Taxi Driver is viewed as an iconic film in many respects, but the core of its impact must include Robert de Niro's central performance, Martin Scorsese's direction and Bernard Herrmann's music. This was the composer's final film and he died only hours after conducting the final recording sessions and, at Scorsese's insistance, the film carries a dedication in memory of Bernard Herrmann. The composer has many outstanding film score credits from his earlier collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock but Taxi Driver is one of his finest scores. ln the movie, de Niro plays the title role alongside an impressive supporting cast. As a cab driver, he sees a lot of the seedier side of life, and his increasingly deranged mind concocts a mission to take action against a corrupt world. The music is every bit as riveting and intense as de Niro's performance.In a departure from Herrmann's normal style, here he starts with a relatively laid-back theme in a jazz idiom which aptly depicts the sleazy setting among the city's night life. Interspersed with the jazz theme on saxophone we have dark motives and some great whooshes of sound which are clearly portents of doom. You just know that the Travis Bickle (the taxi driver) is unhinged and increasingly ready to take some kind of drastic action. Very unsettling but strangely compelling at the same time. The sax solos for the initial score tracks (conducted by Herrmann) are played by Ronny Lang, whereas the sax solos on the additional tracks (arranged and conducted by Dave Blume) are played by Tom Scott, who also has many credits as a recording artist on some major films including Bladerunner, and as composer for a variety of TV shows (see his web-site at www.TomScottMusic.com). In addition to the sax which often as on track 4 is accompanied by some lounge lizard piano, other important instruments include the snare drum perhaps hinting at the Travis Bickle's military background. Some of the instruments like bass clarinet play some slow \"breathing\" figures and an important descending motive. These dark \"motives\" become more prominent suggesting an unstoppable descent into the cab driver's own personal tortured hell. By the climax of track 10 the sax theme is taken up by muted trumpets against the firm resolve of repetitive timpani. Harp glissandi also play an important role throughout the score.
The CD delves very deeply into the film's world when a number of music tracks include the cab driver's monologue of his thoughts, adding immensely to the experience including the \"You talking to me\" dialogue into the mirror. The CD also has some \"Additional Interpretations\" arranged by David Blume. Blume worked uncredited as music director for Herrmann's music, so perhaps he is justified in having a mention on the album, but some of the arrangements take us a little too far from the mood of the film. The CD cover folds out and contains commentary by Martin Scorsese on how he chose and eventually persuaded Herrmann to do this score. There is also a lot of detail on the actual tracks selected and where they sit (chronologically) in the movie, and finally the monologues are also listed as spoken by de Niro. And if you're brave enough, you can turn this over and pin up a shot from de Niro's ad-libbed mirror scene on your bedroom wall! The latest \"Vinyl\" version is something of a novelty looking like a mini-LP but it plays just like any other CD. The recording has been created from a 20-bit digital master and is crystal clear throughout. These links provide further information and reviews of the album in both the standard CD and vinyl versions:
With the advent of transportation network companies, or TNCs, as they are labeled by the state of California, there has been considerable discussion, legislative action, and lawsuits regarding their attempts to operate without being subject to local taxi, sedan, limousine, or private-for-hire regulations. Indeed, across almost every continent, Uber has attempted to simply disregard local city and airport rules and regulations established for all commercial ground passenger transportation carriers. Uber argues that it is not a transportation company but rather a technology company, and so by definition it is not subject to commercial vehicle regulations. As a result, fierce and expensive legal and legislative battles have been bitterly fought. However, these legal proceedings rarely address just why there are regulations for commercial vehicles and their drivers.
It is therefore incumbent upon public officials to learn from this phenomenon and design a taxi system that provides drivers a fair income opportunity and maximum utilization from vehicles, to offer and maintain a high level of service at reasonable rates to residents and visitors alike. A best guess is that the industry will experience a form of hybrid taxi/TNC type transportation firm that offers both services in competition with national TNC brands for a while, but that ultimately there will be re-regulation and TNCs will be included within the local regulatory framework. There may be an opportunity for statewide or even national taxi/TNC regulations, but as in the past, drivers will be vetted, entry will be restricted, and public safety in the form of commercial liability insurance for all drivers will be standard requirements.
SIGNAL 7 -- A day in the lives of two middle-aged San Francisco taxi drivers who dream of becoming actors. As the loosely constructed story shows them on the job and going through a stage audition, we get isolated glimpses of their personal lives and emotional problems. The performances are so vivid that you feel you've known these guys half your life, and director Rob Nilsson has accentuated the realism by shooting in video, then transferring the images to grainy 35-mm film. The visual appearance of the picture isn't very appealing, but it has an immediacy that helps cover gaps in the plot and raunchy moments in the improvised screenplay, which was shot on the run in a mere four days. Dedicated to John Cassavetes, whose commitment to personal cinema was evidently a strong influence on the project. (Not rated) 1e1e36bf2d