DVD review: 'Taxi Driver' (35th Anniversary Blu-ray edition)
Screenwriter Paul Schrader and director Martin Scorsese brought to “Taxi Driver” not only a shared passion for European neorealist film but also the knowledge of what it is to feel lonely. The experience of isolation is what they both had in common with the film’s central character Travis Bickle, played with such implosive power by Robert De Niro.
“We identified with him,” Scorsese said of his first collaboration with Schrader. “We knew how he felt.”
Schrader was raised in Michigan by strict Calvinist Christian parents, and didn’t see a movie until he was 18 and could manage to sneak away to theaters, where he eventually fell in love with film.
Scorsese was born in Queens to devoutly Catholic Italian-American parents who often took him to the movies because he was too stricken with asthma to live a normal childhood playing with other neighborhood kids. He fell for movies early in life.
All of this fascinating background comes from a rich package of bonus features included in the 35th anniversary Blu-ray edition of “Taxi Driver,” featuring a revelatory making-of documentary and engagingly forthright interviews with Schrader and Scorsese, who also collaborated on two other modern classics, “Raging Bull” and “The Last Temptation of Christ.”
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