Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gravity (2013)

     Gravity (2013) [D" Alfonso Cuaron. Sandra Bullock, George Clooney] If you’re stranded in space, you need a whole lot of luck to survive. And a movie designed for a movie theatre’s large screen and 16 speakers doesn’t work very well on a TV screen.
     The story is well enough told, with very few obviously impossible or implausible events. The simulation of zero-gravity is the best I’ve seen. The reminder that in space you can hear only what’s picked up, transmitted, and generated within the space suit is excellent. We hear breathing, heat beats, dull thuds and thumps as the characters bump into the International Space Station. That the whole story is a string of very unlikely events is (I think) not noticed by most viewers. We may know intellectually that the probability of a space accident’s lone survivor reaching Earth is very, very small, but we are caught up in the movie nevertheless, it’s that well photographed, edited, and paced. We know that  Sandra Bullock will survive, and that does reduce the tension. But in a theatre with a huge screen, multiple speakers, and subsonics, that knowledge will not rise to consciousness. In a living room with a small screen and merely very good sound, that knowledge does nibble at your awareness, and much of the effect of the movie is lost.
     Still, a very well done space movie. Watch it. And think about the many space-farers that have died since Sputnik launched in 1956. ***
     Update 20140606: Neil deGrasse Tyson's list of what's wrong with the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzE6bKIKK3A . Enjoy!

No comments: