Raging Bull 1980 MA15+

3.00PM Sun 1 Dec 2019 (2hrs 9mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Ticketed

SYNOPSIS

Raging Bull will screen from an imported 35mm print.

Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece Raging Bull is a biographical portrait of middleweight boxes Jake LaMotta, whose turbulent life and career is rendered as an Othello-esque tale of obsessive jealousy and violence.

In arguably his greatest performance, Robert De Niro won an Academy Award for his portrayal of LaMotta, famously getting his body into peak shape to play the boxer in his prime before gaining more than 27kg to illustrate his physical decline. Beyond these impressive bodily changes, De Niro captures the intensity of a man wrenched by self-hatred, who seems to seek personal exculpation through the pain of the boxing ring. Managed by his younger brother Joey (a then-unknown Joe Pesci) and abusive towards his young wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), LaMotta forces the people around him into his own destructive orbit.

After receiving an unsatisfactory script adaptation of LaMotta’s autobiography from screenwriter Mardik Martin, Scorsese asked Paul Schrader (with whom he had already collaborated on Taxi Driver 1976) to rework the screenplay. Schrader soon found the emotional core of the narrative in the relationship between the two LaMotta brothers, an element unexplored in the original treatment, as well as amplifying his trademark fascination with the intersection of sex and violence. Scorsese, who had suffered a near fatal drug overdose in the late 1970s, saw the production as a chance to make a final cinematic statement, so sure was he that he would never be able to make another film. With its combination of stunning monochrome cinematography and a ferocious sound palette that weaves the roars of wild animals into its bloody fight scenes, it is a prodigious formal achievement that interrogates the very soul of its subject.

CREDITS

35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 129 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: MARTIN SCORCESE / SCRIPT: PAUL SCHRADER, MARDIK MARTIN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: MICHAEL CHAPMAN / EDITOR: THELMA SCHOONMAKER / PROD CO: CHARTOFF-WINKLER PRODUCTIONS, UNITED ARTISTS / PRINT SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS, WINSTON-SALEM / RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM