Revisiting the Violence and Style of Martin Scorsese's “Raging Bull”

May 27, 2020 262

BY: Richard Brody

The first movie première that I ever attended was the one for Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” at the Ziegfeld, in the fall of 1980, thanks to a friend with connections. I was a recent college graduate on my first job (in commercials) and a Scorsese-phile on the basis of the three films of his that I’d seen: “Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver,” and, above all, “New York, New York,” none of which prepared me for the blend of austerity and fury, abstraction and physicality in “Raging Bull,” which I’ve considered, ever since, a high point of Scorsese’s work.

Strangely, I didn’t rewatch the film for many years—even after the start of what I consider the Scorses-aissance, the astounding outburst of creative inspiration that followed “The Departed” (more specifically, his Oscar for “The Departed”) and has marked his past decade of films, from “Shutter Island” to “The Irishman.” Finally, this week, I did.

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