Director Alfonso Cuarón is known for long, single-shot takes in a majority of his movies. His latest film Gravity will reportedly feature one 20-minute single shot at the very beginning of the film. I swear one day Cuarón will make a movie that is just one long single shot for its entire running time, just like the film Russian Ark. After releasing a breathtaking trailer yesterday, Sony has topped that today by posting not one, but two short trailers, with all three formin a sort of mini-narrative, playing on the terrifying imagery of being lost in space without the hope of rescue.
People were already buzzing about the first trailer for Gravity that went up yesterday, a master’s class in building tension in a short amount of time. The Mexican director has been working on Gravity since 2006, after the release of his modern science fiction classic Children of Men. The first narrative trailer titled “Detached,” showcased the overall thrust of Gravity’s narrative, while the next two feel like a continuation.
The second narrative trailer, entitled “Drifting,” has Sandra Bullock’s Dr. Ryan Stone in a nightmare scenario: spinning through space, with nothing to grab onto and no communications with which to cry for help. The third trailer, “I Got You,” has her and George Clooney’s astronaut Matt Kowalsky trying to stop their out-of-control tumbling before it’s too late. It seems like it occurs before the second trailer, and possibly even before the first. These trailers are simply terrifying and convey the isolation of space. Even thought it will take place in the vastness of space, Gravity feels as if it will be a very claustrophobic experience, including POV shots inside Dr. Stone’s suit as she drifts through space completely alone. If you place these three narrative teaser trailers together, you’ll get a good idea of the beginning of Gravity.
From everything we’ve seen from Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón has done a fine job recreating the weightlessness of space on a set instead, rather than in, well, outer space. Part of the reason Cuarón took seven years between films was to work out the camera technology necessary to make Gravity convincing. Cuarón worked with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and Avatar director James Cameron to figure out the 3D camera rig that would be used. Gravity feels like it will be a cinematic technical marvel, between the 3D technology and Cuarón’s penchant for epic single shots, but will this be enough for it to be a successful box office performer or awards contender? We’ll find out this October when it’s released in theaters.
Gravity will feature Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer who is on her first space shuttle mission, and George Clooney as Matt Kowalsky, a veteran astronaut who is on his last one. Within the film’s first act, a terrible accident takes place, leaving Dr. Stone and Kowalsky separated, as she is left to drift through space with no hope for rescue and with very little oxygen left in her tanks.
Gravity will hit theaters everywhere on October 4, in 3D and IMAX.