Category Archives: Biography

LISTEN TO ME MARLON (2015): Marlon Brando – The Man, The Artist, In His Own Words

Listen To Me Marlon (2015), Marlon Brando
Listen To Me Marlon (2015), Marlon Brando

Listen To Me Marlon is quite the serious affair because it deals with the life of a rather tortured soul, one who succeeded in finding purpose and meaning but also had what was perhaps more than his fair share of personal tragedy.

Written and directed by Stevan Riley, Listen To Me Marlon is a documentary that features Marlon Brando’s own audio recordings. Recordings that tell his story combined with interesting photo and video footage.

Focusing on Brando’s work and touching on his relationship with his parents, his father particularly, we’re presented with insight into the celebrated actor’s childhood. We get to know more about Brando’s journey to acting and everything else that makes the man we’ve come to know of and whose work we continue to enjoy and celebrate today.

Listen To Me Marlon (2015), Martin Luther King Jr., Marlon Brando
Listen To Me Marlon (2015), Martin Luther King Jr., Marlon Brando

Listen To Me Marlon will probably surprise you in a few ways. You may, like I was, find yourself thinking about the giant task of parenthood and how difficult it can be – especially when your own parents are / were quite far from ideal. I loved the wisdom of the movie, including Brando’s views on introspection and self analysis.

Stevan Riley’s documentary will make you glad that you made time to learn more about one of the greatest actors to ever do it. Not just because of the wise and revealing words from Brando himself, but because of the knowledge that though not perfect, Marlon Brando was quite the admirable human being.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (2015): More To Love Than Just The Music

Straight Otta Compton (2015), O'Shea Jackson Jr., N.W.A
Straight Otta Compton (2015), O’Shea Jackson Jr., N.W.A

Directed by F. Gary Gray and starring O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell and Paul Giamatti, Straight Outta Compton is the story of Rap group N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes). It is also one of 2015’s best films.

Already confirmed as the highest grossing musical biopic of all time, this fact alone should be reason enough to cause any film fans yet to see the movie to pay attention.

I’m an N.W.A. fan so I was always going to watch – and as I did so, I couldn’t help feeling like a V.I.P. with an ‘access all areas’ pass. A pass to the story of how one of the seminal groups in rap music’s history came to be.

I absolutely threw my hands up in the air when my favourite tracks played and had a great time because of the music but also because Straight Outta Compton is a well executed film in terms of the story, the style in which it’s shot, editing and everything else in between.

The movie represents the universal struggle of young people working hard to make their dreams come true against great odds. Odds that in this case include hailing from Compton, LA, a place rife with gun violence and racial tensions between police and the black community.

I became emotional when the unavoidable truth of discrimination was presented. A truth that felt even more real because of the fact that it’s still  all happening today, decades after the events in the movie.

By the end of F Gary Gray’s film, I felt gratitude, both for the people out there working hard for change and the fact that my reality today is fortunately quite different.

Watch it because it’s good!

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

AMONG THE BELIEVERS (2015): New Trailer For Documentary About A school Where Future Terrorists Are Trained

Among The Believers (2015)
Among The Believers (2015)

The radical Islamic school, The Red Mosque in Pakistan is where young children are trained to devote their lives to jihad (holy war).

Directed by Mohammed Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi, Among The Believers is a documentary that presents the unsettling realities of what goes on inside the school and the motivations of the the people involved…

As interesting as the the story of those preaching hate is – because it’s useful to have that knowledge and insight, I’m most excited about what those opposed to the teachings  are able to do to make things better.

Release Date (s): December 11th, 2015 (US)…

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

AMY (2015): Revealing Documentary Of The Tragic Amy Winehouse Story

Amy (2015), Amy Winehouse
Amy (2015), Amy Winehouse

Sitting through Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary wasn’t easy, though it was absolutely worth it.

Amy tells the story of hugely successful jazz singer Winehouse’s unfortunately short life and career.

Her story is told in her own words and through previously unseen / unheard footage and tracks. Interviews with the people that were closest to her are also featured.

As I watched this heartbreaking story, I was reminded of the truth of just how easily many parents seem to embrace denial. In particular, when it comes to seriously considering the long term effects of their behaviour and actions on their offspring.

Amy is a very well executed documentary and serves as useful food for thought for everyone but especially those thinking of life in the music industry. Having a good grasp of the priorities of the people you choose to surround yourself with is just one key take away.

Most of us could only and are glad to only imagine what it was like to live the nightmare that had become the life of Amy Winehouse. With Kapadia’s documentary, we all have a better idea. I wonder if the people that appeared to have been part of the problem, recognised the role they played and are therefore remorseful. One can only hope.

Watch it for all the reasons above as well as insight into the life and works of a gifted artist.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

JOY (2015): New Trailer From David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper…

Joy (2015), Jennifer Lawrence
Joy (2015), Jennifer Lawrence

I loved the teaser trailer for David O. Russell’s latest film, Joy, when I saw it a few months ago. I’m happy to report that the latest trailer is the perfect tease and even more exciting…

Who doesn’t love to watch the perceived underdog take charge and silence the doubters with legendary action? I’m looking forward to everything, including the comedy, dialogue and… everything!

Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez and Isabella Rossellini are the stars.

Release Date (s): December 25th, 2015 (US), January 1st, 2016 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

RACE (2016): New Trailer For The Story Of American Track & Field Athlete, Jesse Owens

Race (2016), Stephan James
Race (2016), Stephan James

The trailer is here for the new film about Jesse Owens, the American athlete who achieved greatness against massive odds…

It’s a shame that upon returning to America after winning 4 gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, Owens wasn’t treated as well as you might expect for an American hero.

During that time, as bad as things were in Nazi Germany, they weren’t great for people of colour in the United States either. Nevertheless, Race, the story of Jesse Owens is still a powerful one, especially for all oppressed people with big dreams.

Directed by Stephen Hopkins; Stephan James stars as Owens with Jason Sudeikis, William Hurt and Jeremy Irons in the key supporting roles.

Release Date (s): February 19th 2016 (US), May 5th 2016 (Germany)…

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

TRUTH (2015): New Trailer From Cate Blanchett & Robert Redford

Truth (2015), Cate Blanchett
Truth (2015), Cate Blanchett

Truth is the latest from Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford and first time director James Vanderbilt…

Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Elizabeth Moss also star in this ‘based on a true story’ newsroom drama about the harshly criticised 60 minute report handled by Mary Mapes (Blanchett), and Dan Rather (Redford).

Release date (s): October 16th 2015.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

THE PROGRAM (2015): New Trailer For Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal Biopic

The Program (2015), Ben Foster
The Program (2015), Ben Foster

Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd and Guillaume Canet are the stars of the Stephen Frears latest. The Program is the film adaptation of former road racing cyclist, Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace.

I actually wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the first trailer when it was released a few months ago. Reasons included doubts as to whether Foster actually sounds like Armstrong. I’m still not convinced that he really does but this new trailer is definitely better…

I don’t feel quite quite ready for a movie version of a story that was only recently told by the documentary, The Armstrong Lie (2013). However, I’m presuming it will be interesting to see dramatisations of events we’ve so far only been told about. Foster will likely do a good job of portraying Armstrong even if I feel like he didn’t get the voice quite right.

The Program (2015), Chris O'Dowd
The Program (2015), Chris O’Dowd

I’m most looking forward to seeing Irish actor Chris O’Dowd excel in a serious dramatic role. Until then…

Dustin Hoffman, Jesse Plemons Elaine Cassidy and Bryan Greenberg also star.

Release Date (s): October 16th 2015 (UK & US)

Happy The Program 🙂

G