Posted Dec 08 2015

Listen To Me, Marlon - This Doc Rocks From Beyond The Grave

Dir: Stevan Riley

Starring Marlon Brando

Given that director Stevan Riley and veteran producer John Battsek had decided to make a doc about Marlon Brando before they knew what they would get their hands on, makes this film seem all the more fortuitous. Having made their decision, the filmmakers approached the Brando estate and were rewarded with literally hundreds of hours of audio recordings Brando had compulsively made over the years – many related to his experiences with what seems like a whole team of psychiatrists. Thus, a film about Marlon Brando became a film that the late, great got to narrate himself, telling his own tale – up to a point – from beyond the grave.

There’s no mistaking that such a coup as this makes for quite a remarkable film. Whilst others are on hand, it’s the voice of Brando that commands, genuinely shedding light on a man who for most of his career was determined to be something of an aloof enigma. The images assembled to accompany his vocal meditations are also extremely welcome and evocative. The actor particularly comes into his own around the time of Last Tango and towards the end of his life.

For a man who was as big a movie as the world has ever seen, who then for the most part opted to turn his back on all that, who still appeared in some of the most important film of his lifetime, who embraced wilful eccentricity, and whose personal life was beset by such unwarranted tragedy, the great thing about Listen To Me, Marlon is you may not come out of it understanding him, but you certainly end up liking the man.



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