You know that Taxi Driver remake story that so flummoxed Renn this morning? Well, unbunch your panties, friends, as this is actually news that could be awesome. I knew there was something more to the story than what was coming to light, and after taking a look at the original website where the story broke, I realized what that was.
If you look at the text of the original article, you’ll catch references to Lars von Trier’s 2003 film, The Five Obstructions. I recommend running out and renting that right now, since this Taxi Driver remake is actually looking like a sequel to that film. In The Five Obstructions von Trier delivers a challenge to his friend Jorgan Leth: remake Leth’s film The Perfect Human, von Trier’s avowed favorite film, five times. Each time there will be a different obstruction – so the first remake Leth does must be shot in Cuba, and no shot can be longer than 12 frames. The obstructions continue from there until the really great fifth and final obstruction. The Five Obstructions is one part documentary, one part experimental film, and once you realize that this is what von Trier is up to the Taxi Driver ‘remake’ seems brilliant.
Imagine Scorsese being tasked by von Trier to remake Taxi Driver five times, each time with a different obstacle? I’d love to see if von Trier has the balls to pull something Fifth Obstacle level on Scorsese (and I do think he does). This could be a truly amazing examination of filmmaking, of Scorsese’s process, of the meaning of Taxi Driver and of a wacky European giving Martin Scorsese a whole lot of shit.
So climb off the ledges and don’t be too worried. This sounds like a truly exciting project that will likely be an arthouse phenomenon and won’t sully the original classic.