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“Raging Bull”, when Scorsese climbed into the ring to fight himself

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New York, New York It was a disaster at the box office, despite the Palme d’Or taxi driverStudio executives refused to take calls from Martin Scorsese, who fell into a depression exacerbated by his drug use. He decided to give up directing to devote himself solely to teaching, but when he risked dying of an overdose, Robert De Niro He ran to his bed and told him that at the cinema he had to find the strength to get up again. He added, “It is inconceivable that an artist with your talent would stop directing,” and presented him with a biography Jake LaMottastating that it was a perfect film for its strings.

Robert De Niro and ‘Raging Bull’: ‘Jake, the Hero Who Never Falls’

by Antonio Munda

Scorsese didn’t like boxing, but he was shocked by the story of the Italian-American boxer who refused to get knocked down even when he was being butchered by stronger athletes like Ray Sugar Robinson. Still recovering, imagine the scene in which LaMotta, his face disfigured and covered in blood, yells at his opponent “You didn’t bring me down, Sugar!” He realized the book was about what he was going through in that moment and had an unusual idea: Jake LaMotta only knew how to hurt anyone around him, and that made him a hero in the ring but turned his everyday life into a tragedy.

Excited, Scorsese wholeheartedly threw himself into the project to continue combating drug addiction, while the producer Irvin Winkler She managed to get United Artists to finance the movie. The book, poorly written, has been reinvented before Paul Schraderwho co-starred with his brother Joey, played beautifully Joe Pesciand created some memorable scenes, such as the one in which LaMotta, in prison for having sex with a minor, slams a cell wall until his hands are flogged and shouts “I’m not an animal.”

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The best of Martin Scorsese

Scorsese didn’t struggle so much to convince De Niro to don thirty kilos for the final scenes of the movie, the actor knew he would make this impersonation immortal. He studied LaMotta’s frustration when he was forced to lose a match because a mobster bet on his rival, and asked him to read a passage from port interface to honor Elia Kazana teacher for both of them, to whom he will later dedicate a beautiful documentary.

Martin Scorsese (hand)

Starting with black and white Michael Chapman and pool Thelma ShoemakerThere is no element of this film that only reaches the franchise wild bull It is above all an act of absolute directorial mastery. It would suffice to think of how Scorsese immortalizes the drama of Jake LaMotta already in the opening credits, as a boxer warms up in the ring wrapped in a bathrobe, in the background,break from Country cavalry By Mascagni: He throws his fists into the void knowing that he is only comfortable in a place where violence is celebrated. The world around him is undefined and hostileAnd the flashes of paparazzi explode dangerously: with a touch of genius Scorsese replaces the noise of cameras with the noise of gunshots. It is not the only dazzling solution to this work of art in which the director forces the viewer to adopt the point of view of a brutal and violent man, who ends up destroying his closest loved ones and then himself.

The use of the Super8 is massive To tell the rare moments of family serenity: They’re the only scenes shot in color, and Scorsese personally scratched the film for an aging effect. Or the way he uses the still camera inside the ring, turning the camera to a third athlete, as brutal as the competitors. This great artist Don’t be afraid to show the pain of truth, violence is torture This goes hand in hand with a contemplation of the mystical presence of evil, within which LaMotta explodes again and again in an irrepressible way: against his rival Tony Janeiro, disfigured because his wife called him attractive, and even against his brother, whom she will never be able to forgive again. The way Joey refuses to embrace him is one of the most poignant moments I’ve ever filmed, as in the finale the hero, physically unrecognizable, pathetically exploits the minimal residual popularity on second-tier courts.

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It’s not that issue wild bull It constantly appears in the list of the most beautiful films of all time, showing how a cinematic masterpiece can be made from raw literary material, and symptomatic is that it is the favorite film of many pure writers from Philip Roth. It is also scheduled for wild bull Whether Scorsese will ever be able to break free from drug addiction, but the final quote from the Gospel of St. John, “Whether he was a sinner, I don’t know; I know one thing: before I was blind and now I can see,” primarily anticipates a longing for spiritual redemption. correct and proper. It’s a theme that remains hidden in this masterpiece, but will become apparent in the exceptional films he continues to make to this day.

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