Wednesday, 25 December 2013


a) I went to see Gravity three times in the cinemas and each time experience wonder at the visual poetry that was taking place. I was overcome with the concept of tombs in space when watching it and the essay about the movie in Sight And Sound picked up on the idea, bringing up the subject of J G Ballard and his writings about the astronauts and death, and so all the way through I was feverishly thinking about those orbital coffins that he wrote about and wanting to use that as a platform of thoughts to expand my view of what I was watching and appreciating in this movie. It has been a favourite experience of the year, it has engulfed me and brought me to forget that I had seen a good number of wonderful movies and now by the end of the year, I can only remember that I saw Gravity. This is to outer space what Jurrassic Park was to dinosaurs, yes, the unbelievable plot holes may as well be allowed to float around for all to see.

b) The underside space shuttle at the beginning of Gravity gently came into sight across the outer atmosphere appearing as an obsidian ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus, and the Hubble telescope that was seen to be repaired was the giant inner sarcophagus unloaded into space.

c) The cast consisting of Sandra Bullock as Ryan Stone and George Clooney as Matt Kowalski could forty five years ago have easily have been instead Barbara Streisand paired with the likes of Jack Lemmon or Elliot Gould. But Sandra Bullock features remained like a recently mummified corpse fitted with a wig gasping to keep it's last breath having been brought to life once again in the depths of space. George Clooney was Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear in the flesh.

d) Upon the screen, the space suits appeared as cocoon like three dimensional giants of immense size. Looking down upon the planet Earth, I was afraid myself of falling out of my seat and down into the outer atmosphere to eventually fall to my doom burning up. After the destruction of the space shuttle and the Hubble space telescope and Ryan Stone retrieval from the depths of space by smooth talking Matt Kowalski. The space shuttle had become a tomb itself with the dead bodies of the crew inside, and the remnants of ultimate missile of doom spinning endlessly with nowhere to go.

e) Ryan Stone leaves Matt Kowalski to drift into space to his own death at his own request and she gets aboard the Russian Space Station, and becomes as a fetus curling up in a womb, but this interior a hightech version of a deserted warren like catacombs is about to be filled with fire

f) The Russian space station is smashed to pieces by a storm of wrecked satellite parts, as if something beneath the sea being torn to pieces by underwater currents , it is done in the manner of an elegant ballet, and as Ryan Stone exits her space capsule to disconnect the parachute, the way her air umbilical follows her twisting into a delicate shape suggests the membranous form of a giant jelly fish, and only barely survives, while I myself feared for brief moment that I would be caught up in the wreck and thrown off the capsule into the depths of space
f) Sandra's character is about to give up her her attempt to return to Earth, turn of the oxygen and turn the capsule into her orbital coffin. The answers come in this movie more and more as acts of defiance at the laws of physics because putting a story together to make the film happen is the major objective where physics would not allow anything for that long to take place. The journey to the Russian space station would surely have led to disaster, as much as the fire and Ryan Stone's attempt to escape from the place. Perhaps the experience of Matt Kowalski coming back from the dead to tell Ryan Stone how to get to the Chinese Space Station when she had given up was perhaps the more likely a thing than the mentioned death defying act. Did Ryan Stone ever get back to Earth or was it all part of some dream like illusion telling her to let go while she was sleeping in bed all the time. 


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