Title Championship

On Film / Short Takes — Sep 29, 2015
Raging Bull titles

The opening title sequence is an essential part of any film, establishing tone, mood, and purpose, but it can also be a little self-contained masterwork of its own. As this new piece for Art of the Title demonstrates, the opening of Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull works in both of these ways. Its slow-motion images of Robert De Niro’s Jake LaMotta—small in the frame, bobbing and weaving as he shadowboxes in the ring—are set memorably to a theme from Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, and show the character with uncommon grace, as if floating, suggesting both the violence and the spirituality of the film to come. The piece, which features an interview with Dan Perri, the title sequence’s designer, is full of information about how the sequence was achieved and well worth a read.