WERNER HERZOG’S INTO THE INFERNO — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Leave it to the ultra-eccentric and always ambitious Werner Herzog to take his audience directly inside of active volcanoes at various points on the globe, as his latest documentary, Into the Inferno (currently streaming on Netflix), peers into the smoky-hot abyss while simultaneously commenting on the world all around us, drawing parallels to exotic jungle tribes and the people of North Korea, all in an effort to show us how corrosive certain aspects of life can be, and how the effects from global change can be felt everywhere. Herzog’s regular (and rather fearless) cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger again demonstrates an unflinching eye behind the camera, showing the audience surreal sights and sounds (the engrossing and at times haunting musical score goes a long way in this film) that echo throughout your consciousness long after watching; Herzog and Zeitlinger have long understood the power of the sustained image, and some of the shots of the erupting magma take on an almost otherworldly effect. Working with volcanologist and co-director Clive Oppenheimer, Herzog and his creative team have yet again provided audiences with a distinctive sociological piece of entertainment that simultaneously appeases our desires to see new things and learn about ideas of humanity that might not be so upfront or obvious.

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