Tag Archives: Marlon Brando

Albert Maysles & David Maysles – Meet Marlon Brando (1966)

One day in 1966, the Maysles brothers filmed Marlon Brando as he did what we would now call a junket, where the idea is to let scores of television reporters meet the star in order to sell his latest movie, Morituri. Brando however, had other plans: declaring that he hates being ‘a hawker’ he turns the situation upside down, interviewing the interviewers, mocking the vacuousness of the set-up and flat-out refusing to promote Morituri. “Don’t you have ANYTHING to say about the film?” asks an exasperated journalist, to which Brando replies: “Bernie Wicky smokes the worst cigars I’ve ever known!”. With a lesser personality, this might be perceived as the arrogant posturing of a spoiled movie-star, but the mischievous twinkle in Brando’s eyes, combined with the fierce intelligence and wit of his answers, make it a joy to behold. The documentary does not get us any closer to Brando the actor, but in its half hour it does offer an insightful glimpse into the mind of a man who was too smart to go with the flow, too independent to compromise and who, throughout his life, refused to play by the rules. Read More »

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – Julius Caesar (1953)

Synopsis:
Brutus is convinced by a scheming band of Roman senators, led by Caius Cassius, that his dear friend Julius Caesar intends to dissolve the republic and install himself as monarch, and he joins a conspiracy to assassinate him. Brutus stirringly defends his actions, but when Mark Antony responds with a speech that plays upon the crowd’s love for their fallen leader, a battle between the two factions is assured. Read More »

Godfrey Reggio – Naqoyqatsi (2002)

Naqoyqatsi, also known as Naqoyqatsi: Life as War, is a 2002 documentary film directed by Godfrey Reggio and edited by Jon Kane, with music composed by Philip Glass. It is the third and final film in the Qatsi trilogy.

Naqoyqatsi is a Hopi word meaning “life as war”. In the film’s closing credits, Naqoyqatsi is also translated as “civilized violence” and “a life of killing each other”. While Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi examine modern life in industrial countries and the conflict between encroaching industrialization and traditional ways of life, using slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and natural landscapes, about eighty percent of Naqoyqatsi uses archive footage and stock images manipulated and processed digitally on non-linear editing (non-sequential) workstations and intercut with specially-produced computer generated imagery to demonstrate society’s transition from a natural environment to a technology-based one. Reggio described the process as “virtual cinema”. Read More »

Marlon Brando – One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

This is a western like no other, combining the mythological scope of that most American of genres with the searing naturalism of a performance by Marlon Brando—all suffused with Freudian overtones and masculine anxiety. In his only directing stint, Brando captures rugged coastal and desert landscapes in gorgeous widescreen, Technicolor images, and elicits from his fellow actors (including Karl Malden and Pina Pellicer) nuanced depictions of conflicted characters. Though the production was overwhelmed by its director’s perfectionism and plagued by setbacks and studio reediting, One-Eyed Jacks stands as one of Brando’s great achievements, thanks above all to his tortured turn as Rio, a bank robber bent on revenge against his former partner in crime. Brooding and romantic, Rio is the last and perhaps the most tender of the iconic outsiders that the great actor imbued with such intensity throughout his career. Read More »

Arthur Penn – The Missouri Breaks (1976)

Synopsis:
When vigilante land baron David Braxton (John McLiam) hangs one of the best friends of cattle rustler Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson), Logan’s gang decides to get even by purchasing a small farm next to Braxton’s ranch. From there the rustlers begin stealing horses, using the farm as a front for their operation. Determined to stop the thefts at any cost, Braxton retains the services of eccentric sharpshooter Robert E. Lee Clayton (Marlon Brando), who begins ruthlessly taking down Logan’s gang. Read More »

Elia Kazan – On the Waterfront (1954)

Quote:
Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry. A raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and social corruption, On the Waterfront follows Terry’s deepening moral crisis as he must decide whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) and Johnny’s right-hand man, Terry’s brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), as the authorities close in on them. Driven by the vivid, naturalistic direction of Elia Kazan and savory, streetwise dialogue by Budd Schulberg, On the Waterfront was an instant sensation, winning eight Oscars®, including for best picture, director, actor, supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint), and screenplay. Read More »

Arthur Penn – The Chase (1966)

Quote:
Preceding Bonnie and Clyde by a year, Arthur Penn’s (Mickey One) acclaimed film boasts enviable pedigree – produced by the legendary Sam Spiegel, with a screenplay by Lillian Hellman from the novel by Horton Foote, a rousing score by John Barry, and a stellar cast of the hottest stars of the day (including Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Angie Dickinson and James Fox). The story of an escaped con making his way back to the corrupt Texas town and the people who sent him to prison, The Chase is a telling indictment of violence in American society. A seminal work which is ripe for rediscovery. Read More »