‘Fire of Love’ stunning volcano footage to screen at Epsilon Spires’ Backlot Cinema

BRATTLEBORO — The Backlot Cinema Series at Epsilon Spires returns with a screening of Fire of Love, a full-length documentary composed entirely of archival footage left behind by married volcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft, who died together in an eruption in Japan in 1991.

The film is currently only available in theaters, and will screen outdoors in the lot behind Epsilon Spires at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26.

The Kraffts continuously risked their lives to shoot some of the first up-close images of active volcanoes, decades before lightweight equipment and aerial drone cameras were invented. They were often the first volcanologists on the scene when eruptions occurred, and the scientific data they collected contributed significantly to the understanding of volcanic behavior.

However, it “was the hundreds of hours of breathtaking footage they shot - along with their bold and sometimes playful attitude toward their subject and each other - that makes Fire of Love compulsively watchable,” say organizers. Time Out magazine describes Fire of Love as “jaw dropping and awe-inspiring,” and Slate calls it “the year's best documentary.”

Opening for Fire of Love will be a 15-minute documentary exploring the emotional states people experience while preparing to high-dive into a pool. The film, Ten Meter Tower, uses several camera angles to capture the variety of spontaneous reactions experienced by the volunteers who participated in the project, all of whom had never dived from that height before.

“You could never tell who would jump and who wouldn't jump,” says co-director Maximilien Van Aertryck in an interview on the Mountain Morning Show. “In the film there's a 78-year-old woman, and when she arrived we were like, 'whoa, is it safe for her to do the jump?' and she just did it like that. And after her was a 35-year-old, tattooed, really tough guy, and he just climbed back down.”

The “pleasurably suspenseful” film, which was shown at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and funded in part by the Sundance Institute, is especially suited to the big screen, say organizers.

“When you see the film, it's really fun to watch it with an audience. You can feel how everyone is mirroring the feelings that people on the diving board have,” says Van Aertryck.

Tickets for the screening are $5–$12 each and available at Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, and whatever else they would like for a cozy evening under the stars. Drinks, refreshments, and bathrooms will be available throughout the evening. In the event of rain, the film will be screened indoors in the sanctuary of Epsilon Spires.

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