For this assignment, I chose to look at a scene in Martin Scorsese's 1980 film Raging Bull. I chose the scene in which main character, boxer Jake LaMotta is knocked out by his opponent Sugar Ray Robinson. I chose this scene because I feel that the editing allowed the scene to be the really emotionally intense situation that it was and captured LaMotta's feelings as a character.
The scene begins with the slow sound of classical music and nothing else. We see LaMotta getting up in slow motion and then there is a fast cut to Robinson. This signifies the two different states they are in. LaMotta's career is slowing down as Robinson's is rising. This also signifies the fact that LaMotta is probably going to loose the fight. It then cuts to Robinson and LaMotta fighting in regular motion.
Eventually, Robinson gets LaMotta on the ropes. We see Robinson’s standing and breathing, getting ready to hit LaMotta. Robinson’s action goes from regular pace to slow motion. It then cuts to LaMotta breathing alone on the ropes also in slow motion. It cuts a back to Robinson still in slow motion lurching forward towards LaMotta. This whole bit of slow-mo between LaMotta and Robinson builds tension for the knockout that is in LaMotta’s near future.
Just before we see Robinson hit LaMotta in slow-mo it cuts to regular speed. Then there are a variety of fast cuts of shots of Robinson hitting LaMotta (low angles, close-ups of the gloves, Robinson’s face, LaMotta’s face, the audience, etc). The cuts vary between regular motion and slow-mo. They are usually slow-mo when we see Robinsons glove come in contact with LaMotta’s face. Throughout this bit we hear different sounds elevated at different times. Sometimes we hear the audience gasp, sometimes the incessant clicks of the cameras, sometimes the sound of Robinson’s fist on LaMotta’s face and sometimes LaMotta grunting.
This continues until one last punch. We see LaMotta once again in slow-mo on the ropes, signifying the desperate situation he is in. It cuts to Robinson one again in slow-mo with his fist raised building tension towards his final punch. The audio drops and we hear nothing but a low rumbling, which also sounds kind of like classical music. This builds even more tension. Until finally Robinson delivers the final blow, which is seen from two different angles before, it cuts to the audience.