July 16, 2008

You talkin' to me?

concur, vb., to agree with a judgment but for different reasons or through a different line of reasoning.
Tim Cuprisin reports receiving e-mail from disgruntled teevee viewers, complaining that Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver was shown during family time, right after Gilligan's Island and Bewitched.

The film tells the story of Travis Bickle, a Vietnam vet who takes a job pushing hack in Manhattan and whose profound disgust with the city's venality leads him ultimately to shoot some pimps (followed by a tracking shot down a stairwell worthy of Alfred Hitchcock*).

It stars Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks, Peter Boyle, Harvey Keitel, and Jodie Foster, whose performance as an underage prostitute inspired John Hinckley's 1981 assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan. Shepherd and Brooks play a political candidate's campaign workers, and Bickle's initial plan is to shoot the candidate, but he's thwarted at the last minute.

Apart from its theatrical conclusion, Taxi Driver is not particularly violent. It is, however, a pretty intense and even disturbing flick laden with coarse dialogue throughout and most definitely not suitable for children. So I agree with the judgment of Cuprisin's readers that 7 p.m. is not the best time to screen it.

I would go further and argue that there is never a good time to screen Taxi Driver in the edited versions that broadcast teevee use. What in the world is the point of watching an expurgated edition of any film, let alone a work of art like Taxi Driver, I have no idea.

Incidentally, Me-TV has scheduled Taxi Driver again at 7 p.m. for Monday, July 28, according to TVGuide.com. Hide the kids.

* Taxi Driver's soundtrack was composed by Bernard Herrmann, who scored a number of Hitchcock's most memorable films.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was pretty shocked when I flipped past it that they actually showed a good movie on TV for once, censored or not. The real beef should be that WVCY (TV 30) is allowed to air its young-earth Kent Hovind propaganda without any full-time competing independent channel of reason and science (aside from 10/36).