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Under the Volcano

Under the Volcano
July 21, 2017 - 7:30 pm
Jacqueline Bisset.

Under the Volcano  (1984)

At age 77, John Huston returns to Mexico with cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa for a final time to shoot a candid adaptation of Malcolm Lowry’s intemperate 1947 novel—a project nearly 40 years in the making, previously tackled and abandoned by no less than 50 distinct screenwriters. With this depiction of the final booze-soaked day in the life of a self-imploding British ex-Consul (Albert Finney) and his estranged wife (Jacqueline Bisset), as she watches helplessly while he loses himself in a bottle in 1930s Mexico, one might wonder if there’s room for God in Huston’s end-of-life worldview. In fact, God is not dead, Huston asserts in a Film Comment interview. “I prefer to think of God as away on a bat. Not dead, just drunk.”

35mm, color, 112 min.  Production: Ithaca Enterprises.  Distribution: Universal Pictures.  Director: John Huston.  Producer: Michael Fitzgerald, Moritz Borman, Wieland Schulz-Keil.  Screenwriter: Guy Gallo.  Based on the novel by Malcolm Lowry.  Cinematographer: Gabriel Figueroa.  Editor: Roberto Silvi.  Music: Alex North.  Cast: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews.