peteg's blog

The Night of the Iguana

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I've been meaning to watch this one for ages. John Huston directed and co-adapted Tennessee Williams's play. The cast is stellar. A reference in A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain prompted me to dig it up. Black and white in two sittings.

Sort-of-defrocked Reverend of the Gospel Richard Burton is chaperoning (really, being chaperoned by) a group of Baptist ladies from Texas led by Grayson Hall (cast precisely to type I'd expect) touring Mexico circa 1963. (Burton also played a priest in the contemporaneous Becket.) He brings them to a resort on a hill near the sea at Puerto Vallarta where good friend and recently-bereaved Ava Gardner holds court and has a blast. Later on quick-sketch artist and spinster Deborah Kerr arrives with her poetic grandfather and provides spiritual consolations to go along with the boozy ones. (I can just imagine her in The King and I.) Sue Lyon does over the willful Lolita role. None of the ladies can help themselves. Burton has never been funnier, perhaps because the Liz and Dick show was in town and going strong for the duration of filming.

Bosley Crowther at the time. I think he got it about right, but for me the stakes were lower.

/noise/beach/2018-2019 | Link

Finding myself more of a zombie than I'd hoped, I went for a mid-afternoon snorkel at Gordons Bay off the scuba ramp after lunch at Laksa King. Visibility was decent away from the shore. I saw a couple of large female gropers and one on the turn: (s)he was blue at either end but still green in the middle. Also a few large wrasse, loads of small fry, a small school of garfish (?). Relatively flat, high tide, light wind. Not many people, and everyone in the water was snorkelling. Some far-too-brassy blue wrens came up to me on the path down to the ramp.

Australian String Quartet: Haydn Winkelman Sibelius at the City Recital Hall.

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A freebie via the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Their resident cellist was on maternity leave so they got to take the ACO's Timo-Veikko Valve on their national tour. This was their final night. Maybe half full at most. I had some hopes as I like this format but it wasn't really my thing; the highlight was some of the Sibelius.