A celebrity volcanologist couple spotlighted in new doc

a celebrity volcanologist couple spotlighted in new doc
© Provided by The Canadian Press

There is a curious love triangle that sits at the center of the new documentary “ Fire of Love.” It’s between a man, a woman and a volcano. Well, all volcanoes really.

The names might not be especially well-known today, but in the 1970s and ’80s, French scientists Katia Krafft and Maurice Krafft were to volcanoes what Jacques Cousteau was to oceans. The married couple traveled the world for some 20 years in pursuit of their studies, capturing the spectacles with 16mm cameras and writing colorfully about their findings until their deaths in 1991 on Mount Unzen in Japan. On that June day a current of gas and volcanic matter called a pyroclastic flow took 43 lives, including the Kraftts and American volcanologist Harry Glicken.

Their deaths were covered globally, but their story has somewhat receded in the popular imagination in the past three decades, though Werner Herzog did spotlight them in his 2016 documentary “Into the Inferno.”

Filmmaker Sara Dosa stumbled upon the Kraffts while making an earlier film about Iceland. The Kraffts, who first bonded over Mount Etna and Mount Stromboli and were married in 1970, witnessed some 140 eruptions on every continent except Antarctica and won an Emmy for their National Geographic documentary “Mountains of Fire.” They would famously drop everything to get to an active volcano, and were often the first on site. They were also known for their willingness to get dangerously close.

When the pandemic scuttled plans for another project, Dosa remembered this fascinating couple and the stories about their hundreds of hours of disarmingly beautiful footage of active volcanoes.

“I’m endlessly curious and just fascinated by how humans make meaning out of non-human nature,” Dosa said. “I feel like I got to see that in their works so beautifully.”

And she set out to make something about the Kraffts in the spirit of the Kraffts. “Fire of Love,” from National Geographic Documentary Films and Neon, opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Wednesday and more cities in the coming weeks.

With the help of Image’Est, an archive house in Nancy, France, and Maurice Krafft’s brother, Bertrand Krafft, Dosa and her collaborators were able to get remote access to over 180 hours of 16mm footage shot by the Kraffts and start piecing the story together. A line written by Maurice Krafft in one of his books helped justify something Dosa was already onto: That this was a love story.

“I wanted to be guided by Katia and Maurice first and foremost,” Dosa said. “They were so playful and full of humor. Their banter is infectious. They’re also philosophical. In their writings and recordings, they wrestle with themes of existentialism.”

Taking inspiration from the time when the Kraffts were coming of age, Dosa and her team decided to draw on the aesthetics of French New Wave films to help inform the tone and style of their film, including playful split screens and zooms. Even their writings, Dosa said, reminded her of the narration in François Truffaut films. So they leaned into the absurdity and profundity of this strange love triangle with a “deadpan curious” narration by Miranda July and an original “retro-futuristic” score from Nicolas Godin of the French music duo Air.

“It was important to us to, of course, tell a story that’s factual, that was accurate and reflected their lives and lived experience. And at the same time, we wanted to tell a story that felt true,” Dosa said. “But there’s kind of a true spirit to Katia and Maurice that extends beyond the literal factual.”

In other words, “Fire of Love” is anything but a filmed Wikipedia page. The film even begins with credits starring “Katia and Maurice Krafft.”

“We wanted to kind of lean into that idea of them playing themselves from an early stage. We see them as the authors of their own myth and this as kind of a mythic love story,” Dosa said. “This is a co-creation, shot by them and starring them. We’re just kind of stringing along the pieces of their life for the audience to connect with.”

—-

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press

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Palay-Palay  National ParkAbout PagudpudFive Levels of Aguinid FallsIntroducing San Pascual, MasbateMount Manmanoc ItineraryAdventures in Fortune Island of Nasugbu | LakwatseroNext Level Mobile Photography with Sony Xperia XZ1 | LakwatseroScuba Diving in Siargao: Discovering the Underwater Treasures of Daku Island | LakwatseroAbout Davao CityHow to Get to AndaJanuary: Cebu & IloiloHow to Get to Mines View ParkKamay ni Hesus: Pilgrimage Site in Lucban | LakwatseroPoon Hill: Three Days of Himalayan AdventureCalvary Hill Cemetery of SagadaHow to Get to TambobongMilford SoundTen Things To Do in Sagada: Bucket List for NewbiesDahoyhoy FallsPilot for a Day: The Ultra Light Aircraft Experience | LakwatseroReal Coffee and Tea Cafe of Boracay | LakwatseroGhorepani Poon Hill TrekAbout Maniwaya IslandHow to Get to Binanga FallsPalo Alto Falls of Baras, Rizal | LakwatseroExplore Moscow: Best Things to Do in the City | LakwatseroStairway to HeavenMount Guiting-Guiting Overnight Trek Complete ItineraryCape Melville LighthouseLa Cathedral Café: Restaurant with a View in IntramurosKapurpurawan Rock Formation: White and BeautifulDay Hike ItineraryThe Sandbox at AlvieraHow to go to Mararison IslandA Weekend of Adventures in South Cebu and DumagueteCalayan Island: A Virtual Diary of Our Epic Journey | LakwatseroFaro de Isla Jintotolo (Jintotolo Island Lighthouse)Low’s PeakAbout Taal VolcanoHow to Get to Mag-aso Falls of BoholSamar: Biri Rock Formations Up Close | LakwatseroBonbon BeachIntroducing Jomalig IslandAbout Cotabato CityAbout TabukLeyte Landing Memorial: A Memorial for a Fulfilled Promise | LakwatseroSilyang Bato, Mount MaramiPanimahawa Ridge and Cedar Falls Day Hike ItineraryFun in the World’s Best IslandSample Albay ItinerariesMagpupungko Beach and Tidal Pools6 Tips for Living in the Philippines | LakwatseroDaraga Church: The Nuestra Señora dela Porteria ChurchTulgao Rice TerracesCape Melville Lighthouse (Faro del Cabo Melville)Canyoneering to Kawasan FallsLake FewaLong Weekend: Five-Day Suggested Itineraries in Luzon | LakwatseroAbout CaponesThe Wichcraft Café of Zamboanga City | LakwatseroHow to Get to GuiuanAll-Female FloorHow to Get to Neri’s VilleDiotay’s EateryShort but Sweet Melaka Getaway | LakwatseroHow to Get to Tinuy-An FallsOslob: The Lost Grandeur of Tumalog Falls | LakwatseroIlocos ItineraryDitumabo Falls: The Mother Falls of San Luis, Aurora!Biking in Kalinga: Trek and Bike to TabukParadise Garden: A Haven for Sea TurtlesSiargao: Magpupungko Beach and Tidal Pools | LakwatseroAbout Bucas GrandeCoral GardenSagadaA Walk in Sangay Siapo Island Before it is Gone? | LakwatseroAmbaguio-Akiki ItineraryCorregidor Island Lighthouse (Faro dela Isla de Corregidor)Faro de Punta de Malabrigo (Malabrigo Point Lighthouse)About CulionNaidi Hill LighthouseBoquete IslandHow to Commute to Temple of LeahCatanduanes: The Heritage Church of Bato | Lakwatsero1. White Water Rafting or KayakingMount Fuji Overnight Climb ItinerarySip & Gogh Paint Studio: Unleash Your Inner Van Gogh | LakwatseroBatanes ItineraryHow to Get to Quitinday HillsAbout Callao CaveDiscover LakawonBiking to Taal: A Fun Ride to Batangas’ Heritage TownAntique Blooming: The Rafflesia of San RemigioMalasimbo Lights and Dance FestivalBacolod ItineraryPoon HillAttractions in Mirador Heritage and Eco ParkHulhumale Public BeachRomblon Island: Bonbon Beach, Tiamban Beach & MoreAdventure in Sabah: White Water Rafting in Padas River | LakwatseroHow to Get to Hinakpan Mystical HillsWelcome to Lake SebuAbout CasiguranAbout BuscalanHow to Go to Kalanggaman IslandFaro de Cabo Bojeador (Cape Bojeador Lighthouse)Backpacking Maldives: Budget Itinerary, Expenses & TipsHow to Get ThereOffbeat Bohol Itinerary: 3D/2N of AdventuresHow to Get to Tawi-TawiAlona BeachPangilatan Falls: The Forgotten Gem of Tapaz, CapizWorld War I: SMS Cormoran II3D/2N Taiwan Itinerary: Taipei – Yehliu – ShiffenLaos for Backpackers: Getting There on a BudgetBasic RequirementsHow to Get to Antong FallsCathedral CaveHow to Go to Gubat, SorsogonAbout SadangaHow to Get to Bugui Point LighthouseHow to Get to Cabra Island LighthouseCebu Itinerary: Three-Day Adventures in the SouthAbout AndaLuna: A Day in the Show Window of Apayao | LakwatseroMargues Blue LagoonFinding Palaui’s Cape Engaño Lighthouse | LakwatseroHow to Get to Mantayupan Falls of Barili, CebuHow to Get to MaligcongLinapacan Islands: Between Paradise | LakwatseroKLIA to KLCCHow to Get to JomaligBanaug ShoalEspadang Bato – Payaran Falls Day Hike Itinerary10 Remarkable Philippine Destinations for Solo TravelMiagao Church: A UNESCO World Heritage Site in IloiloAbout Carbin ReefAbout Parola IslandCabra WreckageCobra Falls: Ozamiz City’s Best Kept SecretBasco: The Chapel on the Hill of Tukon | LakwatseroBack in Kathmandu’s Lovely Mess | LakwatseroHimalayan Adventure: Kathmandu to Pokhara Overland | LakwatseroItineraryChinatown Vancouver (Stop #23)Situbo Falls: Tampilisan's Awesome SurpriseHow to Get to Inambakan FallsTuasan Falls: Another Camiguin’s Charmer | LakwatseroHow to Get to Lake SebuMarinduque Loop: Biking in the Heart of the Philippines1. 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Cruz Grande IslandBasilica de San Martin de ToursBaguio Budget Stay: Upstairs Bed & Bath | LakwatseroBiking in Batanes: Batan Island Loop | LakwatseroCandaba Bird SanctuaryCape EngañoAbout HungduanIligan Tourism Triangle: Mimbalut, Tinago & Maria CristinaAbout Jose PanganibanCadapdapan Rice TerracesHow to Get to Casaroro FallsKiltepan: Sagada’s Best Sunrise | LakwatseroBeguet: Colorado Falls of Tuba | LakwatseroFollow the Call of the Great Outdoors: Go Out & Get More | LakwatseroSanga-Sanga ReefMasbate City: Where to Eat in the City | LakwatseroAbout Carabao IslandRain Vortex at the Jewel of ChangiPacsafe Venturesafe 65L GII Travel PackIrakoWhere to Stay in CarmenHow to Get to Tangadan FallsHow to Get to Samal Island