Listen To Me Marlon (15)

Directed by Stevan Riley
Picturehouse, Liverpool
3rd November 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

In front of a packed audience at Screen 3 at FACT - showing the drawing power and stellar reputation Marlon Brando still has with people - this engrossing documentary, directed by British film-maker Stevan Riley, revealed the complex nature of the man.

Although it included familiar clips from the many films he appeared in, many of them turkeys to be honest, it uses his private voice recordings into a cassette tape, similar to him writing a diary, which he used to muse on many aspects of his life, including for purposes of self-analysis and self-hypnosis.

These 300 hours of previously unreleased recordings were released to Riley with the co-operation of his family estate.

His psyche is not a comfortable place to wander through. For example, he regularly decries his father for beating him and his mother when he was a child, but later in his life his own son Christian was later sent to prison for killing his half-sister's boyfriend.

Any attempts to psychoanalysis his private life would surely be beyond even the most skilled practitioners in that field. In fact he had utter contempt for psychoanalysts, describing them as a waste of time and money.

One of the most unusual elements of the documentary is the use by Riley of a 'digital map' that Brando had created of himself, and an extraordinary head, looking like an ancient Roman, to bring alive his readings, as if he was still here.

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