date festival


Sport and cinema

© Park Circus France
Raging Bull

Martin Scorsese
1980 - United States - 2h09

Screenings : monday 22 - 4:30 pm - Pathé - 1 - presented by Christophe Le Gac - film critic and teacher
1964: Jake LaMotta, ex-middle-weight boxing champion turned stand-up comedian, is rehearsing his act in his dressing room before going on stage. 1941: Jake LaMotta, aged 24 and managed by his brother Joey, is fighting a match. He loses on points and questions the refereeing. Back home, we see him as he really is: unsatisfied, selfish and easily angered with a clear tendency towards self-destruction.
“In 1980, after months of inner struggle which almost left him on the carpet (‘I had to bang my head against the wall'), thanks as well to his fetish actor De Niro, who would not only give one of his greatest performances, but also prove able of convincing him of the value of a project that he had initiated and co-written, Martin Scorsese, an Italian -American director haunted by the religious, tells the story of boxer Jake LaMotta. Or rather, he transfigures certain episodes of a tumultuous biography. The result is a supercharged and demanding film, sometimes with the camera handheld, at others there are long still shots, alternating between slow motion and acceleration, with such intensity that the spectator comes out feeling punch-drunk, exhausted for having participated from their seats. He rejects and blames LaMotta, a block of paranoid anger, he sympathises and wants to help him, like his devoted brother or loving wife, all beaten by a man who worked hard at losing everything, the love of those around him and his own self-esteem. The fight scenes, with unprecedented power in the photography and sound, precipitate all these emotions, those of the characters as much as those of the spectators. It is through stylistic exaggeration in these moments of extreme tension, through an almost expressionistic figuration of a human drama that Raging Bull achieves realism both externally (the horror of a blow given and received) and psychically. ‘The only real question is what is happening within Jake LaMotta.' Scorsese said many times that the film is not about boxing – a sport he knew nothing about. It is more the story of the downfall of a man born ‘blind', fighting against the dark and who can see a small light at the end of the tunnel.” (Bernard Benoliel; La Cinémathèque française)

Cast : Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, Mario Gallo, Frank Adonis
Screenplay : Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin
Cinematography : Michael Chapman
Editing : Thelma Schoonmaker

Production : Chartoff-Winkler Productions

French distributor : Park Circus