Two-time Academy Award winner Marlon Brando sets out his life in unsparing detail: his modest beginnings in Nebraska, his world travels and social commitments, and his friends, lovers, and professional colleagues. Included are honest appraisals of the people and performances in A Streetcar Named Desire, Last Tango in Paris, The Godfather and more. ...Read MoreTwo-time Academy Award winner Marlon Brando sets out his life in unsparing detail: his modest beginnings in Nebraska, his world travels and social commitments, and his friends, lovers, and professional colleagues. Included are honest appraisals of the people and performances in A Streetcar Named Desire, Last Tango in Paris, The Godfather and more. 32 pages of photos.Read Less
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If you ever wanted to hang out with Marlon Brando, this is as close as you are likely to get. I'm glad I took the opportunity to listen.
Nov 2, 2008
Singing along with Brando
"Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me" is a very wonderful book. Funny, political, radical I read it from beginning to end without taking a single breath and by the time the reading was over, I was sad that my time with "the best actor of all times" had ended... Many biographical facts helped me to better understand why certain of his performances excelled compared to others. For example, I think it's relevant that he attended the military academy during his adolescent years because it helped him to portray his military characters with a very unique style and depth, as in "Sayonara", "Burnt!" and "Mutiny on the Bounty". While I didn't care very much for most of his "machismo", I was moved by his honesty. When he discusses the sense of abandonment experienced by the mother's alcoholism and the separation from his governess with truly sensitive insight, he seems to cling to those reasons throughout his life as a reason for wanting to "hurt" women, instead of choosing to "grow up" and take responsibility for his actions as an adult. The same honesty is present when he talks about the directors he worked with (particularly Gillo Pontecorvo, Bernardo Bertolucci and Francis Coppola), his teacher Stella Adler and his profoundly important relationship with Elia Kazan. His advise to actors quoting directly from Shakespeare and the sheer ingenuity in describing his own experiences in all his film and theatre experiences makes this book a "must read" for all those aspiring to be on stage and/or just those readers who, like me, love the performing arts. Finally, I was deeply moved by the way he recalled his activism along Native Americans. It helps understand the history of oppression in the Usa and the futility of wars such as the Vietnam War and the loss of 58,000 American lives. It leaves no doubt at how he would have reacted to today's futile wars in Iran and Afghanistan and sets the tone for a criticism that can be proudly emulated: "...we refuse to think of ourselves as a nation that committed genocide." I also think I know who he would have voted for this coming November 4th election and it's not the McCain - Pailin ticket... After 468 pages singing along with Brando I too felt that "I never get tired of waiting for the next magic". Thank you Mr. Magical Brando...
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