This past Sunday saw the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences giving sciencey fiction its just rewards by granting Gravity seven Oscars, including the technical line-up of editing, sound, visual effects and music, with Alfonso Cuarón taking the trophy for Best Director. Though 12 Years a Slave ended up winning Best Picture, it was still a huge victory for space thrillers, and the film’s successes earned a video congratulations from Expedition 38’s three-astronaut team on board the International Space Station, as seen above. That’s as high-up a thumbs up can possibly get, I’m assuming.
NASA’s Michael S. Hopkins starts off the cheers, pointing out that all three of them are pretty familiar with what it feels like to float around in zero gravity. He then wafts the mic over to JAXA’s Koichi Wakata and begins to flip around in the background. He explains they watched a copy of the film onboard the ISS and loved its depiction of space. Then NASA’s Richard A. Mastracchio gives the formal congrats to the stars and crew for the Academy’s recognition.
I’ve said several times and fully believed that Gravity couldn’t possibly get any better than seeing it in IMAX 3D. But I’m guessing it’s a tad more breathtaking to be able to look from the film to a window into the dark abyss of outer space. And I’m not trying to put words in their mouths, but I can’t be the only one that assumes these guys probably have a good time picking apart the film’s inaccuracies in the comfort of their orbiting solitude. I wonder if they’ve watched Europa Report up there. Or A Madea Christmas.
And in an example of life imitating art imitating life, the Goddard Space Flight Center set up a folder in its Flickr account dedicated solely to NASA photography that looks as if it could have been culled from Gravity‘s footage. This images are of course more impressive than anything Cuarón could ever put on film, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for the pic’s shelf life, but it’s still a remarkable achievement that deserves all the accolades it’s receiving. Take a look at a few of those images below, all of which I’d be interested in getting tattooed on my back.