Friday, April 20, 2012
ACTING SCHOOL: Marlon Brando
This month's featured actor on the LAMB's "Acting School 101" is the esteemed Marlon Brando. Blending immense talent and undeniable sex appeal (in his younger days), he is truly one of the greats. Here are my 3 favourite scenes from Marlon Brando's filmography:
#3 - A Dry White Season
In 'A Dry White Season', Brando plays a lawyer chosen to represent a black family in a contentious human rights case in apartheid South Africa. This scene is a perfect example of his naturalistic style as he underplays the hamminess that usually comes with courtroom confrontations. This is one of his least famous roles, but he absolutely nails it. He was rewarded with a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 1990 Academy Awards.
#2 - Apocalypse Now
This scene is the perfect marriage of directing, writing, cinematography and acting. You can feel the tension, the heat, the humidity. I felt like I needed to run away from this suffocating darkness. Marlon only appears at the end of this film, but he makes such a lasting impression. When he says "the horror", you really get a sense that he has seen some dark stuff. This scene pushed an already outstanding film into my list of favourite films of all time. It's one of the most effortlessly intense scenes ever put on screen.
#1 - A Streetcar Named Desire
This is the film that introduced Marlon Brando as the movie star he would become and it's easy to see why. In this scene, we meet Brando's Stanley for the first time and the first thing I thought was "Wow, this guy is attractive" (No homo). This was my first introduction to Brando and I was really impressed by his presence on screen. Vivien Leigh's reaction to him is basically an extension of the viewer's feelings. He is completely disarming with his looks, his voice and his swagger.