Gravity (Warner Bros., 2013)
Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is on her first space mission with veteran astronaut Lieutenant Kowalski (George Clooney). After being cut off from their mother ship, they spiral into space tethered only to each other. What follows is an excruciating fight for survival in the nothingness and darkness.
To create the realistic atmosphere of silence and weightlessness, Bullock was strapped into a specially constructed rig in a lightbox—a walled space whose sides were 20ft high and 10ft wide. It was controlled by robots like the ones on car production lines and had a camera attached. For some shots, the camera would zoom in from several feet away and stop one inch from Bullock’s face. On some days she would spend up to 10 hours alone in the lightbox rig, communicating through a headset.
The result is a claustrophobic, yet palpable connection to the characters. It’s not surprising that Gravity is nominated for TEN Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actress. It is an engaging, tense thriller that will both terrify and move you.
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