“In order to restore the film in spring 2010, the original 35mm negative was first read by a high resolution 4K scanner. The film was also re-graded and digitally restored in 4K: the media files were restored by Sony Pictures in California under the supervision of Grover Crisp; Scorsese’s cinematographer Michael Chapman supervised Scott Ostrowsky as he created a colour matched version that was approved by Scorsese. The 4K files were subsequently given a digital clean up by MTI film in Los Angeles. This involved removing scratches, stains and tread marks from the archived negative. Some scratches proved especially difficult to remove without altering the underlying imagery, particularly the faces of characters. The restoration of the sound was equally extensive and involved the production of a new multi-track stereo soundtrack from the film’s original recordings. The final version of the restored film was approved by Martin Scorsese in January 2011.”
I’d watched Taxi Driver many times, uncut, on TV thanks to CityTV, all through my teens and twenties. After I quit drinking, the movie was re-released theatrically (in 1996) and naturally I went. I was shocked at how much booze Travis Bickle drank. I had never noticed before how much time he spend dragging a bottle around. As far as I know, these little bits weren’t magically added for the re-release. I literally had never noticed them before, “on purpose” I guess.