Gravity, Lane J Lubell

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Writing Credits Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón

Sandra Bullock … Ryan Stone
George Clooney … Matt Kowalski
Ed Harris … Mission Control (voice)

Director of photography… Emmanuel Lubezki
Film Editing … Alfonso Cuarón & Mark Sanger
Aspect Ratio … 2.35 : 1
Camera… Arri Alexa, Panavision Primo and Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 765, Zeiss 765 Lenses.

Director, Alfonso Cuarón set out to create a tale of personal survival where a character must face a string of near impossible challenges, but the greatest struggle is internal.  Gravity is set 260 miles above Earth, there is no air to breath, no help will arrive, space is the most unforgiving place imaginable, and only if one can find their inner strength do they have a chance to fight their way home.

         Cuarón intentionally ignores the fact that the space shuttle has been retired and sets the story abut two years in the future, on the STS-157 mission to install new equipment into the Hubble. The opening scene appears to be a single 15 minute shot of Commander Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) enjoying his final space flight, and medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) installing a piece of medical equipment that can be a valuable addition to the power of the telescope. Dr. Stone is part of the mission because of her knowledge of the new equipment, but has no prior experience working in space. Kowalski is determined to enjoy every last second of his final view of earth from space, as he maneuvers himself, via jet-pack with the grace of a dancer. In fact the entire opening has the feel of a perfectly choreographed ballet. 

 Okay…so my Physics and Astronomy teachers will be able to point out minor errors, hell even I understand that the Hubble, the International Space Station and the Chinese Tiangong space station do not share the same orbit – but who cares, the film is just beautiful to watch I have no problem with Cuarón and his son Jonas using artistic license.

The real action occurs after an explosion of a Russian satellite sends debris hurtling toward the shuttle at thousands of miles /hour.  At that speed, even small fragments can destroy a ship and any chance to survive, and the crew, except Kowalski and Stone, are killed. Dr. Stone becomes untethered and floating off to a certain death, when Commander Kowalski, who possesses ever positive trait we have grow to expect of a astronaut, saves her, ultimately at the expense of his own life. 

George Clooney is of course charming. Sandra Bullock turns in an amazing performance, especially considering the almost impossible technological challenges of shooting a film that so completely creates the look of weightlessness. It is an incredible triumph to hold and audience’s attention and bring life to a performance when 80% of the time you are alone.

This is a film that will enter the category of truly classic Sci-Fi films.

One Response to Gravity

  1. Pingback: Golden Globe 2014 | cinemashadow

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