Anatomy of a Scene: Raging Bull

Martin Scorsese’s RAGING BULL has always been one of my favorites.  I think it’s a perfect film.  This scene is about 95 minutes into the film and I think the scene should be studied by all filmmakers because of its use of sound, camera technique and amazing symbolism.  Even though it’s a boxing scene it has so much going on.

We’re also going to see Scorsese’s use of Religious imagery or what is called religious ICONOGRAPHY.  It is used throughout the film, but it is most evident in this scene. Iconography is the branch of art history, which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means “image writing.”

By shooting in close up, slow motion, utilizing freeze frames, swish pans and angles in a unique way, Scorsese comments on how rigorously violent this sport is.  RAGING BULL is a brilliant balance of realism and heightened expressionistic effects.  In addition, Scorsese has always taken his inspiration from many artistic sources.  That’s why it’s one of my essentials for filmmakers to watch.