Sony has issued a very handsome Blu-ray of Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” in time for the film’s 35th anniversary, which I write a bit about here in the New York Times though there is a great deal more to say about this heady, difficult film, poised in some previously unknown zone between Robert Bresson and Michael Winner. Both Scorsese and his screenwriter, Paul Schrader, have made better pictures (“King of Comedy” and “Affliction” come to mind), but it’s “Taxi Driver” that gets under you skin and stays there — – a phenomenon perhaps abetted in my personal case by the fact that I live quite near the East Village intersection where most of the Harvey Keitel/Jodi Foster scenes were shot. Things have changed a bit around here, in as much as we are now overrun, not by hookers and transvestites, but by NYU students. I’ll assume that’s a change for the better.
This week also sees the first release from Twilight Time, a new company that will be drawing on the Fox archive to issue one limited eidtion (3,000 copes) disc each month. Though I wish I were more fond of their inaugural film, John Huston’s grimly salacious 1970 “The Kremlin Letter,” it’s been given a solid, widescreen presentation that bodes well for future releases from the company, which are available exclusively online through Screen Archives Entertainment. Coming up next is Richard Fleischer’s “Violent Saturday” — unfortunately only in a letter-boxed transfer, Fox having declined to make a new anamorphic master. As we all know, it’s a hard time for library titles, and I hope this brave new initiative gets the support it deserves.