Was I worried?” Cuarón says. “Yeah!” He and Lubezki would watch their footage, “and depending on the day, you’re just in a room laughing, like, What the heck are we doing? Chivo’s (Lubezki) favorite phrase was, ‘This is a disaster.’ Some days you’d just have bits and pieces of Sandra Bullock in a box, floating around, surrounded by robots with cameras and lights on them, and you’d think, This is going to be a disaster.
James Cameron said he was stunned, absolutely floored. He called it the best space photography ever done, best space film ever done, and it’s the movie he has been hungry to see for an awful long time.
Rian Johnson tweeted something more interesting…
Michael Moore also pitched in and asked people to watch it in 3D.
Tarantino has already put it in his Top 10 of the year. And the best one comes from Edgar Wright.
SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT GRAVITY?
Well, watch it. To see, feel, float, and experience.
And it’s entirely possible that even after watching the film you might not get its brilliance – why and how. Twitter has made me realise that. And i am not going to try – argue and make you understand. There are many things that many pea-sized brains might not grasp and understand, and i have made peace with it. This post is for those who were blown by it. If you watch movies like i do, can bet that you will come back home and start googling about it. So i am going to make your life easy and putting all the best articles/features/videos on Cuaron and Gravity here. The links are divided into two parts – filmmaking and sci-fi.
FILMMAKING – How and Why
I have to say that I was a bit naïve; I thought making the film would be a lot simpler…
– Cuaron is known for his magical long uncut takes. And as we all know Gravity has some 17-minute long jaw-dropping opening sequence. Here’s a video essay on his “Cinematic Canvas”.
Has voice-over by Cuaron.
I’m going to tell you something, the reality is that the movie was so new that when we finished a shot we would get so excited people would scream on set—probably me before anybody else. There were moments when we were shooting and Alfonso said ‘cut’ we would all just jump and scream out of happiness because we’d achieved something that we knew was very special.
– The Credits have done a feature titled “One of the Greatest Cinematographers Ever: Gravity‘s Emmanuel Lubezki”. This one is an interview with Lubezki. Click here to read.
Both of them—along with a number of other Mexicans who would go on to achieve success in Hollywood—were expelled before graduation. “In Mexico, there are a lot of conspiracy theories” about why, Cuarón told me, “and I’m sure that a lot of them are true. The truth of the matter is that I think we were pains in the asses. We disagreed with the ways of the school.” He laughed. “Even if they had their reasons, we were right.
– Vulture has posted a great piece on Cuaron’s career and filmography. It’s titled “The Camera’s Cusp: Alfonso Cuarón Takes Filmmaking to a New Extreme With Gravity”, and this one is a must read. The story of “a Mexican auteur who’d just made a tiny foreign erotic comedy-drama being handed the biggest, most fantastical franchise in movie history.” Click here.
– Cuarón sat down with George Stroumboulopoulos to talk directing, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, and new voices in world cinema. This one is a funny interview.
Experiencing this film in 2-D is only getting about 20 percent of the experience of Gravity,” says Cuarón.
– The Daily Beast has also done a feature on Cuaron and his film. It took four and a half years to bring the magnificent 3-D film to the screen. The director retraces the journey for Marlow Stern, from Robert Downey Jr. and Angelina Jolie’s departures to creating the most groundbreaking cinematic voyage ever put to film. Click here to read it.
Still, it was a massive culture shock. “I had more toys to play with, but the crew was three times bigger than my Mexican film, with producers giving me notes, which I never had before.
– DGA has also covered Cuaron’s entire career – from Mexico to big Hollywood studios. Click here to read.
Did even this historically auteur-friendly studio (Kubrick, Eastwood, Nolan, et al.) wonder if they’d just gambled away $100 million on the most expensive avant-garde art movie ever made?
– Variety has done an interesting piece saying Gravity’ could be the world’s biggest avant-garde movie and drawn comparisons with Michael Snow’s films. Click here to read.
– And to know how the sound masters of ‘Gravity’ broke the rules to make noise in a vacuum, click here. Another must read.
SCI-FI – Science or Fiction
From my perspective, this movie couldn’t have come at a better time to really stimulate the public. I was very, very impressed with it.
– The Hollywood Reporter has got Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, to review the film. Click here to read.
George Clooney’s character, in a rare and fleeting quiet moment says to Sandra’s character, “Beautiful, don’t you think?” And the scene is the sunrise in space. Hold on to that.
– The Time got another astronaut, Marsha Ivins, a veteran of five shuttle flights, with a total of 1,318 hours—or 55 days—in space, to review the film. Click here to read what she thought – how much is real and what all looked fake.
– And there are some rants too. If they can float, can’t they rant? Vanity Fair has put it all together. Click here.
– So how Realistic is the movie? The Atlantic has interviewed the film’s science advisor. Click here to read.
In India, the film has currently released only on IMAX 3D screens. It should be out in normal 3D screens from this friday. And do remember what Mister Moore said.
If you are in Mumbai, i would suggest you watch it at PVR IMAX screen in Lower Parel. No, they haven’t paid me. This is from my experience across various 3D screens in the city. The glasses at PVR, Lower Parel don’t make the screen dark. Also, they are bigger, better and light in weight. So if you already wear one set of glass, this is the best possible option. Rest, as they say, haath kangan and all that jazz.
If you have read or seen any interesting feature, interview, or video related to Gravity or Cuaron’s film, do post in the comments section.
(ps – due apologies to Woody Allen for stealing half of his title for the post and even turning it into a category)