News / Arts & Entertainment

'Gravity' Showcases Harsh Beauty of Space

'Gravity' Showcases Beauty, Harshness of Spacei
X
October 01, 2013 5:30 PM
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” is a psychological drama with stunning visuals. As a space mission goes awry, scientist Ryan Stone is drifting into the cold black void, her chances of returning to earth are bleak. A simple story of loss and survival, it unravels hundreds of miles above the earth while the film’s Hubble-like imagery reveals both the beauty and the harshness of deep space. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Penelope Poulou
Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity is a psychological drama with stunning visuals.

After a space mission goes awry, scientist Ryan Stone drifts into the cold black void, her chances of returning to earth are bleak. A simple story of loss and survival, Gravity unravels hundreds of miles above the earth while the film’s Hubble-like imagery reveals both the beauty and the harshness of deep space.

In the film, the astronauts are warned of debris from a destroyed Russian satellite. Senior astronaut Matt Kowalski, played by George Clooney, warns mission specialist Dr. Ryan Stone of the danger. But Ryan, played by Sandra Bullock, is on her first mission and doesn't see the danger until it is too late.Kowalski attempts to retrieve the drifting astronaut.  

Director Alfonso Cuaron creates a visceral 3D experience of a space mission disaster, where the romantic quiet void turns terrifying and astronauts literally spin out of control. Cuaron wanted to make the intricately technical images as accurate as possible.

"With Emmanuel Lubezki, chief cinematographer, the attempt was to do something that look like an IMAX documentary," Cuaron said. "Also we wanted to do something that honors the laws of physics in space in terms of the microgravity and the no resistance."

The actors also had to deal with the laws of physics, especially Bullock, who almost single handedly carries the movie.

"Everything you see, we physically shot, even if it was in tiny pieces to string together," Bullock said.

She said evoking the emotions of a lost woman inside a space suit was even more difficult.

"You have to have that inner emotional life going at all times," she said. "If it is not alive and it is not there, you can see it on the eyes."  

The film feels claustrophobic and Ryan's fight for survival futile. Having lost her young daughter, Ryan feels she has nothing to live for. Fighting with her inner demons in the middle of nowhere lends existential drama to the film.

"It's someone who has lost their connection to living a life and with the debris you get the representation of adversity and that's gonna happen in everyone's life," Bullock said. "We're all going to be knocked down. We're supposed to get back up, but why?"

NASA astronauts Catherine Coleman and Mike Massimino have logged many hours of spacewalks. They say the film accurately depicts technical and emotional challenges in space, especially the debris orbiting the earth that could endanger missions.

"It's a harder and harder problem with more and more pieces of debris," Coleman said.  

Gravity is already receiving Oscar buzz, particularly for its visual effects and visceral music. Cuaron could not be happier and he's already looking ahead to his next project.

"Whichever film in which characters walk," he said.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."