Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is one of the most anticipated movies of 2013. The science fiction film has been in the works for a few years now, and was slated for release after last year’s Cannes Film Festival. After lukewarm early test screenings, however, Gravity was pushed back to November 2013. It appears Cuarón and his team got it right this time around, because the film is now receiving a positive response from early test screenings.
According to Ain’t It Cool News, one of their insiders recently attended a test screening for Cuarón’s Gravity. Although the visual effects were not completed in this early version, some members of the audience felt it was “Next Level,” even comparing it to Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void. According to Stanley Boobrick from Ain’t It Cool News:
This is like if Avatar had been released in 1927 a week after The Jazz Singer. People won’t know how to comprehend what they are seeing. In short, Gravity genuinely makes you feel like you have been to space. It really, really does. And guess what? It’s beautiful, and awe-inspiring, and profound (and a little scary too), everything you thought it would be since you first thought about going to space when you were a kid.
Gravity follows George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as two astronauts stranded in space after their station is heavily damaged by an asteroid collision. Clooney and Bullock are the only actors in the movie, which is ostensibly more cerebral and contemplative. Early reactions seems to suggest Gravity is more visceral than expected, but ultimately it’s a character study set in outer space.
But by the way the film is shot, you feel hopeless. It has some of the best uses of first person POV shots I’ve ever seen, making you feel like you too are hovering right over the Earth, so close yet so far away. Other than Enter the Void, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more physically embodied as an onscreen character. It’s not POV the whole time though, Cauron breaks it up & often utilizes his signature ‘roaming-cameraman-who-never-cuts’ technique, which is very effective when there’s no gravity & for the ‘race-against-the-clockiness’ of the story.
It’s clear Gravity will be an ambitious piece of work when it is completed. Many have even compared it to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Overall, the screening reactions were mostly positive, but a movie like Gravity will surely be divisive. It might be like Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, but in outer space.
Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity will hit theaters everywhere on November 18th in IMAX.