Wednesday, April 06, 2011

About the James River Film Festival

The 18th James River Film Festival will unfold over the next week at various local venues. To read about the entire James River Film Festival, which runs from April 7 through April 13, with all the titles and show times, please click here.

Yo! Forget about Netflix for a few days and watch some provocative films with a crowd that adores good movies.

Of special note: To kick off the festival a digitally restored 35mm print of "Taxi Driver" (1976) will be screened at the Grace Street Theatre (934 W. Grace St.) on April 7 at 7:30 p.m.

The festival itself has plenty of connections to that storied neighborhood. And, this is not the first time "Taxi Driver" has played on that strip. On Aug. 27, 1976, it opened at the Biograph Theatre (just a block east of where the Grace Street Theatre is now); paired with "Shampoo" (1975) it was half of a pretty nifty double feature. For one ticket from your $12.50 discount ticket book that worked out to about 63 cents per flick.

From the James River Film Society:
One of the greatest collaborations of the 1970s was Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, a film that alchemized Paul Schrader’s script, Michael Chapman’s cinematography, Bernard Herrmann’s music and Robert De Niro’s totally credible Travis Bickle together to make an almost perfect movie. New York never looked so good, or so bad – a post-Vietnam note of the time, and as subversive as any of the “noirs” of the forties regarding the American dream. It’s funny how many American films of the seventies still resonate, especially Taxi Driver, which set a new standard of psycho-story with Scorsese’s direction (Mean Streets, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore). Add to that memorable supporting performances from Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle, and Cybill Shepherd – a masterpiece! Celebrated on its 35th anniversary with a restored 35mm print; on the big screen as originally released! Introduced by Trent Nicholas, former Scorsese employee and current VCUarts film history professor.
To read my piece at the Fan District Hub about the April 7 screening of "Taxi Driver" click here.

1 comment:

H. Sherwood Luck said...

Great pieces on JRFF and Taxi Driver. That still pic of DeNiro walking in NYC actually looks like the Grace St. strip a la 1976. The film means a lot to me. I modeled my like on Travis Bickle--well, the being-off-my-rocker-and- drinking-apple-brandy part, not the shooting part.
Cheers, H. Sherwood Luck