Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Back on the Nile

I’m not a fan of Agatha Christie.
I think what turned me off was starting with the Miss Marple mysteries, after viewing the old Margaret Rutherford movies. My late aunt, that was a great fan of Christie gave me an omnibus edition with a number of Miss Marple books, and I hated them.
There.

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But as I think I already mentioned, I love the Poirot movies featuring Peter Ustinov, and when it comes to Death on the Nile, in my house we are divided – to me, nothing surpasses the Ustinov movie, while my brother, that is a David Suchet fan, prefers the TV movie. Continue reading

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A second serving of Poirot: Evil under the Sun (1982)

It always goes like this: I re-watch Death on the Nile, and a week later I re-watch Evil Under the Sun. So why not write a post on the movie?

Four years after Death on the Nile, EMI made another Agatha Christie adaptation, choosing the 1941 novel “Evil Under the Sun”.
The ingredients were basically the same of the previous movie: a stellar cast (with Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin and Maggie Smith returning, even if the ladies were cast in different roles), an exotic location (Mallorca, doubling for an unspecified Adriatic Island), the same screenwriter (Anthony Shaffer) and the same Oscar-winning costume designer. Even the poster concept was similar.

The result is on a par with the previous film: a good adaptation, with a cunning plot and an unexpected finale, with a beautiful look and a great selection of great actors. Continue reading


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Afternoon on the Nile

Isn’t this writing business just great.
In what other field could I spend the afternoon re-watching the great Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile, and still call it research?

And by the way, the movie is from 1978, not 1974 as the trailer caption puts it.
And yes, I might inflict my opinions about the movie on you, one of these nights.


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Keep it safe, and keep on reading

The-Dinosaur-Project-9780921912460I’m currently reading Wayne Grady’s The Dinosaur Project, about the joint Canada-China dinosaur-digging expedition in the Gobi Desert, in 1985.
Great stuff, an excellent account of science, research and adventure.
Good science writing.

And the sort of book that rises a few eyebrows when somebody asks you “And what are you reading?”
The point being, why should anyone read such stuff.

I get off the hook easily – I’m a paleontologist, so it’s work-related.
But I was discussing last night with a friend about this thing – that anything out of the ordinary gets you weird looks. Continue reading