Raging Bull Scene

#1
The part in this episode where Tony and Silvio mock perform the final scene of raging bull when they recognize the song from that scene playing at Versevio's. It directly ties not only to the posters in the bing back office but also to the scientist from the hospital where he says the two boxers are actually the same entity. I feel this is a direct comparison of the arc of Phil and Tony's lives and deaths in the last season. Any one else want to elaborate?
[font="Franklin Gothic Medium"]You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he didn’t correct himself.[/font][SIZE="1"][/SIZE]

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#2
FANTASTIC post. In retrospect, how prophetically sad that Bobby is amused at the fake boxing moment, the dance of life and death. i wanted to put together some YouTube clips before i responded further:



Here is the scene for this post:

-Tony Soprano Vs. Silvio Dante; (mock) Boxing Scene while at Vesuvio's, (set to the Opening Music “Intermezzo Stafonico”, from 'Cavalleria Rusticana' by Pietro Mascagni) used in Martin Scorses’s Raging Bull:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54N8MZThcNM


-Here’s the actual Raging Bull opening boxer scene, set to same music, Intermezzo Stafonico (from 'Cavalleria Rusticana'):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKdGJw90VCY


For good measure, here's Scorsese's Raging Bull Final Boxing Match (bloody 13th round):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nAjurxttv4

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#3
Now, here's a great post on this subject:

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/618e33ac-f3f0-4403-9ccf-8a3031b6a6ec

...The scene I’m talking about will forever be known as “The Raging Bull scene”. Tony, Silvio and Bobby were eating lunch, making preparations for going to war with New York. Suddenly, over the speakers, the classical score to “Raging Bull” began to play. Tony and Sil instantly recognized the soundtrack, and began pantomiming the opening credits to “Raging Bull” where Robert De Niro as Jake Lamotta dances around the ring in slow, almost balletic motion, shadow boxing with his demons as he gets ready for a fight. As Tony and Sil pantomimed the scene, they threw punches in slow motion, laughing, sharing a bit of their heritage.

Raging Bull” is one of the finest movies ever made and perhaps Martin Scorsese’s greatest achievement. Its protagonist, Jake LaMotta, was a great boxer haunted by demons. The film’s most memorable scene showed LaMotta fighting the more gifted Sugar Ray Robinson for the sixth and final time. It was perhaps boxing’s greatest rivalry, even though LaMotta won only one of their little wars.


In their final fight, Robinson gave LaMotta a thrashing that “Raging Bull’s” magnificent cinematography immortalized. The frame where LaMotta’s blood sprays the first row of the crowd is the stuff of cinematic history. The ref steps in to end the fight, and a beaten but still defiant LaMotta yells repeatedly at the unemotional yet malevolent Robinson, “Ray! I never went down, Ray.”

“Raging Bull” shares with “The Sopranos” an identical overarching theme. At their heart, both are about very bad men who do very bad things and who have limitless destructive appetites. Both protagonists, though, hunger for redemption more than anything else

IT CAN’T BE A COINCIDENCE THAT “The Sopranos” cited “Raging Bull” at this moment. The characters have mentioned Scorsese several times this season, and Tony Soprano shares much with the LaMotta depicted by “Marty” (as members of the Soprano crew invariably refer to Scorsese). By the end of the movie, LaMotta had lost virtually everything – his wife, his family, his money, his physique. In one heartbreaking scene, LaMotta repeatedly bangs his head against the wall of a jail cell, wondering why he did the things he did. But ultimately, Jake LaMotta never went down.

All great pieces of art engage in foreshadowing. In this season’s first episode, Tony and Bobby mused about whether you hear the killers coming when you got whacked. We knew as they discussed the subject that at least one of them would know the answer by the end of the series.

The Raging Bull scene had to be a piece of foreshadowing. Tony Soprano shares much with Jake LaMotta, from their bloated figures to their coarseness to their cruelty. They also have positive attributes. Each in his own way is introspective. Both are strong men, and both are capable of love and kindness. These are the redeeming qualities that make us root for them, even they both are ugly sociopaths.

When “The Sopranos” channeled “Raging Bull,” I figured it meant two things – Tony would suffer, but Tony would not go down. He has certainly suffered much this season. In addition to losing Bobby and Sil to Phil Leotardo’s assassins this week, his family life has shattered. In a way, Tony’s own actions, inactions and miscalculations, like Jake LaMotta’s, have left him alone. He unwisely promoted Christopher, then killed him. His only two trusted and remotely capable associates are dead. His son will never be the man his father hoped he would. His daughter has abandoned her ambitions and is marrying the son of a mobster. His wife is a burden. Even his therapist dumped him.

The question remains whether Tony’s suffering is through. Have we seen him hit his rock bottom yet? In “Raging Bull,” LaMotta lost everything before winning a hard-earned measure of redemption. Will Tony’s rally begin at the start of the season finale, or will we see him sink lower still? I think like Jake LaMotta, Tony Soprano will go on, chastened, wiser, sadder but having at last achieved a small measure of inner peace. Also like LaMotta, he will find some of the redemption that he seeks. But lest you think we’re in for a happy ending, remember this: Tony is such a bad man who has done so many bad things, he is not fully redeemable. Just like Jake LaMotta.

Oh, one other thing. The villainous mobster in “Raging Bull” was played by Frank Vincent, the same actor who plays Phil Leotardo on “The Sopranos.” Things didn’t end particularly well for Vincent’s character in “Raging Bull.”

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#4
And lastly, here's a portion of the Drake Lelane post on the music of that great scene:

[url=http://www.film.com/tv/story/music-sopranos-when-musics-over/14987952]http://www.film.com/tv/story/music-sopranos-when-musics-over/14987952[/URL]
[B]Music on The Sopranos - When the Music's Over[/B]

Drake Lelane, Jun 05, 2007

At one point early on in Sunday night's The Sopranos ("The Blue Comet,") special agent Harris says to Tony about the weather, "End of times, huh? Ready for the Rapture?" After what soon followed in this penultimate episode, that comment feels almost not apocalyptic enough to encompass all the carnage that ensued. It was an explosive and powerful episode that sets up a series finale that's sure to be talked about for ages (and consider that your spoiler

It's something else, though, that Agent Harris confides to Tony that kick starts the episode: Phil has set in motion plans to take out Tony and a few of his friends. Tony quickly ditches the gabagool sandwich in his hand (remember that meat was a catalyst of his first panic attack,) and gets 'management' together. At a meeting, they decide to hit Phil first, and then Tony and Sil crack up Bobby with some slow-mo boxing moves. The whole scene is backed by Pietro Mascagni's "Intermezzo" from Cavalleria Rusticana, which was used as the title theme to Scorsese's Raging Bull, making for a goose-bump-inducing moment. The piece was also used in Godfather III, in the scene where Michael Corleone's daughter dies, a dangerous reference if intended.



Writer Terry Winter cleared that up yesterday at Slate:[INDENT]...the use of [I]Cavalleria Rusticana is [/I]Raging Bull and Raging Bull only. Godfather III does not exist for me. It ceased to exist at 3:30 pm on Christmas Day, 1990, when I walked out of the first ever showing at the Kings Plaza Shopping Center Multiplex in Brooklyn, utterly heartbroken at what I had just witnessed.[/INDENT][INDENT](Here's the rest of Drake Lelanes's post, which still adds to this discussion...)[/INDENT]When Bobby delegates the hit on Phil to Paulie into the back room of The Bing, The Door's "When the Music's Over" is playing, which is both odd and appropriate. Odd to think that anyone would choose to strip/dance to the 10-minute long experimental jam, and appropriate in the sentiment that it is almost over for the series. When Paulie then delegates the job to Patsy, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "American X" is playing, featuring the lines you’ve sold your soul but it’s only a fake / you’d kill yourself for a piece of the take, making me think, again, that Paulie could be playing both sides here.

Later, when Sil and Paulie figure out that the hit was screwed up, the Madder Rose song "You Remember" plays, and a couple lines from the song are highlighted: No one knows how to turn this thing around / it's moving faster now, be quiet and I'll tell you about the sound. There's obviously no 'turning back' now, but Tony's crew finds ways to 'turn their back' on the danger. First Bobby gets taken out in spectacular fashion (while purchasing a Blue Comet train replica train set,) and we're reminded that while he's come a long way from being Junior's driver, he's still a naive little kid at heart.

Then, even as Sil and Patsy are in the process of 'going to ground,' they're still caught unawares outside The Bing (while listening to Nat King Cole's "Ramblin' Rose.") Why wouldn't Sil have a gun on him? Does he think that Phil's goons will respect The Bing? As the carnage is going on, Chase makes sure to have patrons and strippers (still naked) from The Bing outside gawking at the scene. It serves as a nice "F-You!" to the Soprano lookie-loos who only watch for the violence and the occasional nudity - Chase has never shied from publicly loathing their patronage.

While Phil is an arrogant prick, the bumbling by Tony's crew validates much of Phil's complaints about the New Jersey family and their way of doing business. Meanwhile, Elliott (Peter Bogdanovich) is also an arrogant prick who's problems with Tony are validated. Elliott is not only similar to Phil in that regard, but also in his success at eliminating Tony's support, as he helps push Melfi into giving up on Tony. Her abandonment of him in his time of need was a long time coming, given the history of their relationship, but the timing couldn't have been worse as a realistic resolution. It's hard to believe that Yochelson & Samenow's "The Criminal Personality" can close the book on that part of the series so quickly.

So it's just Tony and Paulie left, holed up in some nondescript safehouse. And as Tony tries to sleep clutching the semi-automatic rifle that dearly departed Bobby got him for his birthday, we hear the Tindersticks song "Running Wild" through the credits. It's the perfect moody, foreboding piece of work to end the episode, and while Chase uses the instrumental version, the lyrics to the song are relevant:

Running wild through my mind that I can't sleep tonight Like a child, like a child I have no place to hide Running wild, is there no ending for the...

Playlist: The Sopranos - Episode 620
1. "We Belong Together" - Robert & Johnny - Phil Leotardo sets plans in motion at his social club
2. "Intermezzo Stafonico (from 'Cavalleria Rusticana')" - Pietro Mascagni - Tony, Bobby, and Silvio talk and horse around at Vesuvio's
3. "Sympathy" - Keith Jarrett - Dr. Melfi and friends discuss her patient at a dinner party
4. "When The Music's Over" - The Doors - Bobby summons Paulie to the backroom of The Bing
5. "American X" - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Paulie and Patsy talk at The Bing
6. "Nuages" - Django Reinhardt - The Sopranos catch up with Artie and Charmaine at Vesuvio's
7. "You Remember" - Madder Rose - Silvio and Paulie read the news at The Bing
8. "Ramblin' Rose" - Nat King Cole - Shootout in parking lot of The Bing
9. "Running Wild" - Tindersticks - Tony goes to sleep

More: How appropriate was it that while draining the pool (the symbol for the family) Janice comes and brings up Uncle Junior. Tony can't clear out the water quick enough.

Previously: Get Off That Bus (Episode 619)
drake lelane
both anxiously awaiting and dreading end of The Sopranos at the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#5
badabellisima wrote:....In one heartbreaking scene, LaMotta repeatedly bangs his head against the wall of a jail cell, wondering why he did the things he did. But ultimately, Jake LaMotta never went down.

All great pieces of art engage in foreshadowing. In this season’s first episode, Tony and Bobby mused about whether you hear the killers coming when you got whacked. We knew as they discussed the subject that at least one of them would know the answer by the end of the series.
...
When “The Sopranos” channeled “Raging Bull,” I figured it meant two things – Tony would suffer, but Tony would not go down.


The question remains whether Tony’s suffering is through. Have we seen him hit his rock bottom yet? In “Raging Bull,” LaMotta lost everything before winning a hard-earned measure of redemption. Will Tony’s rally begin at the start of the season finale, or will we see him sink lower still? I think like Jake LaMotta, Tony Soprano will go on, chastened, wiser, sadder but having at last achieved a small measure of inner peace. Also like LaMotta, he will find some of the redemption that he seeks. But lest you think we’re in for a happy ending, remember this: Tony is such a bad man who has done so many bad things, he is not fully redeemable. Just like Jake LaMotta.
...


Naturally, true to my prior "conclusions" so far about the ending, i tend to go with Hewitt's interp of this parallel arc, and figure that "Tony would suffer, but Tony would not go down".

[color=royalblue]Sil, once again, brilliantly, you have succinctly pulled out the salient point, the germain issue at hand, the true significance i believe was intended by Chase in that scene. And even with all that, imo, there is still room for a difference of opinion on the nature of the conclusion, such as Hewitt points out. [/color]
[color=royalblue][/color]
[color=royalblue]Interestingly, Hewitt wrote this before the final episode, so i would love to know what he now concludes...[/color]
[color=royalblue][/color]
[color=royalblue](Hewitt, if you're out there- please chime in!). :icon_biggrin: [/color]

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#6
SilvioMancini wrote:The part in this episode where Tony and Silvio mock perform the final scene of raging bull when they recognize the song from that scene playing at Versevio's. It directly ties not only to the posters in the bing back office but also to the scientist from the hospital where he says the two boxers are actually the same entity. I feel this is a direct comparison of the arc of Phil and Tony's lives and deaths in the last season. Any one else want to elaborate?


And Sil- not to forget your mention of the hospital scientist speaking of the boxers as the same entity- Interesting that Tony and Sil , who were playing the part of fake-boxers, so far as we know, are still alive at the end of the show: Still fighting for survival in the very Game of Life. And Bobby, the lone observer, the representative 'audience' to the fake boxing (like us viewers)- is very much gone, no longer fighting that great fight, ...(gone, but not forgotten)...

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#7
Thanx Bada,

What I lack in detail I make up for in content IMHO. That scene to me has a lot more significance than maybe we really recognized the first or even seventh time seeing it. All things in the last two seasons or all of season six bring everything to that point full circle. This thread of story (raging Bull) with the story of Tony has a lot more significance than maybe appreciated before. I think this scene foreshadowed the death of Tony IMHO. The fall of the greatest...........
[font="Franklin Gothic Medium"]You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he didn’t correct himself.[/font][SIZE="1"][/SIZE]

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#8
SilvioMancini wrote:What I lack in detail I make up for in content IMHO... .

LOL! :icon_mrgreen: And you make a strong argument for Tony's final demise, especially in light of Hewitt's take on Tony's inability to be completely redeemed, in his opinion. Still, i favor the conclusion that Tony lives (like LaMotta), and boy oh boy do i hope Chase really is working on a movie so we can know the answer!!!

Image


Seems to me that the very last two episodes especially really sum it up to bring out the full circle closing elements. i still plan to resume the scene-by-scene analysis of the final ep, and then even do that for the second-to-last ep. It will take tons of time, so no one hold their breath waiting! Just when i plan to work on it, something comes up- like now the economy crashes! Geez. Wonder how Chase would've handled that within an episode. Hope he puts it in the movie.

Re: Raging Bull Scene

#9
SilvioMancini wrote:Thanx Bada,

What I lack in detail I make up for in content IMHO. That scene to me has a lot more significance than maybe we really recognized the first or even seventh time seeing it. All things in the last two seasons or all of season six bring everything to that point full circle. This thread of story (raging Bull) with the story of Tony has a lot more significance than maybe appreciated before. I think this scene foreshadowed the death of Tony IMHO. The fall of the greatest...........


I have a confession to make.
Even though I boxed competitively for 6 years in my early twenties, I have never watched raging bull....I hate watching most boxing movies because the fight scenes are so unrealistic.
So I may be missing something, but I don't get the connection with Phil. OK, it's plausible you can make the Tony = La Motta comparison, but where does Phil fit in?
The fall of the greatest.... You're not suggesting La Motta was in any way the greatest are you????
If Tony mirrored La Motta, isn't it more likely he sunk to deep depths, then redeemed himself by quitting the mob, rather than being shot? Where is the redemption in that?
Maybe we should start a thread, what would Tony's occupation have been after he left the mob??
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