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Raging Bull: The parallels with opera


Raging Bull: Using the mechanics of movie-making
Michael Chapman Film-maker
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We did use the mechanics of movie-making with... shamelessly; I mean, we just... if there was something we could do, we did it, you know. That famous steadicam shot that goes up and then... goes up and up, on a crane and rises up... we did everything we could think of; everything that seemed appropriate to do; and we did... yes, we did everything we could think of doing, and we had... by that time in our careers, we had a command of a lot of the mechanics of movie-making at our fingers – we knew what to do and how to do it; there was no question. I don't mean to denigrate that at all; I think in this case the mechanics of movie-making were in the service of... of a really sophisticated idea and therefore not... though they were self-conscious perhaps they were not self-conscious in a bad way. It was... it was perhaps mannerism rather than renaissance, but there's nothing wrong with mannerism; it's just that you have to understand it's a mannerism. And so we did it, you know, and it was... I must say for myself, of the two of them I prefer Taxi Driver. Taxi Driver seems more immediate and more disturbing and... and closer to the bone somehow, but as a great piece of mannerist film making, it's hard to do better, and I am delighted that I got a chance to do it. I'm delighted I got a chance to do the black and white, and everything about it was fun.

Michael Chapman (1935-2020), an American cinematographer, 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, Taxi Driver

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008