Welcome to Framed, a column at Cinematical that runs every Thursday and celebrates the artistry of cinema -- one frame at a time.
People often say that in order to find the light, sometimes you have to get lost in the dark for a while. It's one of those sayings that would normally annoy the pants off me, but in the case of Martin Scorsese and his epic 1980 film about middleweight boxer Jake La Motta (played by Robert De Niro), these words couldn't ring more true. The director made 'Raging Bull' at one of the lowest points in his life, following a near-fatal drug overdose, and initially believed the film might be his last. In the beginning, it took a lot of convincing to shoot the biopic from friend and collaborator Robert De Niro, but Scorsese saw it as a lifeline and eventually connected to the story on a deeper, personal level. In this light, the choice to shoot the film in black and white takes on another level of lyricism. Of course, they don't come more black and white than Jake La Motta. De Niro portrays The Bronx Bull as an everyman -- one so broken and fueled by his own self-hatred that we can't help but feel for him, despite bearing witness to his vile nature.