movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Mon Jul 29 2013, 08:05am | 16 comments
I thought that first trailer was terrifying. This is worse.
Note the one continuous shot, and no sound in space. Lovely music too.
I am already crying. This movie will be a nightmare.
Ummmmm… nope. I’m going to continue to bah humbug this one until it appears to be about something. Right now, it appears to be “George Clooney and Sandra Bullock play out an extended, torturous death scene… IN SPACE!”
I also have some questions about the physics here. I mean, modeling rotational dynamics is HARD, man. But that arm still appears to be doing things that don’t make a whole lot of sense. But, see, I’m nitpicking it already. :-)
the one continuous shot
Well, yes and no. It’s one continuous effects shot. There are cuts everywhere, and they’re very easy to hide. Probably the only things in that shot that were never CGI were Clooney and Bullock’s faces. Probably.
I love long shots. I love mise-en-scene. Cuaron knows how to do the logistical ballet that it takes to film a long shot. He also knows how to fake it, to combine several long-ish shots into a single, ridiculously long shot. But I fear it’s starting to become his signature gimmick. Which is counterproductive: instead of drawing the audience into the action, it takes them out of it, as they think to themselves, “Ah, OK, so here’s the long shot for this movie.”
Aww, naysayers – just repeat after me: “Children of Men”.
Repeat after me: “Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns”
Or, if you want something short and pithy: “Prometheus” :-)
It seems my initial fears are coming true: this IS just going to be two people floating around in a bunch of debris. Yawn. I suppose it’ll be diverting at best and dull at worst, but thankfully there’s no sign of Mantis Man or the like yet . . .
Disagree: during the long shots in Children of Men I was so absorbed in the action it was only once the scene ended that I thought “Huh. No cuts in there.” And I’m someone who’s predisposed to think about film-making techniques – the people I was watching it with didn’t spot it at all.
Well, that’s why I said “starting”. There are two (amazing) long shots in “Children of Men”. There’s at least one (off the top of my head) in “Prisoner of Azkaban”: following the butterfly over the Hogwarts grounds. Next time I watch it, I’ll keep an eye out for more. Granted, Cuaron isn’t exactly a prolific director, but this, “Gravity”, is the film where it starts to look like a signature.
I’m afraid I’m in your camp here. I like the idea of someone being Really Isolated, I like vaguely realistic films about space… but I know this stuff, and even what we see here is dancing on the edge of “vaguely realistic”.
And really, if it’s just Open Water in space, count me out. Right now I’m being cautiously pessimistic.
Moon Ticks. Mark my words, the Moon Ticks WILL return! :-P
Seriously, I agree with this assessment. They’re floating in space, no hope of rescue and will either drift off into deep space and suffocate or crash into the Earth. What is the majority of the at least 90 minute movie going to involve? Them floating around? Unless Cuarón is planning on making the sci-fi version of Gus Van Sant’s Gerry I don’t see how this can work.
Ugh, given how much I hated “Gerry”, I can only imagine how much I’d dislike a sci-fi version of it . . .
Saw this movie and it is amazing. See it in 3-D if you can. Granted, if you are bored by movies without masses of superheroes destroying a city, you could be bored. But, if you want a movie that really zeroes in on two people in an impossible situation, with some of the most stunning space special effects you’ll ever see (and, remember, none of this was filmed in the vomit comet, it was all done on a set and with CGI), you must see this movie.
I LOVED Children of Men. A completely brilliant flick. Gravity is about as far away from Children of Men as you could go, other than it is extremely intense and confidently directed.
Perhaps you can expalin this to me, cause I don’t get it*: Why is “superheroes destroying a city” banal, but space junk destroying a pace station “amazing”?
* Admittedly, I don’t get disaster movies, full stop.
I’m just sick to death of movies like Superman (didn’t see) or Iron Man (did see, got really tired of it). I want characters in my movies and not mere comic-tropes.
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