17 February 2010

Raging Bull *

Funny enough, I'd only ever seen the first fifteen minutes or so of this. So now that I've finally seen it, I have to say: it was amazing to witness the gradual and profoundly convincing transformation from Robert De Niro into Albert Brooks.

No, but seriously. This is the antithesis of much of the cinema I've been watching lately -- of much of the cinema I am drawn to in general. The only word for Raging Bull is visceral. It's not a movie you're supposed to think about; it's a movie you're supposed to feel. Both emotionally and physically, this movie is about feeling. Man is an animal, and De Niro's Jake LaMotta moreso than your average man.

Interestingly, I'm not sure I have a lot more to say about it. I guess I can point out how it struck me that Scorsese seems to work from a lot of biopic or life-story types of scripts, that begin and end decades apart. Or that De Niro and Pesci have a very similar dynamic here as in Goodfellas and Casino, and that something really profound could possibly come from analyzing the three as one evolving relationship. Other than tangential stuff like that, it's easier to pay the film the respect of feeling it more than thinking it, and that doesn't lend itself to much in the way of insight.

I'm sure it says something about me that I find my lack of a thoughtful response to be food for thought.

Seen at the Academy Theater as part of the Beer-and-Movies Fest.

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