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Archive for November 23rd, 2013

by Mike Norton

How does one begin to write about their favorite movie of all time? A better question might be why would anyone want to write about their favorite movie? Sam has basically given me free reign to write about whatever film I want and I do have some more films lined up that I could write about, but I can’t resist writing about Raging Bull, my favorite movie of all time, even if articulating just what I love about it would ruin my personal connection to it. Everyone has one a “favorite” movie, whether they admit it or not (at the very least, they have a handful of movies vying for the number one spot), and we’d be remiss if we denied the personal connection we have to our favorite films. For me, Raging Bull isn’t just another movie, as cliché as that sounds. Over the past two years since I first saw it, I’ve seen it nine times, and it continues to impact me and shape my life in ways that few other works of art have. Trying to judge it on an aesthetic level could obscure my personal connection to it, and vice versa; in this essay I will attempt to balance the two. Here goes nothing.

Raging Bull is about the life of Jake LaMotta, a famous boxer from the 1940s whose memoir of the same name became the basis for this film. Martin Scorsese directs, and Robert De Niro stars as LaMotta, famously gaining weight to portray LaMotta later in his life. It is in black and white, for practical reasons mostly, since the amount of blood would be, apparently, far too much to portray in color, but it also gives the film a raw, rugged feel. Joe Pesci plays Jake’s brother and manager, Joey, and Cathy Moriarty plays Jake’s second wife, Vickie. This was the first major acting role for both actors. (more…)

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