Inside the volcano: Les rendez-vous du diable

Introduced by Professor Domingo Gimeno

Haroun Tazieff
Domingo Gimeno

Geologist Haroun Tazieff (1914-1998) was an iconic figure in modern volcanology, leading scientific expeditions around the world and sharing his passion for volcanoes through films, television programmes and books. His first feature film, Les rendez-vous du diable, shot between 1957 and 1958, is the story of a journey in search of active volcanoes in Europe, Indonesia, Japan, Central and South America.

The film almost exclusively follows the itinerary of this journey, beginning with a harmless-looking volcano and ending with a paroxysm of terrifying, uncontrollable forces. Tazieff and his team of explorers ventured into the most inaccessible and dangerous terrain to observe, as close to the crater as possible, the spectacular phenomena of an eruption. They also went to the foothills of volcanoes to understand the conditions in villages living under the threat of a dormant volcano.

Tazieff even filmed himself with a second camera, placing his own body against the enormity of the volcanic phenomenon and the natural forces at work. This gesture of someone taking risks to record images that evoke the immeasurable fascinated some of the most innovative filmmakers of the time, such as Jean-Luc Godard and Chris Marker.

Les rendez-vous du diable, Haroun Tazieff, 1959, 35 mm, 80 min, Spanish subtitles.

Copy from Gaumont.

7 April 2022


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