Thursday, 17 April 2014

Cutting Edge Film Programme: Gravity (2013)

Figure 1: Movie Poster [Still Image]
Gravity (2013) is a British-American film that has been categorised under the science fiction and thriller genre. It was directed, co-written, co-produced and co-edited by Alfonso Cuarón.

The film revolves around a biomedical engineer, Dr Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalsky, a veteran astronaut, who were left stranded in space when their space shuttle, Explorer, was terribly damage by the debris caused from a Russian missile that has been used to attack a dysfunctional satellite. The disastrous strike left Stone tumbling in space, as she was detached from the space shuttle. As she drifts further and further apart, she panics and Kowalsky had to calm her down so that he could get her exact location and come to her rescue. In order to go back to Earth, they used their thruster pack and made their way to the International Space Station where a space shuttle awaits. When they finally reached their destination, another set of debris made its uninvited visit. It was after this that Ryan realized that she was on her own.
Figure 2: Debris Caused By The Russian Missile [Still Image]
Unlike the title to this film, nothing was rooted which includes the camera. By doing so, Cuarón has successfully allowed his audience experience what it is like to be in space. A film critic, David Sexton, reiterates this point when he states The camera moves around constantly without any grounding, no up, no down, no weight, no fixed points. It’s both disorienting and engulfing, not so much a picture of what it is like to be out there in space as the very experience of it.” (Sexton, 2013)

Not only did this film makes the audience feel like they are physically in space but the emotional depth has been touched upon successfully and are relatable. What this means is that the theme of despair, loneliness and salvation are seen through Stone’s character as she faces multiple challenges throughout the film.

This three themes are present in a particular scene where she sits in the space shuttle’s cockpit, losing all her faith when she is not able to get it running to travel to the Chinese Base. She sits there, crying (despair) and turns off the lights and the radio when the Chinese counterpart did not understand her (loneliness). As she drifts herself to sleep, her subconscious mind had her think of Kowalsky who encourages her to be strong and she has to have the will to survive(salvation). Geoffrey Macnab, a film critic, summarises this point accurately when he mentions “It was simply to tell a story about human beings dealing with adversity.” (Macnab, 2013)
Figure 3: Dr Stone Crying [Still Image]
Figure 4: Dr Stone Hallucinating [Still Image]
Like the captivating visuals, the sounds played an important role in making it very believable. Kate Erbland summarises the masterpiece precisely when she says ”An absolute technical marvel in every way possible – from cinematography to special effects to sound design to score, all of Gravity’s technical parts work together in perfect harmony for maximum effectiveness when it comes to both the look and the feel of the film.” (Erbland, 2013)
List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 Gravity (2013) [Poster] at (Accessed on 16 April 2014)

Figure 2 Debris Caused By The Russian Missile (2013) [Still Image] at (Accessed on 16 April 2014)

Figure 3 Dr Stone Crying (2013) [Still Image] at (Accessed on 16 April 2014)

Figure 4 Dr Stone Hallucinating (2013) [Still Image] at (Accessed on 16 April 2014)

List of Bibliography:

Erbland, Kate (2013) Gravity Review At: (Accessed on 16 April 2014)

Macnab, Geoffrey (2013) Gravity Review At: (Accessed on 16 April 2014)

Sexton, David (2013) Gravity Film Review At: (Accessed on 16 April 2014)

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