While searching for some evening entertainment in Reykjavik I came across a list of times for The Volcano Show at Red Rock Cinema. I was intrigued but struggled to find any further details or reviews, eventually I found one description online “a bit of an oddity that attracts geologists and curious tourists alike”. That sold it for me.
Arriving at the Red Rock Cinema you are immediately struck by the beautiful small red wooden buildings. We began to realise that we were the first, and perhaps only, people to arrive but this was a bonus. From a quick glance around the images in the foyer we recognised the man that appeared from the backroom as the filmmaker and director of The Volcano Show. Villi Knudsen has been filming the volcanoes of Iceland for decades and took over from his father, Ósvaldur, who started in the 1940s. Their lifetime dedication has paid off and left them with thousands of hours of footage, piles of canisters and videos can be seen through the window of the editing studio. Villi was keen to chat, not just about his work, but also about us. He was curious, interesting and I was slow to notice his wonderful dry straight-faced sense of humour which later crept through in the film.
Two more people arrived. We were shown through to the small cinema surrounded by maps and filming equipment. Villi gave us some background to the films and Iceland’s volcanic history. The films are split into two, you can watch one or both and there are showings in different languages. Part one is entitled “Villi Knudsen’s Volcanic Adventures”. A younger Villi appears on screen and the film begins.
Regrettably we couldn’t stay for part two. I didn’t mind missing the film too much but I wanted to hear Villi talk some more and stay a little longer in his Red Rock Cinema.