365 films in 2016: film 20 (Raging Bull 1980)

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 22.51.58Raging Bull is an interesting film because it pretty much saved Scorsese’s career, at the time Scorsese was so into doing coke that he was on the brink of overdosing, while he was in the hospital Robert De Niro constantly visited him and told him he needed to clean himself up and make a film about a boxer, initially he declined and said he would never direct again but eventually he gave in and said he’d do it, and as a result of this we got Raging Bull.

It’s kind of ironic that the film that basically saved Scorsese’s life was a film about a man ruining his own life because of his attitude and negligence, I’ve always said Scorsese is the perfect director for anti-hero stories and Raging Bull is no exception. You don’t like Jake LaMotta, he’s a scummy guy but you root for him still, I think that’s what’s really interesting about this movie, the way Jake is shown throughout the film and watching him fall from grace into a sad, lonely former shadow of who he used to be.

Obviously De Niro does a perfect job playing Jake as expected, De Niro went though a lot for this role, he started of my training with the real Jake LaMotta, who said De Niro had a shot at being a real contender at the end of their straining and then half way though the movie gaining 60 pounds just to play the older fatter version of LaMotta. Shot wise Raging Bull is standard fare for Scorsese, a few long takes, some nice perspective shots, the usual stuff you’d expect from his movies but something that really stands out is the way the camera is used in the actual boxing scenes, the shots and techniques feel like they were ripped straight out of a horror movie, this adds a whole new level of depth to these scenes and works wonders for the movie. Raging Bull is a film that practically saved Martin Scorsese’s life and career, it’s a great piece of cinema that really stands up still today, though I do feel the film drags on a bit at times it’s still a solid 7/10.

In 2016 i will be watching 365 films (yes, i know there are 366 days this year) and writing about how I felt about them, I decided to do this just because over the last year or so i’ve Sort of pulled away from film and I wanna start to enjoy watching movies again. This will normally be just notes I made or thoughts I have about the film.


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