Schapiro’s Taxi Driver

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One of the first films that had a visceral effect on me was Martin Scorcese’s ‘Taxi Driver’. I’m sure for many it’s depiction of the gritty New York streets of the seventies remains the way they see NYC now. In this film it is a dangerous, semi-lawless place where lone psychopaths are just waiting to enact the extreme violence going on inside their warped minds.

Now year’s later I find myself living here. In fact New York is the city I know better than any other on earth and one of things I recognize is how this violent vision is less true of New York than it is about many other places in the country. The lone nut that goes crazy is as likely to exist in Seattle, Santa Barbara or Aurora, Colorado as rotten Gotham.

For that reason the film feels utterly contemporary and these photos captured during the shoot by photojournalist Steve Schapiro perfectly capture what makes the film so disturbingly and brilliantly alluring.

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