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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”