Review: ‘The Volcano Man’

Awild and erratic documentary about author Sture Dahlstrom, "The Volcano Man" is not for all tastes. B.O. prospects are slim, but festivals should take a look, as pic's an example of filmmaking that's daring and unconventional. Dahlstrom, who lives in the south of Sweden, is the author of a series of highly personal novels that mix adventure, steamy sex and multi-layered reflections on life. Sam Peckinpah planned to film one, "The Cuckoo Man," but the project fell apart.

Awild and erratic documentary about author Sture Dahlstrom, “The Volcano Man” is not for all tastes. B.O. prospects are slim, but festivals should take a look, as pic’s an example of filmmaking that’s daring and unconventional.

Dahlstrom, who lives in the south of Sweden, is the author of a series of highly personal novels that mix adventure, steamy sex and multi-layered reflections on life. Sam Peckinpah planned to film one, “The Cuckoo Man,” but the project fell apart.

Helmer Bjorn Runge, whose wildly comic road movie “Harry & Sonja” preemed at last year’s Gothenburg festival, worked on this docu for years. Result, shot all over the world, is in both B&W and color, and employs different formats. Dahlstrom narrates, mostly reading from his own books, though one passage is read in English by actor Stellan Skarsgard (“Breaking the Waves”).

Film is as wild and spontaneous as Dahlstrom and his writing, jumping backward and forward, and often depicting Dahlstrom majestically walking through the picture or enacting some of the myths surrounding him. Runge plays himself, as a filmmaker trying to get in touch with the legendary author.

Though fascinating, the pic is not always easy to digest, with Dahlstrom’s narration occasionally too monotone.

The Volcano Man

Swedish

Production

A Triangel Film release (in Sweden) of a Krakatau/Vulkanfilm production. (International sales: Krakatau/Vulkanfilm, Gothenburg.) Produced, directed, written by Bjorn Runge

Crew

Camera (B&W/color), Goran Hallberg; editor, Robert Stengard; sound (Dolby SR), Rolf Runge. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival, Sweden, Feb. 5, 1997. Running time: 75 MIN.

With

Sture Dahlstrom, Bjorn Runge, Viktor Friberg, Josefin Lundh.
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