A documentary on the life of the alcoholic writer Malcolm Lowry, interspersed with readings of Lowry's work by Richard Burton. Lowry was born and educated in England. He moved to Mexico in ... See full summary »
Against a background of war breaking out in Europe and the Mexican fiesta Day of Death, we are taken through one day in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a British consul living in alcoholic ... See full summary »
French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors. Deciding that they must do their proper duty and fight the Germans, they ... See full summary »
A psychotic sniper plans a massive killing spree in a Los Angeles football stadium during a major championship game. The police, led by Captain Peter Holly (Charlton Heston) and SWAT ... See full summary »
In this American Film Institute-subsidized short subject, Fionnula Flanagan plays a sharp-tongued but compassionate nun, while Peter Lempert is cast as a sullen, emotionally disturbed boy. ... See full summary »
A Jewish ghetto in the east of Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central ... See full summary »
Two little girls hide in the boys' bathroom at school so they can find out what happens there. When two boys come in, the four gradually talk each other into taking off their clothes. The ... See full summary »
A documentary on the life of the alcoholic writer Malcolm Lowry, interspersed with readings of Lowry's work by Richard Burton. Lowry was born and educated in England. He moved to Mexico in 1936, where he lived near the volcano Popocatepetl, on an allowance from his father. There, between drunken bouts, he started writing his one important novel, "Under the Volcano" that takes place on the Mexican day of the dead. He takes eight years to finish it, writing most of it while living in a shack in British Colombia, Canada. Written by
The strength of this documentary is the appearance of many who knew Malcolm Lowry personally, including his widow, Margery Lowry (Bonner). It traces the emotional and physical geography of Malcolm Lowry's turbulent life, including his most productive time, the 14 years he and Margery spent living in a beach shack in Dollarton (now part of Vancouver) BC, Canada.
Margery Bonner is the unnamed spouse in Malcolm Lowry's The Forest Path to the Spring, which is a fictionalized account of their years at Dollarton ("Eridanus"). This novella, thought to be Lowry's "most optimistic work" (by George Bowering), describes that period in idyllic terms, with many positive references to his spouse, by the unnamed narrator. It was published posthumously along with a parallel work, The Bravest Boat, from The October Ferry to Gabriola.
Volcano, though, is an unremitting tragedy that begins at the bottom of a life, and goes downhill from there. Richard Burton's lugubrious reading from Lowry's prose is powerful, but dreary. One is tempted to ask, Is that all there is? No, it isn't. The Forest Path to the Spring stands in counterpoint to Volcano. The novella certainly portrays the author's inner demons, but offers as well a lightness, a powerful hymn to the spirit of a place, and a description of a life at least partly redeemed.
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