The truth behind Marlon Brando

When you think of Marlon Brando I’ll bet a fiercely attractive man springs to mind, muscles straining against his t-shirt.  Perhaps he’s clasping a beer bottle as though he’s just walked off the set of A Street Car Named Desire, or chewing on a cigarette from On the Waterfront.  One thing I know is certain he he has a pout to set the strongest of hearts racing….I think you get the idea!

Stephen Riley’s documentary, Listen to me Marlon, therefore caught me by surprise.  Unknown to me – and perhaps many others out there –  Brando was obsessive about keeping audio diaries.  For 50 years he made audio notes, providing insight into the roles he was preparing for, meetings with top Hollywood professionals and uncovering a personal side that he had previously shunned from the limelight.  Riley plays these against interviews, films, and rare family footage, digging into ever corner of his life story to give us a very honest and unique insight.

 The documentary unhides a character who is opinionated, passionate and sensitive – I laughed and cried for a man that had previously been merely a sex symbol in my eyes.


Lily grew up in the depths of a forest; a free spirited child she ran wild and hung out with animals for company.  It wasn’t quite The Jungle Book, she rather believed she was the next Doctor Doolittle, but her parents did eventually stage an intervention.  After surviving a stint at an all girls boarding school she put her inquisitive nature to good use, exploring every cultural path possible while studying for an English degree at Edinburgh University.

Based in London she is obsessive about exploring creative streams and finding the inspiration behind it all.  It was from a desire to share these experiences – the people, places and things she finds inspiring – that ‘Lily about London’ was born.