In our review of The Fighter, Nick and I made it a point to distinguish that the film’s highest priority isn’t staging particularly groundbreaking fight sequences. Turns out one of the reasons for that is because of how closely they stuck to reality, as demonstrated by a YouTube video from Fandorific.

In what is a great exploitation of fair use for an academic purpose, but will probably be seen as flagrant copyright violation by the studio, an intrepid editor and boxing fan has used footage from The Fighter and footage from HBO’s presentation of the actual fight to demonstrate just how David O Russell and crew went about portraying Micky Ward’s most famous fight.

While details like statistics and the people present are changed for drama and there are cliches present here and there, the amount of fidelity to the real-life fight is pretty astounding. When you see that most of the embellishments come from cut-aways that keep us connected to the characters, and a more elaborate speech from Dicky that serves as payoff from everything else in the film, you get a clear demonstration why boxing has been such fallback for filmmakers for so long- good fights are dramatic in and of themselves. I enjoyed the filmmaker’s use of broadcast cameras (still shot with traditional placement and movement) to capture the fights and I can see that dedication to reality went deeper.

A piece like this (or even the famous Mr. Plinkett’s work) is the kind of stuff that YouTube and fair use is good for. For all of the waves of remix garbage and dumb montages, occasionally we get a careful and considered use of footage that lets us understand, breakdown, and ultimately appreciate the good and the bad, and figure out just what makes all of these films tick. It’s a continuation of the pulled-back curtain that DVD special feature and behind-the-scenes featurettes established, and there’s always the risk of seeing too much of the sausage-making, but the most passionate of film lovers appreciate the craft as much as the experience. I hope this one gets to stick around for that reason.

(via Rope Of Silicon)