Video: Taxi Driver (18) Columbia TriStar, retail, pounds 12.99, on rele ase.

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The Independent Culture
Travis Bickle's digitally enhanced descent into madness is re-released to coincide with the classic's 21st anniversary. A rather redundant anniversary, since Martin Scorsese's coruscating 1976 movie came of age many years ago, attracting a moral panic in the press and legions of pale cinematic imitators. So powerful was Taxi Driver that it even spawned a Travis Bickle imitator in the form of would-be assassin John Hinckley. In 1981, Hinckley tried to shoot Reagan to "impress" Jodie Foster, with whom he had first become obsessed after seeing her playing the movie's teenage hooker.

Minatory and bleakly compelling, the movie is just as fascinating as the mythology surrounding it, offering a truly terrifying portrait of decaying urban decadence and psychosis. At its black heart is De Niro's blue-collar warrior whose moral disorientation leads to a visceral explosion of violence that still has the power to shock, all these years later.

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