“Because we are human, because we are bound by gravity and the limitations of our bodies, because we live in a world where the news is often bad and the prospects disturbing, there is a need for another world somewhere, a world where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live.”
– Roger Ebert
Alfonso Cuarón’s newest film Gravity is a masterpiece. Roger Ebert’s quote above sums up what’s so special about the film, that it’s truly experiential, a piece of cinema that’s meant to be felt. It seems as though the lack of gravity freed Cuarón’s camera from convention. Long, sprawling scenes are paired with impossible shots to create something unlike anything ever before. The film is seen not only from the vantage of a safe, third party viewer, but also from a first person point of view where you feel the tension and the terror of the characters.
This tension ripples throughout the entire film. At one point you can equate space matter to the sense of dread that rises over you in the beginning of Jaws, as the shark slowly begins to tug at the legs of the unsuspecting skinny dipper. The use of sound, or lack thereof, further heightens this tension as you only hear the breathing of the characters or the gasps of your fellow audience members.
Stanley Kubrick may have said it best:
“If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.”