JUNE 18--John Hinckley is a womanizing narcissist who juggles sexual relationships, maintains "fondling privileges" with one paramour, and "believes himself entitled to a life of leisure," according to federal prosecutors opposing the presidential assailant's bid for more time away from a Washington, D.C. psychiatric hospital.
In a blistering court filing, government lawyers charge that Hinckley, 53, has engaged in "continued inappropriate and unrealistic relationships with several women," and that he has not satisfactorily addressed "issues surrounding his relationships with women." In a June 4 motion, government lawyers reported that Hinckley has been "maintaining near simultaneous sexual relationships" with two women, "rekindled" a relationship with a former girlfriend, and "met a fourth woman" last year...
During August 1980, Reagan's campaign managers, especially pollster Richard Werthlin, Georgetown professor Richard Allen, and former CIA agent Richard Beal, organized a special operations group to counter any Carter "October Surprise" - the only thing they thought would secure his re-election. At the same time, John Hinckley, Jr. was programmed to assassinate President Carter just in case he was able to secure the release of the hostages by negotiation - what these people, along with Marine Captain Oliver North and Colonel Robert MacFarlane - had been able to prevent by force. The operation's attraction lay in the fact that despite the publication of John Marks's book on Manchurian Candidates the previous year, only Milton Kline, onetime President of the American Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and sometime CIA consultant in actual operations, believed that patsies and assassins could be, and had been created on occasion. (p. 199ff., esp. 204, note.)
Hinckley, one of the Beat Generation, was the offspring of an upward-mobile, disassociated family, growing up in Dallas during the years before the JFK assassination and during its aftermath. While his older brother Scott was following in his father's footsteps at the Agency-connected Vanderbilt Energy Corporation, John was having trouble even getting started, spending seven years, on and off, at Texas Tech but without success. About the only thing he picked up was how to play the guitar, and an inclination for acting. During a trip to Hollywood in 1976, he came across Dr. Janiger, it seems, and was soon taking LSD again, and watching incessantly Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver, based on the life of George Wallace would-be assassin Arthur Bremer, in the hope of becoming a successful actor.
Before it was over, he imagined that he had become Robert Di Niro's alter ego. ("John W. Hinckley, Jr.: A Biography," law.unkc.edu/faculty/proje...) Hinckley was so convinced that he was a carbon copy of the alienated, drugged cabbie that he even fantasized, it seems, that he too had a girl friend, like Betsy in the film, working in a campaign for a politician he ultimately plotted to kill in order to impress her, calling her Lynn Collins. The only trouble with this propensity was that there was no need for it now in Agency operations as critics like Church were finished off early by the electorate because of their attacks on America's covert government...
http://codshit.blogspot.com/2004/02/why ... lmost.html
And ladies and gentlemen, the evidence they heard ranged from murder, murder of a poor innocent cab driver who was putting luggage into a taxi cab in the driveway of the Loraine Motel and who saw the shooter come down over the wall, run down Mulberry Street and get into a waiting Memphis Police traffic car to be driven away. He told his dispatcher, "Oh, they got the killer. I saw him being driven away in a Memphis Police Department traffic car." What happened to that poor taxi cab driver? He was interviewed by the police that night and they found his body the next morning. NO record of that death exists. NO record exists. If we had not found people whom he had told that story, who heard him on the very night, we would have never known about this. Then we have to go to the directories and find out who was his wife and who he was. To see his listings in the directories in '66 and '67, and then in '68, see "Betty" his widow. He is dead, he is gone and he is history.
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro are said to be planning a remake of the seminal 1976 film, with Lars von Trier as a new collaborator
* guardian.co.uk, Monday 15 February 2010 11.16 GMT
Ride of his life … Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features
In what is surely the most bizarre rumour to emerge from this year's Berlin film festival, it is whispered that Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro are preparing a remake of Taxi Driver, their 1970s tale of a man who stood up, saw clearly and shaved his hair into a mohawk. Only this time, it transpires, they may have a fresh passenger on board – Lars von Trier could be riding shotgun.
Copenhagen film magazine Ekko reports that Scorsese is currently discussing the possibility of a rebooted Taxi Driver with the Danish director in tow. It remains to be seen whether this will be a remake or a sequel, or so much hot air of the kind that has a tendency to swirl around the mischievous Von Trier. Speaking to the magazine, Peter Aalbæk, Von Trier's producing partner at Zentropa studios, would "neither confirm nor deny" the rumour, but said that an announcement would be made shortly.
De Niro starred in eight films by Scorsese, beginning with Mean Streets in 1973 and continuing through to 1995's Casino. Speaking at the Berlin film festival this weekend, the director admitted that they had plans to renew their collaboration, hinting at a return to the crime stories that forged their respective reputations. "Bob De Niro and I are talking about something that has to do with that world," Scorsese said. "There's no doubt about that. We're working on something like that. But it's from the vantage point of older men looking back. None of this running around stuff."
Shot back in 1976, the original Taxi Driver charted the downward spiral of Travis Bickle, a New York cabbie turned gun-toting vigilante. The film was hailed by critics as a bleak satire on the cult of celebrity and the role of the American loner. The film ends with Bickle being celebrated by the press as a have-a-go-hero after he rescues a child prostitute from the clutches of her pimp.
The idea of a Taxi Driver sequel was first floated a few years ago by Paul Schrader, who wrote the original script. "I was talking with Martin Scorsese about doing a sequel to Taxi Driver, where [Bickle] is older," Schrader told the New York Post.
Scorsese is in Berlin to promote his latest film, Shutter Island, a thriller based on the bestselling book by Dennis Lehane. Von Trier's previous picture, Antichrist, was one of the most controversial releases of last year, sparking a smattering of boos when it debuted at the Cannes film festival. He is currently reported to be in pre-production on the science-fiction drama Melancholia.
Hugh Manatee Wins wrote:Here is a 1990s time-travel themed show called 'Quantum Leap' that has the hero going back into Lee Harvey Oswald's body.
But the kicker is that the show's writer claims to have a brush with Oswald from army days, too. My what a small world.
Lee Harvey Oswald
Writer: Donald P. Bellisario
Director: James Whitmore Jr
5 October 1957 to 22 November 1963: In a two-hour episode to commemorate the 30th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, Sam leaps into Lee Harvey Oswald, taking on the accused killer's personality and volatile emotions while affecting key events in his life leading to JFK's death. The character of "Sgt. Bellisario" reflects series creator Bellisario's claimed real-life brush with Oswald in the military. The prolific Willie Garson, who'd played the title character in the first-season Quantum Leap episode "Play It Again, Seymour," went on to reprise his Lee Harvey Oswald in the motion picture Ruby. Garson, also well-known for episodes of The X-Files, Sex and the City and other shows, essayed a major role in the SCI FI Pictures miniseries event Steven Spielberg Presents Taken).
Lee Harvey Oswald / "Alik J. Hidell" - Willie Garson
Marina Oswald - Natasha Pavlova
Major Yuri Kosenko - Elya Baskin
Gushie - Dennis Wolfberg
Bar girl - Patty Toy
Lt. Obrigowitz - Ward C. Boland
Mariska - Donna Magnani
Sgt. Lopez - Reni Santoni
PFC Briggs - Philip McNiven
Corp. McBride - Michael Rich
Lt. Anna Guri - Erika Amato
Sgt. Bellisario - Matthew Charles Nelson
Jackie Kennedy - Karen Ingram
Frazier - Nathan Lisle
Ruth Paine - Becky London
Joda - Rodney Kageyama
Carlos - James Medina
New Orleans police officer - Chris Kinkade
Guard - Lazar Rockwood (as Lazar)
http://www.villagevoice.com/content/pri ... n/2452927/
35 Years Later, Taxi Driver Still Stuns
By J. Hoberman
published: March 16, 2011
Sony Pictures Repertory
Checkered past: De Niro drives angry.
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Sony Pictures Repertory
Film Forum, March 18 through 31
Some motion pictures produce the uncanny sensation of returning the spectator’s gaze. Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver—a movie in which the most celebrated line asks the audience, “Are you talkin’ to me?”—is one such film. It came, it saw, it zapped the body politic right between the eyes.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary with a newly restored print and a two-week Film Forum run, Taxi Driver was a powerfully summarizing work. It synthesized noir, neorealist, and New Wave stylistics; it assimilated Hollywood’s recent vigilante cycle, drafting then-déclassé blaxploitation in the service of a presumed tell-it-like-it-is naturalism that, predicated on a frank, unrelenting representation of racism, violence, and misogyny, was even more racist, violent, and misogynist than it allowed.
The 12th top-grossing movie of 1976, Taxi Driver was not just a hit but, like Psycho or Bonnie and Clyde, an event in American popular culture—perhaps even an intervention. Inspired by one failed political assassination (the 1972 shooting of presidential hopeful George Wallace), it inadvertently motivated another (the 1981 attempt on President Ronald Reagan). The movie further established its 33-year-old director as both Hollywood’s designated artist and, after Taxi Driver was awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes, an international sensation—the decisive influence on neo–New Wave filmmakers as varied as Spike Lee, Wong Kar-wai, and Quentin Tarantino.
Scorsese didn’t direct Taxi Driver so much as orchestrate its elements. Lasting nearly 20 minutes and fueled by Bernard Herrmann’s rhapsodic score, the de facto overture is a densely edited salmagundi of effects—slow motion, fragmenting close-ups, voluptuous camera moves, and trick camera placement—that may be the showiest pure filmmaking in any Hollywood movie since Touch of Evil. Certainly no American since Welles had so confidently presented himself as a star director. And yet Taxi Driver was essentially collaborative. It was the most cinephilic movie ever made in Hollywood, openly acknowledging Bresson, Hitchcock, Godard, avant-gardists Michael Snow and Kenneth Anger, and the John Ford of The Searchers. Moreover, the movie’s antihero, Travis Bickle—a homicidal combination of Dirty Harry and Norman Bates who describes himself as God’s Lonely Man—sprang from the brain of former film critic Paul Schrader and, as embodied for all eternity by the young Robert De Niro, all but instantly became a classic character in the American narrative alongside Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield.
Citizen of a sodden Sodom where the steamy streets are always wet with tears, among other bodily fluids, Bickle embarks each evening on a glistening sea of sleaze. Seen through his rain-smeared windshield, Manhattan becomes a movie—call it “Malignopolis”—in which, as noted by Amy Taubin in her terrific Taxi Driver monograph, “the entire cast of Superfly seems to have been assembled in Times Square” to feed Travis’s fantasies. The cab driver lives by night in a world of myth, populated by a host of supporting archetypes: the astonishing Jodie Foster as Iris, the 12-year-old hooker living the life in the rat’s-ass end of the ’60s, yet dreaming of a commune in Vermont; Harvey Keitel as her affably nauseating pimp; Peter Boyle’s witless cabbie sage; and Cybill Shepherd’s bratty golden girl, a suitably petit-bourgeois Daisy Buchanan to Travis’s lumpen Gatsby.
Brilliant and yet repellent, at times even hateful, Taxi Driver inspired understandable ambivalence. (At Cannes, the announcement that it had won the Palme d’Or was greeted with boos.) How could reviewers not be wary? Taxi Driver is nakedly opposed even to itself, as well as the culture that produced it. For Travis, all movies are essentially pornographic; had he met his creators, he would surely, as observed by Marshall Berman in his history of Times Square, consider them purveyors of “scum and filth.” It’s the slow deliberation with which this lunatic kicks over his TV and terminates his connection to social reality that signals his madness—and the filmmaker’s.
Like Werner Herzog’s Aguirre or Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver is auteurist psychodrama. Not for nothing did Scorsese give himself a cameo playing a character even wiggier than Travis. Who can possibly imagine the internal fortitude or psychic cost this movie required or exacted? Certainly no one connected with Taxi Driver ever again reached such heights (or plumbed such depths), although Albert Brooks became a significant filmmaker in his own right, while Scorsese and De Niro would come close with Raging Bull and The King of Comedy—two movies that equal or surpass Taxi Driver in every way except as the embodiment of the historical spirit.
Recalling his youth, Baudelaire wrote of simultaneously experiencing the horror and the ecstasy of existence. So it is with Taxi Driver . The pagan debauchery the child Scorsese saw in Quo Vadis is played out in the Manhattan of 1975 A.D. Hysterical yet sublime, the movie crystallizes one of the worst moments in New York’s history—the city as America’s pariah, a crime-ridden, fiscally profligate, graffiti-festooned moral cesspool. Scorsese ups the ante by returning endlessly to his boyhood movie realm of 42nd Street, which, in the mid-’70s, was a lurid land of triple-X-rated cinema, skeevy massage parlors, cruising pimp mobiles, sidewalks crammed with hot-pants hookers, and the customers who on any given weekday evening, according to NYPD stats, were patronizing porn-shops at the rate of 8,000 per hour.
It was while Taxi Driver was in post-production that the Daily News ran the headline “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” The movie is Scorsese’s hometown farewell (a love letter quite different from Woody Allen’s). Like Nero, he torches the joint and picks up his lyre. Taxi Driver is a vision of a world that already knows it is lost. A third of a century later, the Checker cabs are gone, as are the taxi garages at the end of 57th Street and the all-night Belmore cafeteria. Times Square has been sanitized, the pestilent combat zone at Third Avenue and 13th Street where Iris peddles her underage charms has long since been gentrified. New York is no longer the planet’s designated Hell on Earth. (Six years after Taxi Driver, Blade Runner would dramatize a new urban space.)
No nostalgia, though: In other aspects, the world of Taxi Driver is recognizably ours. Libidinal politics, celebrity worship, sexual exploitation, the fetishization of guns and violence, racial stereotyping, the fear of foreigners—not to mention the promise of apocalyptic religion—all remain. Taxi Driver lives. See it again. And try to have a nice day.
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