Method to His Madness

by Melissa Anderson Via

“IN “THE DUKE IN HIS DOMAIN,” Truman Capote’s notorious 1957 New Yorker profile of Marlon Brando(1924–2004), the writer observes of his subject: “The voice went on, as though speaking to hear itself, an effect Brando’s speech often has, for, like many persons who are intensely self-absorbed, he is something of a monologuist—a fact that he recognizes and for which he offers his own explanation. ‘People around me never say anything,’ he says. ‘They just seem to want to hear what I have to say. That’s why I do all the talking.’ ”

As the comma-deficient name of Stevan Riley’s latest documentary, Listen to Me Marlon, suggests, the totemic Method actor’s most captive audience may have been himself: The title is a self-exhortation culled from hundreds of hours of private audio recordings Brando made, segments from which form the spine of Riley’s portrait, whose other components include archival still and moving images and clips from the star’s films. (Occasionally these disembodied musings are “spoken” by a hologram Brando head; the 3-D body part was sculpted from digitized files of the actor’s face, which were created in the 1980s.) Although the labels of some of these tapes are sometimes visible—many are tagged “Self-Hypnosis”—the dates are not, and the opening inter titles never specify when the star began or ended his phonic diary.” Read the rest of the article by Melissa Anderson Here


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