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Published:October 8th, 2013 08:24 EST
'Gravity' Is MICROCOSMIC, Where As '2001: A Space Odyssey' is MACROCOSMIC!

'Gravity' Is MICROCOSMIC, Where As '2001: A Space Odyssey' is MACROCOSMIC!

By John G. Kays


When entering the Cinemark Hill Country lobby, in the beautiful, brand-spanking new Bee Caves Galleria shopping Center (I was ten minutes late, yet Gravity was just starting), it dawned on me that the film was a 3D one (since I saw  $11.25 on my ticket stub and `cuz of the cool 3D glasses the box office girl had handed me) and a charming sensation got a grip over me! I put the glasses on and they remained on for 90 minutes straight, when I merged myself with the screen, getting to meet George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in person for the first time.


Those of you who have already seen this obvious blockbuster for the year (Alfonso Cuaron`s first since the Children of Men in 2006), will see what I mean when I say you enter the picture with the stars, since metal debris floats right past your face. The feel and look of the picture is its drawing power; the storyboard gets second billing, I hate to say, but this confuses my actual intention of expression. The storyboard is the immediacy of the crisis, and seeing the debris flying by (from the shattered Russian space station, which Ed Harris only mildly warned them of) is the real plot; it`s all we need to know.


We remain in the moment with Dr. Ryan Stone, or if you will, the present, for the rest of the film, while Matt Kowalsky literally floats away in space (although he timely re-emerges in what may be merely a mirage in the struggling, surviving Dr. Stone`s mind, a pipedream that acts as a temporary denouement or resolution to her rapidly drooping will to prevail in hostile outer space). Kowalsky remains as an inspirational spirit to Ryan, as she tries to fly a clunker of a Chinese spacecraft, which has also sustained considerable damage, but is still operable.


Just behind the ken of my wizardly, all-seeing all-knowing 3D sunglasses, was Stanley Kubrick`s 2001: A Space Odyssey, really my favorite movie for all time. No matter what you do or what you say, those comparisons are going to transpire (in your minds-eye)! Okay, so Gravity is no Space Odyssey, but it`s a very good film and one worth seeing, possibly several times over. The simplest way to explain the inevitable comparison, is to say Space Odyssey is MACROCOSMIC, while Gravity is MICROCOSMIC. 


Gravity is not symbolic, it`s not a metaphor for the entire evolution of mankind that projects into the future (such as 2001 is), it`s just a simple story of survival, that takes place in the here and now, or whatever time this takes place. What I`m saying, is that you`re right with Sandra Bullock the entire time, as she has to read manuals and figure out how to operate foreign spacecraft, under most precarious and lonesome conditions. In 2001  we`re operating up above the clouds in some kind of philosophical bubble, perhaps we`re even sitting on a stool in the Mind of God, I don`t know.


Gravity is more of a tactical, hands on experience, yet you don`t forget we`re in outer space drifting freely for a single moment. But we`re not looking in such as was the case with Kubrick, we are in, we`re together with Clooney and Bullock. One critic I read compared it to Daniel Defoe`s Robinson Crusoe, and I think that`s probably a better comparison, only this takes place in space, not a south sea island, and it`s a woman`s survival, not a worn out salt water taffy`s. I will worn you, however, if you have to pay the lavatory a visit, be sure to take your 3D glasses off, lest you take one giant step for mankind (and stumble on the candy stained carpet).