1984 was the best year of cinema in the wasteland of the '80s--Wim Wenders' masterpiece Paris, Texas; the Coen Brothers' debut Blood Simple; John Huston's atmospheric Under the Volcano featuring Albert Finney's greatest, most intense performance as an alcoholic wandering drunkenly around Cuernavaca, Mexico during the Day of the Dead. Earthy cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa. Disturbing ending.
Under the Volcano is a film about worlds, and men, trying and failing to effect a careful, teetering balance between order and anarchy. What is the right dose of liquor to administer to an alcoholic attempting to steer a course between the shakes and oblivion? What is the maximum defensible amount of evil we can allow to exist in the world uncontested? Huston asks Lowry's questions through a mouth full of ashes.
I haven't read Malcolm Lowry's book so no comparison here. I found the Mexican scenes very credible, very close to what may still be found in Central or South America if you leave the main cities. I also have the utmost respect for John Huston for having entrusted Katy -High Noon- Jurado and Emilio - 40 films as a director- Fernández with two small parts in Under the Volcano. Highly recommended.
White diplomat in Mexico has been living his "Frida fantasy" and is now suffering from alcoholism. The first two thirds are enjoyable with its casual Mexican fantasy, and gorgeous Mexican photography by Figueroa. The last third falls apart because of its lazy ~EVIL MEXICANS~ subplot.
Un ardu sommet de la littérature mondiale dont l'adaptation cinématographique avait tenté (vainement) moult réalisateurs et pas des moindres (Losey, Bunuel, Dassin, Russell) qui sous la caméra d'un John Huston éclatant de maîtrise et de charisme, ayant su rester fidèle à l'esprit tourmentée du roman, en gardant l'essence même de la plongée suicidaire (rédemptrice ?) du héros de Malcolm Lowry.
It starts as the "SPECTRE" James BOND movie, it continues with Peter LORRE's "HANDS of ORLAC" & it goes on with FINNEY's last & drunken day, embellished with sublime & iridescent BISSET === Ça commence comme le film de James BOND "SPECTRE" , ça continue avec P. LORRE dans "Les MAINS d'ORLAC" & ca se poursuit avec 1 journée de soûlographie de FINNEY agrémentée de la sublime & irisée BISSET.