Listen to Me Marlon review – intimate portrait of the actor


Powered by article titled “Listen to Me Marlon review – intimate portrait of the actor” was written by Mark Kermode Observer film critic, for The Observer on Sunday 25th October 2015 08.00 UTC

Built upon Brando’s archive of self-analysing audio tapes, Stevan Riley’s intimate documentary gets under the actor’s skin to reveal a troubled, fragile, self-obsessed soul. From the triumphs of A Streetcar Named Desire to the cheque-collecting of The Formula (an earpiece meant he didn’t have to learn his lines), Brando is seen slipping gradually into the slough of disillusioned despond, accentuated by near-Shakespearean family tragedy. Significantly, Riley opens with Brando describing having his face electronically mapped to produce an avatar that speaks to us from beyond the grave (a la 2006’s Superman Returns), enabling Marlon to dispense with the drudgery of acting altogether. We hear of our subject’s sense of shock at Bernardo Bertolucci’s invasive insight in Last Tango in Paris and he rails against Francis Ford Coppola crowbarring a performance out of him in Apocalypse Now, but the overriding air is one of anguished disappointment.

Listen to me Marlon – video review © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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