Arlecchino Cinema > 11:00


Stevan Riley


Saturday 02/07/2016


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Who was the real Marlon Brando? Listen to Me Marlon goes a long way toward debunking the myths behind the legend, who died in 2004.
“He did take acting very seriously, even to the end”, says the film’s writer-editor-director Stevan Riley. […] Riley and his Passion Pictures partners, with support from Showtime, were given access to a Rosetta Stone of sorts – hundreds of hours of personal audio recordings by Brando over the course of five decades. The result is a documentary that paints an intimate, first person account – the most revealing portrait yet of someone many consider the greatest screen actor of the 20th century.
It’s all there in Brando’s own voice: the alcoholic mom who abandoned him (“I used to love the smell of liquor on her breath”), the father who disrespected him (“he was a man with not much love in him”), his great expectations as a youthful misfit (“I arrived in New York with holes in my life and holes in my socks”), the teacher and surrogate mother figure who saved him (“all acting today stems from Stella Adler”), his acting ambitions (“figure out a way to do it that has never been done before”), the serial womanizing (“past a certain point the penis has its own agenda”) and so forth.
Riley and his team leave no stone unturned, including the use of previously released material, such as footage from the Maysles brothers’ documentary Meet Marlon Brando and an interview by Edward R. Murrow that aired on CBS in 1955. They were also given access to tapes from Robert Lindsey, who co-wrote Brando’s 1994 autobiography Songs My Mother Taught Me, as well as home movies, countless behind-the-scenes stills, movie clips and stock footage to tell their story. […] Some of the audio material is so intimate the viewer feels like a voyeur. The recordings served partly as audio diaries, ideological musings and meditative exercises (some tapes would be labeled as ‘self hypnosis’, with the actor essentially addressing himself, hence the film’s title). […] And early on in Listen To Me Marlon, it’s clear Brando intended to be the author of his own cinematic self-portrait, with a narrative that sounds more literary than your typical work of non-fiction.

Steve Chagollan, “Variety”, July 28, 2015

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Stevan Riley, Peter Ettedgui. M.: Stevan Riley. F.: Ole Bratt Birkeland. Scgf.: Kristian Milsted. Int.: Marlon Brando, Michael Borne (Marlon Brando da giovane). Prod.: John Battsek, R.J. Cutler, George Chignell per Passion Pictures. DCP. D.: 102’. Col., Bn.