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Raging Bull: The home movies

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Raging Bull as Verismo opera
Michael Chapman Film-maker
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Raging Bull is a... is a... a sort of Italian Verismo opera really. It's very much like Cavalleria Rusticana or Pagliacci; I mean, there are these unfortunate South Italian peasants who are in the Bronx, and... but otherwise they behave exactly the same, you know – they had insane jealousies about women and this and that – and it's all done in a tiny little enclave of people. It's a Verismo opera, but we... we let the camera do the singing rather than they – but other than that it might have just have well been Cavalleria Rusticana. And, I mean, I know that sounds campy and everything, but it's really quite true. I mean, they are exactly the same people; they just happen to have ended up in the Bronx rather than in Sicily or South... somewhere in Southern Italy, but they're exactly the same people and have no more clue of what they're doing.

The other thing that's probably interesting to mention in... about Raging Bull is the color footage of the home movies. Now, I never talked to Marty [Martin Scorsese] about this in many years, but my memory is... well, first of all we saw them; they were... Jake had actual color home movies, and we saw them; they were of himself and... and various other members of the family and absolute goombah Mafiosi guys jitterbugging on the sand at Miami Beach, and of christenings and weddings and all of that stuff.

Michael Chapman, an American cinematographer, has had a huge influence on contemporary film-making, working on an impressive array of classic films including 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull', 'The Lost Boys' and 'The Fugitive'.

Listeners: Glen Ade Brown

British Director of Photography and Camera Operator Glen Ade Brown settled in Los Angeles 10 years ago.

He has been working on features, commercials and reality TV. He played an instrumental role in the award-winning ABC Family series "Switched" and is also a recipient of the Telly and the Cine Golden Eagle awards for Best Cinematography. He was recently signed by the Judy Marks Agency and is now listed in her commercial roster.

Tags: Raging Bull, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci

Duration: 1 minute, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008