Gabo: the Creation of Gabriel García Márquez [Gabo, la creación de Gabriel García Márquez]

(USA 2015)

Despite a misleading title that suggests TMZ-like journalism, Gabo is a decent biography of one of the greatest authors from the Twentieth Century—and probably the best-known Latin American writer, ever. Justin Webster does a thoughtful and thorough job covering García Márquez‘s impressive life from his humble beginnings in Colombia to his lean days in college and his careers as journalist and then Nobel Prize winning author. He touches on major works and even gets into García Márquez‘s politics. Comments from celebrities like Bill Clinton are nice, but the best stuff comes from García Márquez‘s siblings, Aída and Jaime, and his friends.

Warning: those expecting an in-depth discussion of García Márquez‘s literary works or his “magical realism” will be sorely disappointed; Gabo is very much a factual account of the man’s life. It’s not a biography that humanizes its subject, nor does it mirror his work.

(Gener Siskel Film Center) C+


Listen to Me Marlon

(USA 2015)

I’m stating the obvious here, but Marlon Brando was a strange bird. It’s only fitting, then, that his “autobiography” be strange, too. And it is. With narration from the man himself taken from cassette recordings he made in private, he reminisces and philosophizes and prophecizes and lets his ego run loose. Footage of career highlights and personal tragedies round out his story.

At times creepy—that digitized head is a lot to take—Listen to Me Marlon gives some insight into why Brando was the way he was. Still, he remains as enigmatic as ever, even after seeing this.

(Landmark Century) B