Director of Photography: Gravity

Director of Photography: Gravity

“Director of Photography” is a new feature here on the blog wherein we direct your attention to films we feel will lead the pack visually–i.e.films that will stun–in the upcoming season.


And, by visually, we mean both technically–camera, lighting etc.–and  artistically.   The whole shebang.   We also reserve the right to jump back in time, into the bowels of cinematographic history, as well as forward.  This week, we’ll be jumping forward (one small step) with Gravity, the new film from director Alfonso Cuarón and visual mastermind Emmanuel Lubezki.  This man does not miss.  Or, if he does miss, he makes sure we’re none the wiser.  This director of photography, this one man,  has shot films from Like Water for Chocolate, to the pseudo gritty Reality Bites, to a shimmering Great Expectation (to Meet Joe Black, to Y Tu Mamá También, to many a Terrance Malick picture).  And, so, we are naturally looking forward to this fall’s Gravity:


Just 3-minutes of the films 13-minute opening shot.  One of many long shots in the film.


This compact, 91-minute “metaphor for adversity” opened the Venice Film Festival and centers around two astronauts named Sandra Bullock and George Clooney whose spaceship is obliterated during that 13-minute opener, thus leaving them lost at sea for the remainder of the film.  Only their sea is infinite and ever expanding.  Their sea has no ending or beginning. No shore to wash up upon. Terrifying.


Director of Photography, Gravity


We’ve heard whispers that, despite astronaut George Clooney’s reliably strong performance, it is really astronaut Sandra Bullock’s movie.  But we don’t believe it.  Not because we don’t believe in Sandy, but because we can’t imagine this being anyone but director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki’s show.


The above HD trailer is startling on so many levels, but what really kills us is that we get the sense that it is just the tip of visual iceberg. And, even if this were the best we got (which it will not be, because, for one thing, our laptop screens do not have 3-D capabilities), it would deserve mention on our new Director of Photography feature.   But Gravity, we trust, is going to be awesome in the literal sense of that word–it will inspire awe.


Exhibit A:

The film’s raison d’etre is its considerable technical prowess, enhanced by 3D but in a determinedly ungimmicky way. — Derek Malcolm, This Is London


Technical prowess!  Well, wouldn’t you know, Gravity was shot on one of Aimimage’s favorites, the Arri Alexa (which you can rent here).  To recap, this is a film that promises to be all visual, all performance, and even all writing.  We cannot wait for October 4th.  Because, yes, the view will be breathtaking.


Do not disappoint us, Director of Photography — we are counting on you.

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