Brando Gets Portrait He Deserves

Despite his towering public profile, Marlon Brando was a deeply private man. Yet in the documentary “Listen to Me Marlon”, the actor lowers his defences to reveal his innermost thoughts. Director Steven Riley’s film is a fascinating collage which profoundly probes its subject’s psyche. Given his reluctance to talk to the press in his later years, it’s unlikely that Brando, who died in 2004 aged 80, would have relished the results of Riley’s labors. Yet Riley’s film is no tabloid feeding frenzy: it was commissioned by Brando’s own estate, and is entirely constructed of hundreds of hours of audio recordings, made by the actor himself. It’s doubtful that Brando ever thought the revelatory tapings would one day provide fodder for a documentary, but thanks to his recordings Riley has managed to construct a tribute to the actor that his fans have long deserved. The movie opens in cinemas in New York today.

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