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Not Inferno

Last night I watched Werner Herzog's Into the Inferno (2016).

No puzzles, no Tom Hanks, not by Dan Brown.

This is a movie that enters into Herner Herzog's interest of volcanos and pyroclastic flow, but doesn't disappoint for his entertaining asides that border on complete distractions. He never is really distracted as there's always a thread through his documentaries that tie everything together through his odd philosophy. This odd philosophy might not be insanity as it would be easy to label it because many of his films connect with the audience in an artful or poetic way and not like watching a freak show of incongruity.

He dips into one of his favorite quirks in his documentaries of oddly staged conversations or events. In past movies he had an airplane pilot sing a song while flying or people who are being interviewed clearly acting out their responses as though they'd been rehearsed. It's all part of the oddness of his movies.

This is a pretty visually striking film from the volcano footage he collected, but it's even better for the archival footage he uses to tell stories of volcanologists of decades past or the footage he got in North Korea. Yes, there is a reasonable connection in this movie to North Korea, and it's yet another documentary about North Korea that shows completely new images of their strange country. I think Herzog calls it an emptiness or hollowness that underlies the facade given to the outside world.

For all of the great impersonations of Herzog in comedy or even when he has acted in comedic works, he's still interesting, odd, and inherently almost as funny as the caricatures.

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