With this clip from Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity I’ve done another count of all the “aahh!” and “no!” sounds that Sandra Bullock makes during…well, this portion of the extended opening sequence. I attempted a rough count of the whole thing when I saw the film in IMAX 3D two nights ago at Universal CityWalk, but I was wrong to surmise there are only 25 or so. In fact Bullock lets go with between 25 and 30 distress sounds in this clip alone. Not to mention this other clip.
I’m sorry to be repetitious, but I’ve no patience with a central protagonist in a tough spot who won’t stop going “aahh!” I can’t believe in a person like this. I want a hero who does his or her best to hold it in and concentrate on the task at hand. I want stoic, gritty resolve. I want, in short, what Sigourney Weaver delivered in Alien, or what Robert Redford gives off in All Is Lost. Trust me, if Redford had gone “ohhh, God…no!” and “dammit all!” and “fuck a duck, I’m screwed!” all through that film he would not be the leading Best Actor candidate of the moment.
In a just-posted discussion with Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan about Gravity‘s audacious 12-minute opening, dp Emmanuel Lubezski says that Cuaron “tried to make the shot much longer! I felt a little bit like the Inquisition, coming in and saying, ‘Cuarón, this is too long.’ It felt contrived, like we were pushing it. I don’t like it when a movie becomes a series of ‘tour de force’ shots, and in a way, I was disappointed that with Children of Men, people noticed that the car scene was one shot with no cuts. If people notice that, it’s like they’re noticing my trick…you know what I mean? I’m doing it so people will get immersed in the movie, not to show off. If the audience starts to sense your trick, it’s good to stop the trick at some point and start again. It’s like erasing your tracks, so that the people cannot trace and follow you.”