Posts Tagged ‘Gravity’

‘Gravity’ (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)

I remember thinking about three years ago that the actors turning down Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity’ project might live to regret it. Before settling on Bullock and Clooney, a multitude of potential pairings seemed to float by, all inexplicably rejecting what was always going to be a very special opportunity. From the beginning it seemed clear that if the conceptual ambition of the film could be realised on screen, its stunning reality would leave those numerous disinterested groups regretting their haste in turning away.

I found Gravity an almost overwhelming audiovisual experience, immersive in a way few films dare, wrapped in the sights and dangers of a wholly foreign world over 200 miles above the Earth, whilst succeeding, ultimately, not just because of its bold, mesmerising visuals but because Cuarón never loses sight of the human story. For all the technical achievements, and each frame is rich with them, it’s the raw, survival thriller at the heart that really takes hold, reminding me more of Joe Carnahan’s The Grey than an Apollo 13.

As a critic of the increasing pervasiveness of 3D across major releases, I remain cautious when each fresh release rumoured to be the one to ‘convert’ the unconvinced passes without stirring any sort of reassessment. Gravity, for all its triumph as a feat of cinematography, galvanises my view that the 3D effect should be isolated to IMAX theatres, and the sorts of releases capable of capitalising on the technique. By good virtue of being largely animated (always a benefit) and unusually featuring no fixed-camera points, it’s the rare, almost unique, example of a film that might, dare I say it, benefit from the stretched depth of stereoscopy. My mind isn’t changed about the number of releases abusing the format solely for commercial reasons, none of which achieve anything for the furthering of the photographic arts, but as for Gravity – it’s my most positive 3D experience since Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express.

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