Having refused to direct Raging Bull, not least because of his total lack of interest in sport, Scorsese eventually found a way into the dark material after a near-death experience resulting from a drug overdose.
Determined to offer something new, Scorsese and cinematographer Michael Chapman – having already worked together on Taxi Driver – decided to shoot the boxing scenes from within the ring, rather than offer the more commonly employed spectator’s view. This required elaborate planning and choreography, which stands out in stark contrast to the simple, almost crude approach used in the sequences outside the ring – something which beautifully reflects the binary experience of the film’s protagonist.
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Chapman
Showing as part of Eye to Eye – Visionary Partnerships in Cinematography and Direction (July 2nd – 30th).