Raging Bull

Date 11/02/2019 Venue 14.00 (Screen 1)
Director Martin Scorsese (1980)

129 Minutes

“This is not a film about boxing. This is a film about the human condition and about cinema itself.” Empire Magazine

Nominated for eight Oscars, with Robert De Niro winning for Best Actor, Raging Bull is cited by many as being the Best Film of the 80’s and indeed the best film ever made

“It starred Robert De Niro, electrifyingly and horribly charismatic in the role of 1940s middleweight boxing champ Jake La Motta. In the ring, he was a graceless brawler, outside it a repugnant bully and wife-beater who was in thrall to the mob. The film actually suppresses many of the nastier aspects of La Motta’s life and essentially takes him at his own lenient estimation of himself, emphasising what was allegedly his initial, pig-headed resistance to gangsters’ parasitic involvement in his career. The effect is to combine stunning scenes of brutality and self-destruction with a lethal, even outrageous sentimentalism and self-pity. It’s all captured in dreamlike, pin-sharp monochrome cinematography, stark images reproduced like a Weegee crime scene. The result is operatic and mad and compelling. The fight sequences themselves, with the camera swirling and swooping around the ring, and the soundtrack sometimes gulping out into silence and sometimes moaning with weird half-heard animal noises, are unforgettable: an inspired reportage recreation in the manner of a Life magazine shoot, which also looks like expressionist newsreel footage of a bad dream.” The Guardian