TO ME MARLON
(Stevan Riley, UK). 102 minutes. Rating: NNNNN Stevan Riley’s look at the life and career of Marlon Brando is far more personally revealing than any previous biography. Constructed from interviews, film clips and home movies, it’s narrated by the actor himself through previously unreleased audio recordings – including a series of self-hypnosis tapes in which he literally begs himself to abandon old wounds and resentments and embrace his positive memories of his childhood.
Brando’s ruminations shift between pop psychology and genuine introspection as Listen To Me Marlon glides through its subject’s life, from his explosive early film work (and the self-indulgence and political activism that threatened to derail his career) to his artistic renaissance with The Godfather, Last Tango In Paris and Apocalypse Now.
The actor’s discomfort with celebrity is never far from his thoughts; it’s almost as though he foresees the personal tragedies awaiting him in his later years and desperately wants to outrun them.
The result is a deeply sympathetic portrait of a man who wanted to act, got his wish and lived to regret it. NW Apr 26, 9: 45 pm, Bloor Hot Docs; Apr 28, 2:15 pm, Isabel Bader; May 1, 10: 30 am, Isabel Bader; May 3, 6: 45 pm, Regent