Riley directs Listen to Me Marlon, a documentary that features musings taken from more than 300 hours of Brando’s self-recorded audio tapes that the actor had made as preparation for his official biography. The documentary begins in Brando’s childhood, revisiting the actor’s tough relationship with his alcoholic mother and abusive father. It includes his thoughts on films such as Apocalypse Now (he calls early drafts of the script “stupid” and “awful) and Last Tango in Paris (“I realized, you know, you’re naked”), as well as thoughts on his family tragedies.
My pitch (to make the film) was Brando on Brando. I thought it would be amazing to tell it entirely in his own voice, especially because he was so private. It was a Freudian study. He was in psychotherapy most of his life. His life was characterized by his youth. He didn’t want to be like his father but it was inescapable.