For Reel


Listen to Me Marlon (2015)
November 29, 2015, 12:08 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Stevan Riley
5 Stars
Listen to Me MarlonThe first image of Listen to Me Marlon is a 3D rendering of an aged Marlon Brando’s face as he discusses the fact that he’s been digitally scanned on the soundtrack. Critically, director Stevan Riley doesn’t attempt to update Brando’s face with today’s technology, rather he remains satisfied with presenting it as an uncanny emergence disrupting a black background–the jagged, pixelated edges remind one of the Electronic Voice Phenomenon equipment seen in horror films that are used to transmit one’s being from the other side. Indeed, Listen to Me Marlon doesn’t play as a resurrection, rather as a ghostly echo of a brilliant life. As with this year’s Amy, Listen to Me Marlon is a remarkable feat of editing, cobbling together material from numerous sources as a way of arriving at a sort of mystical truth about Brando. Beyond being a terrifically enlightening autobiographical film, Brando’s musings have an intrinsic value of their own–the way he talks about acting is a learning resource independent of the film’s intensely personal focus. But the film’s real lasting impact comes from its ambitious form, where the sense of newly uncovering a deeply complex, thoughtful man isn’t jeopardized by the sense of visual expressionism, rather the form serves as a means of bridging the gap in a primal, sensory way.

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