Meet marlon brando maysles brothers

Meet Marlon Brando () - IMDb

meet marlon brando maysles brothers

That's why the best of Brando is when he's closest to himself, as in the Maysles brothers' documentary “Meet Marlon Brando,” from , and. Documentary Production Company headed by legendary filmmaker Albert Maysles. Exclusive Clip from 'Meet Marlon Brando,' Maysles Brothers Doc, Available for the First Time. "Meet Marlon Brando," the documentary by Albert Maysles and.

Standing outside the media, the portraits inevitably, if implicitly, reflect on how the media operates. Key sequences are arranged to convey the insincerity, shallowness and behind the scenes manipulation of the mainstream media. Meet Marlon Brando contains the most comprehensive account of press vapidity.

The Maysles were originally hired as media insiders to record all the interviews at a promotional junket to sell the film Morituri for broadcast TV.

Using heavy irony, he sends up his promotional role, underlining the disposable nature of the film: Brando constantly wanders off message to talk about social issues such as the plight of the Native American, racism or education. Interviewers unconvincingly feign interest before fighting a losing battle to corral him back onto the promotional treadmill.

A running joke where Brando responds to praise for the film by asking fawning interviewers if they have seen it, only to be told that they have not, reveals the farcical nature of the promotional exercise. The media is treated relatively neutrally, even respectfully, in this film, which features just one interview, with Newsweek.

meet marlon brando maysles brothers

Albert Maysles describes their aim in filming: My point is that factual writing can reach the altitudes of poetry … and at the same time it has the extraordinary extra dimension of being completely true. These films are clearly not performed documentaries in the vein of Jane B. VardaTruth or Dare Keshishian or 20, Days on Earth Forsyth and Pollardin which artifice, theatricality and story-telling is foregrounded and shaped in an active collaboration with the director.

However, their narrative approach does reveal the organising intelligence behind the camera. In fact, the dominant trope in these films is of celebrity subjects playing up to the camera. The films are filled with interviews and direct to camera address.

Recognising this fact upends the rhetorical claims surrounding the unobtrusiveness of the recording equipment in direct cinema, i. The reciprocity implicit in the use of direct address demonstrates the level of interaction between celebrity subjects and the Maysles. Capote leads the camera as he guides his guests around his holiday house in With Love From Truman.

With Love From Truman Of all the portraits, Meet Marlon Brando most clearly illustrates the point that humans are always social actors, engaged in degrees of performance that are fluid and polyvalent. The film is dominated by a continual dialogue about the distinction between acting performance and real life authenticity. Meet Marlon Brando is unique among the portraits, as Brando is never in a space clearly designated as private; he remains on display being interviewed as part of a publicity tour throughout the film.

Yet, despite this, there are many moments that are coded as authentic and revelatory. Brando breaks all the rules of the PR game, time and again refusing to spruik Morituri. He frequently introduces or pursues political discussions to the discomfiture of the interviewers. Rock stars are also not immune to knowing winks, including reflections on their sex lives. Such moments recur throughout the film as members of the band joke, role-play and perform for the media.

Ringo and George play games as they assume the roles of photographer and waiter respectively for the camera during the train trip to Washington.

meet marlon brando maysles brothers

Affect and mutability Viewing these films half a century after they were made, I feel a strong emotional charge. The disjunction between the transitory nature of the recorded moments and their preservation can lend these films a haunting quality, as quotidian moments are magnified in intensity.

Albert Maysles – Filming Marlon Brando (59/97)

Bridging the gap between now and then, viewers today will experience a sense of remembering and re-experiencing, familiarity and strangeness, presence and absence. The indexical link to a past time and space lends the films a time capsule quality, recording the clothes, speech patterns and accents, mindsets, manners and tastes of particular milieux in the s. Laura Mulvey has been at the forefront of those arguing that as cinema moves into its second century and digital modes of production and exhibition proliferate, the sense of cinema as a virtual museum gains momentum.

Contrary to Roland Barthes, 9 who saw cinema, with its shifting referent and constant, forward progression, as lacking the spectral quality of photography, Mulvey sees the accumulated film images from the past increasingly taking on the ghostly presence of a mausoleum.

Isolated moments take on a distinct characteristic as the past is vivified, playing out in the present. The image of the celebrity resurrected across and through time has the power to seize the viewer. This off-hand comment inevitably resonates differently today with our awareness of the older, obese incarnation of the star who lead a reclusive life during the final decades prior to his death in Many viewers will be aware of a less radiant future of which he has no inkling.

At the most elemental level, many subjects of these portraits or their associates appearing in the films are now dead: The sequence in which he appears reinforces this impression of a manager consumed with business.

There is a different affect with the literal appearance of death on the screen in Gimme Shelter. Its impact is not merely linked to the passage of time; its capacity to shock an audience was present at the time of its production. By happenstance rather than design, Gimme Shelter taps into a very specific notion of the contingent and the real: The film struggles to make sense of the moment of death.

Meet Marlon Brando By contrast, context is explicit and clear, in the denotative sense, where the past is presented evocatively through the appearance of bygone characters, clothes or gestures.


More familiar images can also resonate, such as when Jagger, in his hotel room, breaks out into his signature strut to the opening riffs of Brown Sugar. Transposed from the stage to the domestic sphere, these familiar, distinctive trademark moves take on a new life. As I have documented, while the footage in the films shot for TV was originally seen at best as a record of the moment, at worst as disposable footage of ephemeral celebrity, the Maysles showed more foresight and ambition in developing their commissioned pieces.

Context changes over time, emphasising the protean nature of the image and the ever-shifting relations between past and present. These portraits are now as much as anything primary historical artefacts, containing rare footage of s luminaries, incorporating unexpected moments and impressions.

The cinematographer's job is to set the lighting; he may not even look through the camera. A good documentary camera person is subject to the whims of reality and has to be adept at any moment, like a still photographer, being ever watchful and listening very carefully so he doesn't have to ask someone to repeat something.

I never have to say, "That was really great. Now, could you repeat that for the camera? He knows what to shoot and how to give his subjects the love that allows that magical combination of full truth and full subjectivity.

The cameraman has to have what I call "the gaze" -- empathy -- the way you look at the people you're shooting and how you establish their trust. Paying attention to people is an extremely powerful force of recognition and of love. And that's documentary at its best. Without their trust, you're just a walking zombie with a camera and your subjects don't connect. Why were you so pleased with your camerawork in the Beatles film?

Real Brando is Revealed by Actor’s Audiotapes in ‘Listen To Me Marlon’

My shooting was so good in that film. I was on the right person at the right time. I framed everything right, I was close up at the right time. The shooting was fluid. The shooting of that film was a complete revolution in filming technique -- no one had ever shot a film that way before.

The British press said it was a total revolution.

meet marlon brando maysles brothers

We just tagged along with the Beatles; they didn't have to position themselves for us because the camera was no longer on a tripod as it always had been up to then. That meant the Beatles could just feel free to move around and be themselves. That new technology gave us the flexibility to catch a life as it was -- without imposing on people. You didn't have to interview them, heighten the film with music, just real, straight, direct life experiences -- a nonfiction filmmaker's dream.

You have the greatest force behind you when you're filming reality -- if you just let it happen. But a lot of documentary makers force themselves into a mold to capture their own preconceptions, in other words as far away from fact as a fiction film. Errol Morris, for example, there are times when I feel he delights in confusing fact and fiction.

I think you owe the public the courtesy of saying, "This is no longer a documentary. A documentary has to be factually correct, none of this hocus pocus, blending fact with fiction.

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Are you saying that "direct cinema" is the only legitimate form of documentary? Well, there are nature films that are probably factually correct.

Those are not direct cinema, but that could still be called documentary. A documentary is fact in film. A good documentary is not just hanging a camera on the wall -- there has to be a brain behind it.

meet marlon brando: a film by albert maysles and david maysles | tomorrow started

The brain calls attention to what's important. Isn't that the dreaded point of view? You could call it that, but if the POV is set up to give you a message -- the hell with the facts -- that's where POV gets into trouble.

When you're getting into "purposes," then you're getting into POV. If your purpose is just to reveal the human condition, then that's okay. How do you ever purge a documentary of subjectivity or POV? We had enough of each of them in the film for the viewer to understand both of them. I suppose you could call being fair to everyone in the film a form of POV.

But if we'd tried to make the mother look better or worse than the daughter that would have been the bad POV. Grey Gardens got ferociously negative reviews, by the way.

Walter Goodman at The New York Times said that the Maysles Brothers should be disgusted with themselves for having made that film and taken advantage of those two women.

No matter how good a film you make, you have to go through the perceptive process of the audience, and there are some people in the audience who just don't get it. You give them a wonderful gift, and they throw it away. How do you see narrative in a documentary? That's a very delicate thing. Sometimes you end up with a film that has no narrative and have to decide, well, maybe that's the way to show it. Do you edit your own films?