The Establishing Shot: Jameson Cult Film Club presents - Taxi Driver


Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Monday, October 04, 2010

Given the increase and number of various Immersive Cinematic events to choose from I would be surprised if you haven’t participated - or at least aware of the uprising of events popping up in London (as well as the rest of the UK).

They are the cinematic equivalent of Tyler Durden’s Fight Clubs, the secret gigs of the 2000s and the warehouse parties of the 80s - they pop up, create an immersive experience and fade back into the night.

For years - in the hopes of offering a deeper, more compelling experience to keep audiences engaged and interested - there has been much talk of how audiences can be engaged beyond the passive viewing experience with immersive cinema.

With the continued dissatisfaction in traditional cinema, many of us are seeking out more niche experiences, not only more in line with our general social seeking behaviour but experiences that embody the same care and attention, showing a film that filmmakers put into a making a film (and which we view the film with.)

Their have been various attempts at this, the most enduring (and successful) of these being Surround sound, 3D and more recently IMAX. However there have been many other attempts including; Smell-o-vision (odours released to coincide with on-screen events) and its scratch-n-sniff offshoot Odorama (successfully employed last year at the ICA for a screening of Peter Greenway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover), Percepto! (small electric buzzers attached to chairs), Illusion-O (coloured glasses reveal ghosts), Sensurround (incredibly loud rumbling bass output), Cinerama (curved 146 degree widescreens) as well as 4-D (3D combined with physical interaction like moving/vibrating chairs) mostly used in theme parks. Who can forget Feel-A-Round the parody technique demonstrated in The Kentucky Fried Movie?


Jameson too have crossed that bridge merging film and immersive experience with their ongoing Jameson Cult Film Club screenings held in unique and distinct locations, combined with performance art and props. These screenings also offer a warm platform for film lovers to come together and watch some of their favourite films. For more about previous screening see my post about the MOON screening here!

Although Jameson were not first, they certainly have consistently maintained the spirit of Cult, kept their screenings fresh, un-bloated, and on the button.

Some seem to be focussing on the “pop up” nature of these screenings as the heart of the event, rather missing the point that the bigger immersive experience is intrinsically tied into the ambient connection offered by the location of the screening.

As was the case when Jameson Cult Film Club presented the classic Taxi Driver at the Brewer Street public car park.



I had been to an event a little while ago at the same location so initially my thoughts were that they needed a space and this was it. However as I made my way through the streets of Soho things started to fall into place and the neon bathed wet backstreets of Soho were an inspired substitute for Travis Bickle’s sordid and grimy New York. This event started outside the actual screening. I’m unsure of how many people had assembled, but the queue was long, full of anticipation and well dressed urbanites.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: In the seedy back streets of Soho people queue for the JCFC screening of Taxi Driver Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: In the back streets of Soho people queue up
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: In the seedy back streets of Soho people queue for the JCFC screening of Taxi Driver by Craig Grobler , on Flickr

We crossed the police barrier and made our way up the sign posted stairwell,
through the concrete car park to be serenaded by the haunting Bernard Herrmann Main Title theme from Taxi Driver emanating from a street musician’s Saxophone bathed by the green glow from lights above.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Street Musician greeting people on entry with Bernard Herrmann's great Taxi Driver Theme Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Ladies of the night
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Street Musician greeting people on entry with Bernard Herrmann's great Taxi Driver Theme by Craig Grobler , on Flickr , Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Ladies of the night by Craig Grobler , on Flickr ,


Passing the musician on our way up the vertical slope to the next floor we were first handed some dollars by Usherettes to be used upstairs and then accosted by some ladies of the night. We were well and truly immersed in the sleazy world of Travis Bickle.

Arriving at the top and turning the corner, there it was – straight from the opening scene of Taxi Driver like a shark, Travis Bickle’s cab comes gliding out of the steamy night.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Like a shark, the cab comes out of the steamy nightJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Homage to the opening scene of Taxi DriverJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Inside Travis Bickle's cab
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Like a shark, the cab comes out of the steamy night by Craig Grobler , on Flickr , Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Homage to the opening scene of Taxi Driver by Craig Grobler , on Flickr , Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Inside Travis Bickle's cab by Craig Grobler , on Flickr ,


Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle's Taxi Cab
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle's Taxi Cab by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

Then I first saw her She was wearing a white dress. She appeared like an angel. Out of the filthy mess, she is alone - Betsy handing out "We are the People" vote for Senator Palantine badges. Nice touch a little takeaway paraphernalia from the evening.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Betsy hands out vote for Palantine "We are the people" badges.
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Betsy hands out vote for Palantine "We are the people" badges. by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

Behind Betsy a queue for New York style hot dogs and a cavernous room filled with not one but three screens to ensure non of the action was missed by the growing crowd, neon lights, Usherettes ensuring libation for all, revellers - Hustlers, Hookers and Pimps all trying to get those recently acquired dollars off us when not fighting with each other.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: New York Style Hot DogsJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Betsy and the end of the Hot Dog queue
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: New York Style Hot Dogs by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Betsy and the end of the Hot Dog queue by Craig Grobler, on Flickr
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: But Pimps and hoes do get onJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Jameson usherettes ensure that drinks are topped up
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Pimps and hoes do getting on by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Jameson usherettes ensure that drinks are topped up by Craig Grobler, on Flickr
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Hustlers and Hoes rarely get onJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Street Hustlers
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Hustlers and Hoes rarely get on by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Street Hustlers. by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

On the right behind the DJ booth a long stretch of bar serving up customary Jameson refreshments adding some class and respite from the grim “streets of New York”.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi DriverJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Precision Mixology
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver DJ XXX by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Precision Mixology by Craig Grobler, on Flickr
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: The New York Post headline Taxi Driver Battles GangstersJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Afterparty kicking off
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: The New York Post headline Taxi Driver Battles Gangsters by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Pre-screening refreshments by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

While nursing a Jameson Mule I headed past the Diner booths already filled with the more fleet of foot –

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Pre-screeningJameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Pre-screening
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Pre-screening by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Pre-screening refreshments by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

and to my surprise bumped into the rather brilliant Riz Ahmed London Curator for the Jameson Cult Film Club screening, (if you haven’t seen Chris Morris’ bittersweet yet hilarious Four Lions yet. I strongly urge you to. You won’t regret it)

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: JCFC Curator Riz Ahmed & Jameson's team member. Travis Bickle lurking in the background
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: JCFC Curator Riz Ahmed & Jameson's team member. Travis Bickle lurking in the background by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

Stephen Graham will be curating a screening of Dracula in Liverpool on October 28 and Matt Greenhalgh will be the Curator of a November screening of Aliens in Manchester – more info and tickets for these screenings can be found on the Jameson Cult Film Club website over here!

I had a really short chat with Riz Ahmed about what he had coming up next. He can currently be seen in a show stealing part in the Blu Ray/DVD release of Neil Marshall's spectacular vengeful sword and sandals adventure Centurion. Just before he had to rush off and introduce the screening of Taxi Driver he had a chance to mention that he was working with Plan B (Ben Drew). I had assumed that he was involved with Turnaround a new feature starring Ben Drew, however he may have been referring to their collaboration on the Party4Pakistan fundraiser for the Pakistan floods.

He also mentioned that he was starting production on a new film directed by no less than the great French auteur Jean-Jacques Annaud and will be working with Tahar Rahim.

OK! Hopefully by now you know that A Prophet (which starred Tahar Rahim) is one of my favourite films of all time. Holy Cow! (That’s an exclamation not the title of the film) turns out Riz is working on Black Gold with Tahar Rahim, Freida Pinto, Mark Strong and possibly Antonio Banderas. Under the eye of Jean-Jacques Annaud and with a cast like that Black Gold is shaping up to be something of a cinematic treat


Shooting in Tunisia Black Gold is based on a 1957 novel by Hans Ruesch.
Set in the 1930s Arab states at the dawn of the oil boom, the story centers on a young Arab prince torn between allegiance to his conservative father and
modern, liberal father-in-law.– From IMDB

He had to shoot off to introduce Taxi Driver so I didn’t get the chance to delve deeper into either projects. As Riz Ahmed made his way backstage I spotted the man of the hour Travis Bickle. In fact when I noticed him I realised that he had actually been around the whole time lurking and watching. Although reluctant to stop for a photo I managed to get a couple of shots of him.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle How's your drivin' record? - It's real clean, like my conscience.
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle How's your drivin' record? - It's real clean, like my conscience by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle unhappy with the state of the nation Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle surveying the streets. "King Kong Company 1968-70"
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle unhappy with the state of the nation by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle surveying the streets. "King Kong Company 1968-70" by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

The PA system let us know that the screening would be starting shortly and we should take our seats. Everyone started making their way to their seats for Taxi Driver.

Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Jameson Cult Film Club Curator the brilliant Riz Ahmed introduces Taxi Driver
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Jameson Cult Film Club Curator the brilliant Riz Ahmed introduces Taxi Driver by Craig Grobler, on Flickr
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Jameson Cult Film Club Curator the brilliant Riz Ahmed introduces Taxi Driver Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle puts his own twist on a film introduction
Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Jameson Cult Film Club Curator the brilliant Riz Ahmed introduces Taxi Driver by Craig Grobler, on Flickr, Jameson Cult Film Club - Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle puts his own twist on a film introduction by Craig Grobler, on Flickr

Riz Ahmed introduced Taxi Driver as one of his favourite films and his love of anti hero Travis Bickle. Next up Travis Bickle (channeling Christopher Walken) spoke of the storm that was coming to clean the streets of all the scum.


After the screening Jameson treated all to an after party off note, allowing us to discuss just how brilliant Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver is, what an inspired choice for a cult viewing it was, what an absolutely blinding and brilliant cast it has (Robert De Niro, a 12 year old Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, Albert Brooks, etc.), Bernard Herrmann’s soulful score (one of his last), the larger social implications of vigilantism or just how bat shit crazy Travis Bickle actually was, which Jameson screening has been the best so far and will Jameson be able to top this evening given that Taxi Driver is the de facto king of Cult films? - Over a drink or two. As the bar filled and the DJ kicked off his playlist - filling the dance floor very quickly I made my way into the Fall Soho night.

I have to say I really enjoyed this screening; the performance art bits were pared down to the right balance of entertaining but not intrusive or distracting leaving the film to be the highlight of the evening. Hey Jameson how about a custom cocktail made to celebrate each film by a Mixologist of note? Just an idea.

For an insightful review of Taxi Driver by Dave Calhoun, TimeOut film editor head over to the Jameson Cult Film Blog here!

Thanks Jameson for another great night : )

The Jameson Cult Film Club continues with screenings of Dracula in Liverpool on October 28th, Aliens in Manchester in November (you lucky, lucky Mancurians) as well as their annual CHILLS IN THE CHAPEL season which includes screenings of Quatermass and the Pit (October 29), The Amityville Horror (October 30) and ends on Halloween with some classic Hitchcock Psycho (October 31) to be screened at Union Chapel in London.

Visit the Jameson Cult Film Club Box Office for more info and tickets.

0 comments

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Establishing Shot HOT LIST


I really enjoyed Johannes Roberts' gripping & taut shark attack thrill ride 47 Metres Down - FILM REVIEW

Christopher Nolan & Emma Thomas introduce their modern classic DUNKIRK and answer some questions about DUNKIRK - EVENT REPORT

The Game of Thrones: Touring Exhibition is coming to London - UPCOMING EXHIBITION

I visit the BT Tower for the riveting Fear The Walking Dead Season 3 pre-premiere launch - EVENT REPORT



In Cinemas this week

Features



The 2017 EE BAFTA Nominations announced

Matthew McConaughey introduces GOLD and tells us a little bit about the film

xXx: Return of Xander Cage European Premiere EVENT REPORT
Richard Kelly talks the Making of Donnie Darko
Alex Zane Presents the FDA Autumn/Winter Film Preview & chats with Tom Conti
The Light Between The Oceans Press Conference
De Palma Review
Prop Store Auction Preview Exhibition
Idris Elba suprises us at Star Trek Beyond
The Nice Guys Surprise Us
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
10 Criminally underrated British Crime Films you probably haven't seen yet
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batmobile
In discussion the making of Triple 9
Deadpool Film Review
Quentin Tarantino talks The Hateful Eight
Star Wars Visions Exhibition Tokyo
SalonQP 2015 Preview
The Rogues Gallery Creation of a Super Villian Book Launch
Legend Press Conference
SPECTRE all the news
No Escape Review
Ant-Man Euoropean Press Conference
Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition London
Ant-Man Willard Wigan Micro Exhibition
Unheard James Bond Themes
Peyton Reed & Paul Rudd introduce Marvel's Ant-Man
Knight of Cups Trailer Breakdown

Latest Film & TV News

Latest reviews:

Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
Triple 9 Review
Deadpool Film Review
The Hateful Eight Review
Legend Review
No Escape Review
Mr. Holmes Review
The Grandmaster Review
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes Review
The Drop Film Review
300: Rise of an Empire
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

Craig Says...







LEGEND OF THE EAST END Exhibition

Legend of the East End Exhibition

135 Bethnal Green Rd,E2,
28 Aug - 11 Sep 2015
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
the alibi film club

The Alibi Cult Film Club

The Alibi ,Dalston, E8 2PB
Every Mon

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Tour

WB Studios, Leavesden
April 2014+

Bond in Motion Exhibition

Bond in Motion at London Film Museum

Bond in Motion London

London Film Museum
21 March 2014+

TheEstShot Listening To:

Craig's Awesome Mix