in the passenger seat of a budding psychosis, doors locked and speeding towards one of cinema’s defining bloodbaths. Prophetic or reactionary, it diagnoses violence as a force always on the cusp – undeniable, compelling, and dangerous.