The days go on and on… they don’t end. All my life needed was a sense of someplace to go. I don’t believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention, I believe that one should become a person like other people.
Time to go back and start all over again from the topic I love the most – the movies. I always think about what I’m going to watch next, what movies are already waiting on my laptop, what directors I have yet to discover… You have the classics, golden age of Hollywood, new stuff that got good reviews, franchises, undiscovered cinematic treausures…. I have to make a plan to follow a certain interest of mine or on a day when I’m feeling adventurous, I just make a random pick. My favourites, besides well-known american movies (especially from the 70s and 80s), are Spanish/South American and French movies. I’m still discovering different countries and their movie scene, it’s an interesting journey. Of course I’m in love with Jean-Luc Godard and nouvelle vague effortlessly beautiful goddess Anna Karina (who was born in Denmark and I also have a thing for Danish cinematography, but I will leave that for another post).
I will go back once more, this time to the 1970s New York, more precisely 1976 when a young directing genius Martin Scorsese with a help of even younger screenwriter Paul Schrader created a cult classic Taxi Driver. Oh man, those were the great times to be a movie junkie, the beginnings of Robert DeNiro’s cynical smile that makes you love him and be afraid of him at the same time. There’s no need to discuss his choices in movies he appears in these days, but you know what, he gets so much credit from me only for his roles in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, he can do whatever the hell he wants to.
This weekend a local movie theater, one of the most beautiful cultural oasis in Croatia started a monthly event of screening an important movie classics, the opening was reserved for, you guessed it, DeNiro’s grin and anxiety ridden Travis Bickle. The place was packed, completely sold out which is a big enough statement on its own.
The short introduction started with a woman talking about the first appearance of this film on the big screen back in ’76 and how Croatian audience went crazy for it, those same seats we are sitting in were occupied for 4 months. One of the fun facts I learned about is that while filming during the heathwave in New York, the town’s street sweepers and garbage collectors were on a strike so the scenery is completely authentic. All it combined, the roughness of the city and series of weird, striking faces that portray all kinds of criminal, low-life, marginalized characters gives a viewer an uncensored, realistic, edgy feel about the story. I read somewhere that at the time 26-year old Paul Schrader spent weeks isolated and alone while writing the script, he used that experience of loneliness and lack of real human contact to create one of the most influential pop culture characters of the 20th century.
I’ve watched Taxi driver two times before plus that one time that I watched only the most important bits but I don’t count it as a real movie experience. How did it feel this time? Fucking awesome! Once again I was blown away by the 14-year old Jodie Foster’s performance, made laugh by the over the top pimpin’ style of Harvey Keitel, appreciated Scorsese’s cameo and so on… Seeing a restored version of the still scary relevant masterpiece (not only did it stand the test of time, but becomes even more contemporary!) in my favourite old cinema was an epic experience. Also, I’m glad I went alone to be able to enjoy it without the inevitable small talk afterwards, because what is there really left to comment?