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The more sensitive you are, the more certain you are to be brutalised’

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This is an edited version of Truman Capote’s interview of Marlon Brando in Kyoto, Japan, 1957
The little maid on the fourth floor of the Miyako Hotel, in Kyoto, led me through a labyrinth of corridors, promising, “I knock you, Marron.” The “l” sound does not exist in Japanese, and by “Marron” she meant Marlon – Marlon Brando, the American actor, who was at that time in Kyoto doing location work for the motion picture version of James Michener’s novel Sayonara.”Oh, hi,” he said. “It’s seven, huh?” We’d made a seven o’clock date for dinner; I was nearly 20 minutes late. “Well, take off your shoes and come on in. I’m just finishing up here.” Looking after the girl as she scurried off, he cocked his hands on his hips and, grinning, declared, “They really kill me. The kids, too. Don’t you think they’re wonderful, don’t you love them – Japanese kids?”

His quarters consisted of two rooms, a bath, and a glassed-in sun porch. All that he owned seemed to be out in the open. Shirts, ready for the laundry; socks, too; hats and ties, flung around like the costume of a dismantled scarecrow. And cameras, a typewriter, a tape recorder, an electric heater that performed with stifling competence. Pieces of partly nibbled fruit. And books, a deep-thought cascade, among which one saw Colin Wilson’s The Outsider and works on Buddhist prayer, Zen meditation, Yogi breathing and Hindu mysticism, but no fiction. He has never, he professes, opened a novel since April 3 1924, the day he was born, in Omaha, Nebraska.

While he may not care to read fiction, he does desire to write it. The lacquer table was loaded with overfilled ashtrays and piled pages of his most recent creative effort, A Burst of Vermilion, a film script.

Brando had been in Japan for more than a month, yet even the film’s director, Joshua Logan, was impelled to say, “Marlon’s the most exciting person I’ve met since Garbo. A genius. But I don’t know what he’s like. I don’t know anything about him.”

While we were awaiting dinner, he lolled his head against a pillow on the floor, dropped his eyelids, then shut them. When he spoke, his voice – an unemotional voice, in a way cultivated and genteel, yet surprisingly adolescent – seemed to come from sleepy distances.

“The last eight, nine years of my life have been a mess,” he said. “Maybe the last two have been a little better. Less rolling in the trough of the wave. Have you ever been analyzed? I was afraid of it at first. Afraid it might destroy the impulses that made me creative, an artist. A sensitive person receives 50 impressions where somebody else may only get seven. Sensitive people are so vulnerable; the more sensitive you are, the more certain you are to be brutalized, develop scabs. Never evolve. Never allow yourself to feel anything because you always feel too much. Analysis helps. It helped me. But still, the last eight, nine years I’ve been pretty mixed up …”

The voice went on, for like many persons who are intensely self-absorbed, he is something of a monologuist. “People around me never say anything,” he says. “They just seem to want to hear what I have to say. That’s why I do all the talking.”

Watching him now, I felt as if my initial encounter with him were being recreated. It was a winter afternoon in New York, 1947, when I attended a rehearsal of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, in which Brando was to play the role that would bring him general recognition, Stanley Kowalski. But on the remembered afternoon, I hadn’t a clue to who he might be. Arriving too early, I found the auditorium deserted and a brawny young man atop a table on the stage, solidly asleep. Because he was wearing a white T-shirt and denim trousers, because of his gymnasium physique – the weightlifter’s arms, the Charles Atlas chest (though an opened Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud was resting on it), I took him for a stagehand. Or did until I looked closely at his face. It was as if a stranger’s head had been attached to the brawny body. For this face was so very untough, superimposing an almost angelic refinement and gentleness on hard-jawed good looks. The present Brando, the one lounging on the tatami, lazily puffing filtered cigarettes as he talked and talked, was, of course, a different person. His body was thicker; his forehead was higher, for his hair was thinner; he was richer. There were other alterations. His eyes had changed. Now he looked at people with assurance, and with what can only be called a pitying expression, as though he dwelt in spheres of enlightenment where they, to his regret, did not.

” … by which I don’t mean that I’m always unhappy. I remember one April I was in Sicily. A hot day, and flowers everywhere. I like flowers, the ones that smell. Gardenias. Anyway, I went off by myself. Lay down in this field of flowers. Went to sleep. That made me happy. I was happy then. What? You say something?”

“I was wondering how you broke your nose.”

He grinned, as though remembering an experience as happy as the Sicilian nap. “In Streetcar, some of the guys backstage and me, we used to go down to the boiler room in the theatre and horse around. One night I was mixing it up with this guy and – crack! So I walked around to the nearest hospital. My nose was really busted. They had to give me an anesthetic to set it and put me to bed. Not that I was sorry. Streetcar had been running about a year and I was sick of it.”

(Recalling the incident recently, Irene Selznick, producer of the Williams play, said, “Suddenly his face was quite different. Kind of tough. For months I kept telling him, ‘But they’ve ruined your face. You must have your nose reset.’ Luckily for him, he didn’t listen to me. Because I honestly think that broken nose made his fortune. It gave him sex appeal. He was too beautiful before.”)

Brando made his first trip to the coast in 1949, to play the leading role in The Men, a picture dealing with paraplegic war veterans. His attitude to the film business, he summed up by saying, “The only reason I’m here is that I don’t yet have the moral courage to turn down the money.”

Sensing silence in our conversation, he dissolved it: “Still, movies do have the greatest potential. You can say important things to a lot of people. About discrimination and hatred and prejudice.” Upon his Tokyo arrival, Brando informed some 60 reporters that he had contracted to do Sayonara – the tale of an American jet pilot who falls in love with a Japanese dance-hall girl – because it strikes at such prejudices. Also because it would give him the “invaluable opportunity” of working with Joshua Logan. But time had passed. And now Brando said, with a snort, “I give up. I’m going to walk through the part, and that’s it. Sometimes I think nobody knows the difference. For the first few days on the set, I tried to act. But then I made an experiment. In this scene, I tried to do everything wrong. Grimaced and rolled my eyes. What did Logan say? ‘It’s wonderful! Print it!'” A phrase that often occurs in Brando’s conversation, “I only mean 40% of what I say,” is probably applicable here.

He stared questioningly at his scattered books, so many of which dealt with mystical subjects. “What I’d like to do,” he presently said, “I’d like to talk to someone who knows about these things. Because …” Just then the maid skated in balancing vast platters.

“Because,” he resumed, “I’ve seriously considered – I’ve very seriously thought about – throwing the whole thing up. This business of being a successful actor. What’s the point if it doesn’t evolve into anything? All right, you’re a success, you’re welcome everywhere. But it doesn’t lead anywhere.” He rubbed his chin with the towel, as though removing stale makeup. “Too much success can ruin you as surely as too much failure.”

“You know, it took me a long time before I was aware that that’s what I was – a big success. Then, when I was in Streetcar, and it had been running a couple of months, one night – dimly, dimly – I began to hear this roar. It was like I’d been asleep, and I woke up here sitting on a pile of candy.”

As we ate, Brando returned to renouncing his movie-star status. He decided to compromise. “Well, when I get back to Hollywood, what I will do, I’ll fire my secretary and move into a smaller house,” he said. He sighed with relief, as though he’d already cast off old encumbrances. “But,” he frowned, “it has to have a fence. On account of the people with pencils. I need a fence to keep them out. I suppose there’s nothing I can do about the telephone.”

“Telephone?”

“It’s tapped. Mine is.” By whom? He chewed his steak, mumbled. He seemed reluctant to say, yet certain it was so. “When I talk to my friends, we speak French. Or else a kind of bop lingo we made up.” My host located a letter buried among the plates, and read it while he ate, like a gentleman perusing his breakfast newspaper. Presently, he remarked, “From a friend of mine. He’s making a documentary, the life of James Dean. He wants me to do the narration. I think I might.” He pulled his apple pie toward him. “Maybe not, though. I get excited about something, but it never lasts more than seven minutes. Seven minutes exactly. That’s my limit.” Finishing his pie, he gazed speculatively at my portion; I passed it to him.

The scene was interrupted by a real telephone. “Yeah?” he said, picking it up. “Speaking. From where? Well, I don’t know anybody in Manila. Tell them I’m not here. No, when I finally met Dean,” he said, hanging up, “it was at a party. Where he was throwing himself around, acting the madman. I took him aside, [gave him] the name of an analyst, and he went. And at least his work improved. Toward the end, I think he was beginning to find his own way as an actor. But this glorifying of Dean is all wrong. That’s why I believe the documentary could be important. To show he wasn’t a hero; show what he really was, just a lost boy trying to find himself. That ought to be done, and I’d like to do it – maybe as a kind of expiation for some of my own sins. Like making The Wild One”, the strange film in which he was presented as the Führer of a tribe of fascist-like delinquents. “But. Who knows? Seven minutes is my limit.”

Brando began to weave his fingers in the air. “Acting is such a tenuous thing,” he said. “A fragile, shy thing that a sensitive director can help lure out of you. Now, in movie acting, the important, the sensitive moment comes around the third take of a scene; by then you just need a whisper from the director to crystallize it for you. Gadge [Elia Kazan’s nickname] can usually do it. He’s wonderful with actors.”

One of Brando’s most memorable film scenes occurs in the Kazan-directed On the Waterfront: the car-ride in which Rod Steiger, as the racketeering brother, confesses he is leading Brando into a death trap. Could he use the episode as an example? “Well, let’s see.” He puckered his eyes. “I didn’t like the way it was written. A lot of dissension going on there. I was fed up with the whole picture. All the location stuff was in New Jersey, dead of winter – the cold, Christ! And I was having problems at the time. Woman trouble. Let me see. There were seven takes because Rod Steiger couldn’t stop crying. He’s one of those actors that love to cry. We kept doing it over and over. But I can’t remember just how it crystallized itself for me. The first time I saw Waterfront, in a projection room, I thought it was so terrible I walked out without even speaking to Gadge.”

It was 10.30pm and below the windows, the hotel garden, with its arrangements of rock and tree, floated in the mists. He said, “Have you been to Nara? Pretty interesting.” I had, and yes, it was. An hour’s drive from Kyoto, a postcard town set in a showplace park, the apotheosis of the Japanese genius for hypnotizing nature into unnatural behavior. Then, as though apropos of Nara, he said, “Well, I’d like to be married. I want to have children.” It was not, perhaps, the nonsequitur it seemed; the gentle safety of Nara just could suggest marriage, a family.

“You’ve got to have love,” he said. “There’s no other reason for living. Men are no different from mice. They’re born to perform the same function. Procreate.” (“Marlon,” to quote his friend Kazan, “is one of the gentlest people I’ve ever known. Possibly the gentlest.” Kazan’s remark had meaning when one observed Brando in the company of children. At ease, playful, appreciative, he seemed their emotional contemporary, a co-conspirator.

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Top 10 Quotes From Elon Musk’s Genius

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Regardless of whether we’re discussing on the web instalments, science, innovation or space travel, the name Elon Musk should fly up in your psyche.

Alluded to as the Nikola Tesla of our age, Elon Musk is a business person, business head honcho, speculator, designer, and innovator. This person unquestionably knows his way with cash. He turned into a multimillionaire in his late 20s when he sold his first new business, Zip2.

The founder of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX trusts in humankind and needs to change the world, and this isn’t merely pie in the sky considering. The man is really taking a shot at lessening an unnatural weather change and building up a human settlement on Mars to forestall human elimination. What more verification do you have to trust that all that you decided is conceivable?

Here are 11 Elon Musk quotes to influence you to begin taking a shot at your fantasies, regardless of how unimaginable they may appear to be at present.

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

It is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.

The first step is to establish that something is possible then probability will occur.

Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.

I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.

Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.

If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.

Life is too short for long-term grudges.

I take the position that I’m always to some degree wrong, and the aspiration is to be less wrong.

People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.

For more such quotes and talks, subscribe to Talk Column today!

Disclaimer: All images are sourced from the web. No copyright infringement intended.

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Top 5 Things We Picked From Cristiano Ronaldo’s Interview

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Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up about his life in his most cosy meeting to date with The Players’ Tribune.

The Real Madrid forward talks about everything from his first football memory, to his most significant minute in the game, and each inclination he had in the middle.

He additionally discusses his family, the two his folks who helped him achieve the highest point of the diversion, and his child, who helped him value the most important things throughout everyday life.

Underneath we have select five intriguing applies from the long meeting – 5 things you’ll certainly be intrigued to find out about the Portuguese.

Ronaldo played football on the roads… among cars.

Each adolescent has a type of memory of playing on concrete, regardless of whether it’s merely booting a ball against a check.

In any case, as indicated by future four-time Ballon d’Or champ Ronaldo, he used to play in the street, while autos were driving past. Thank the ruler there were no mishaps, eh?

He wasn’t prepared to leave home and battled at Sporting Lisbon.

Ronaldo appears to be the most satisfied person on the planet, yet at 11 years old he didn’t feel prepared to leave home for the Portuguese capital.

As per the man himself he battled at the Sporting Lisbon institute and was exceptionally achy to visit the family, just observing his folks once like clockwork. Luckily he stuck it out, and things showed signs of improvement.

He understood he was unique at the Academy.

It likely didn’t come as a lot of disclosure, considering the reality he would go ahead to end up the best player on the planet. However, Ronaldo can pinpoint the minute he knew he was extraordinary.

He’d show signs of improvement of his partners in preparing and was regularly lauded for his capacity. So, he conceded he was worried about being too little.

Turning into a father at Real Madrid made his chance at club additional exceptional.

It must be truly unique to advance out onto the pitch wearing the all-white Real Madrid strip and having the capacity to tell the world you’re a Los Blancos player.

Be that as it may, as indicated by Ronaldo, this has all been made additional unique by the reality he fathered his child while at the club, which he concedes changed his point of view.

Holding hands and strolling with child is his most memorable moment

Strolling as an inseparable unit with his child in Cardiff is his most loved memory.

All through the meeting, Ronaldo talks gladly about every one of the trophies he has won in his profession, however, concedes they implied more to him when he was more youthful.

Today he views his most loving memory as strolling around the pitch at Cardiff clasping hands with his young child after winning the Champions League. Favour.

We bet you found this amazing. For more such interviews and talks, subscribe to Talk Column today!

Disclaimer: All images are sourced from the web. No copyright infringement intended.

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DAVID BAILEY SAYS: “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CROSS THE ROAD?”

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Mr. Bailey, would you swear in front of the Queen?

No, if you’re going to accept the Queen you have to accept the tradition. You know, I’ve got nothing against the monarchy. I think there are too many hangers-on, but that’s also a cliché thing to say. I doubt she’d be too shocked. She’s been around; she’s not stupid.

You recently took the official photo for her 88th birthday.

Yes and I think she looks incredible for 88. I had never photographed her before.

Why not?

I wouldn’t photograph anybody if they only give you five minutes. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care if God phoned me up and said, “I want a picture, I’ve only got five minutes.” I’d say, “Well, work some of your magic and make it longer!” Even though I’m actually quicker than most and I usually get bored before they get bored.

What kind of people are the most difficult to photograph?

Lots of politicians are so full of themselves. Sports people too a bit. But actors are the most difficult because you never know who you’re photographing. They could be Hamlet or Lassie. But the fewer people they come with, the more interesting they usually are. Johnny Depp came with nobody so I knew it was going to be all right. Jack Nicholson never came with anybody, but Jack’s different because I’ve known him for so long.

You once said Jack Nicholson is the smartest actor because he knows something nobody else does. What is it that he knows?

I don’t fucking know. If I knew, I’d be as smart as him. (Laughs)

One of the things that fascinated me when I met him was his grin and the sparkle in his eye when he talked about women.

Yeah, with Viagra. He’s the first person that told me about Viagra.

When was that?

Oh, years ago. Before everyone knew about it! (Laughs)

“Actors are the most difficult because you never know who you’re photographing. They could be Hamlet or Lassie.”

When you know someone very well like you do Jack Nicholson is it easier to take a great portrait of them?

It depends. It’s one of those abstract things. We had a difficult bloke this week, what was he called? Van Morris or somebody… He was so grumpy. But I loved him being grumpy because I could use his grumpiness. I got a great grumpy picture out of him. If I see another picture of a rock ‘n’ roller against some graffiti… It drives you mad, the same old picture! Can’t they ever think of something different to do? So I don’t mind people that are difficult. I quite like that. It amuses me because there is always a way around it. I mean, no one could be more difficult than Van whatever he’s called, Van Morrison.

It seems pointless to have your picture taken if you’re not going to cooperate though.

Well he left really happy, Van Morrison. But it is kind of pointless to come here if you’re not going to help me. They might not like the picture, but one day they will. One day that’s what they’re going to look like – whether they look like that or not. Medici said to Michelangelo, “That sculpture doesn’t look like me.” Michelangelo said, “Listen, you’ll be dead in 20 years, but this will be around for 2,000 years. So, that’s what you look like!” You could say that a bit with photography.

Does it often happen that people aren’t happy with their portrait, but then years later change their mind?

Yeah. 10 years later usually. We had one recently, I won’t mention his name, I shot him 30 years ago and he said, “I hate the picture.” But his wife bought one for him as a birthday present recently. (Laughs) 30 years later and come get the picture.

Are celebrities more difficult nowadays than they were 30 or 40 years ago?

Well, I avoid celebrities. I’m not really interested in people that come with PR. That’s probably why I can’t work in America, because I don’t take all that bullshit. I don’t know how people like Bruce Weber manage, because it would drive me mad. All these silly people who don’t know anything that come with celebrities and try to tell you what to do. It’s madness! They brought it on themselves, the magazines. They should have been stricter. They should have said, “No, we’re not showing you. We’re doing the interview and that’s that.” But instead they pander to them and in the end they end up owning you. Those magazines are owned by the celebrities, really.

You don’t strike me as the type to pander to anyone.

I never really read what people write about me, but the comments people made when doing this exhibition recently at the National Portrait Gallery are so stupid. “Oh, Bailey panders to these people.” I don’t pander to anybody. I just do the picture I do. I don’t care who it is. And I won’t do pictures if people want approval. It has always seemed stupid to me that they ask you to do something and then want to sort of tell you how to do it. What madness!

Source: The Talk

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