Scorsese could have chosen to end the film with La Motta’s loss to Sugar Ray, where he surrendered his Middleweight crown. After that, his career was all downhill. Yet the director allows the film to run for thirty minutes after this pivotal moment, stretching more than a decade into La Motta’s future. The reason is obvious: Scorsese isn’t as interested in boxing as he is in the character. Following his retirement, La Motta is still as violent and volatile as ever, but he has lost the arena in which he can legally unleash those tendencies. We see the results of this beast let loose on society and how the consequences of his actions reduce him to a parody of his former self. Who cannot feel a surge of pity for La Motta as he quietly recites Marlon Brando’s speech from On the Waterfront? (“I coulda been a contenda.”)
Perhaps Raging Bull is indeed the best film of the ’80s. And, if not, it’s certainly perilously close to the zenith.
- James Berardinelli
I Recall Every Fall (for Spoke Art’s Scorsese: an art show tribute)
I’m pleased to be able to share the Raging Bull-inspired piece I’ve created for San Francisco’s Spoke Arts show, Scorsese: an art show tribute, which runs from Friday 19th April to Sunday April 21st at Bold Hype Gallery in NYC.
Going back through Scorcese’s films seeking inspiration, I suddenly spotted the aesthetic similarities between the pool where Jake first sees Vickie, and the boxing ring. Both flat surfaces effectively, framed/penned in by 3 railings for the pool, and 3 ropes for the ring. I felt this could work well visually, but then also have a nice semantic depth to it, as it’s possible to see Jake and Vickie’s first meeting as the beginning of his downfall, both personally and professionally.
Ten gicleé prints will be for sale at the show, and then online afterwards.
Taxi Driver (1976)
One of the greatest films ever made
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese has called on New York City planners to halt the development of a luxury apartment complex and protect the “grittiness” of the Bowery, a small neighbourhood which winds through Chinatown, Little Italy, Nolita, SoHo and the East Village.
Scorsese — who was raised in Little Italy — wrote to the City Planning Commission on March 13, urging it to support the East Bowery Preservation Plan which includes preserving several historic buildings.
Scorsese isn’t the only old resident of the area raging like a bull over the changes to the Lower East Side, where Italian food shops have been replaced by $750-a-night hotels.
“Marty’s right. Leave it the way it is,” said Moe Albanese, owner of the butcher shop Albanese Meats & Poultry on Elizabeth Street.
“The neighborhood is very trendy now. It used to be kids playing and families.”
Source - lajournal.com
Jake La Motta: I remember those cheers / They still ring in my ears / After years, they remain in my thoughts. / Go to one night / I took off my robe, and what’d I do? I forgot to wear shorts. / I recall every fall / Every hook, every jab / The worst way a guy can get rid of his flab. / As you know, my life wasn’t drab. / Though I’d much… Though I’d rather hear you cheer / When you delve… Though I’d rather hear you cheer / When I delve into Shakespeare / “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse”, I haven’t had a winner in six months.
[he lights a cigar]
Jake La Motta: Though I’m no Olivier / I would much rather… And though I’m no Olivier / If he fought Sugar Ray / He would say / That the thing ain’t the ring, it’s the play. / So give me a… stage / Where this bull here can rage / And though I could fight / I’d much rather recite /… that’s entertainment.
First and last lines from Raging Bull (1980)