Taxi drivers write the grammar of the city in a way that is very unique to their profession. Through knowing a city's streets and back-passages as intimately as they get to know some of their customers, they have a peculiar connection to what's going on in a city. They collect the stories of a place, tales of personal drama, of historic events, of journeys and of the shifting geographies - both physical and psychological - of the city. They know the city from the ground up, know its intimate secrets, its underside.
Films like Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth (1991) or Michael Mann's Collateral (2004) have as their subject stories played out in the confines of a taxi cab and the brief yet at times bizarre encounters that can happen there. D-Fuse's ongoing project Brief Encounters/By the Meter takes inspiration from these films, skirting along the porous boundary between fact and fiction in a series of open-ended impromptu interviews with taxi drivers from different cities. Recorded en route, the drivers are invited to talk about their personal history, their home town, the memorable rides they have experienced, and the poignant tales that emerge from this range from the lighthearted to the profound.
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