The Pestle


Ep 67: Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity”

February 05, 2019

We orbit Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” and discuss:

  • cinematography, motivated camera moves;
  • theme & symbolism;
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the over wrought heart and bids it break. – William Shakespeare (Macbeth)

Notes & References:
The Pestle ep 3: “Warrior”
No-Budget “slow motion” shot
Couldn’t find the Einstein quote, perhaps I dreamt it…

This Week’s Recommendations:


  1. Marc Israel says:

    This was an enjoyable episode of a film I took a pass on a few times. Looking forward to seeing it now.

    1. wes says:

      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! It’s had pretty mixed reviews from my friends, so I’m definitely curious where you’ll land, and hopefully our episode primed you for a good experience, haha.

  2. Marc Israel says:

    My take on science-fiction is mostly based on what we learn from our own humanity that could not be told and felt via a traditional gerne. Mix that clever conceptual storytelling with some out of this world visuals (I know, pretty corny) and that makes a great and worthwhile sci-fi movie for me.

    Gravity hit the target like satellite debris blasting through a peaceful space station.

    I bought the DVD on Amazon after listening to your episode (along with Warrior because Wes wants us to like it so bad!)) and now wish that I had seen it in the theater and in 3D, but did not mind the spoilers (Todd) . What may have been lost in some George Clooney reappearance surprise was certainly overcome and surpassed in understanding, appreciation and expectation. And back in 1979 I saw Alien on the first run and knew of the breakfast chest alien scene and that only heightened my cin-experience as well.

    As far as those who pick on the science if the film, I get it, but my sense of disbelief was grounded bybindentifying with the theme of getting back to humanity, both physically and spiritually.

    While I’m still reeling from Hereditary, I am grounded by your recommendation of Gravity, so thanks, as always.

    1. wes says:

      haha, nicely punned.

      Yes! I think my friends who disliked Gravity was because they were more focused on the spectacle instead of the emotional arc. The visual experience is there to overwhelm us and tie us down to her emotional journey, to underscore it, not override it. I showed up for the scifi, but like you said, it was the drama & theme that really wowed and stuck with me.

  3. Joe Howes says:

    Gravity is one of my favourite rewatchables. I watch it a couple times a year and thoroughly enjoy it each time, but hearing your thoughts shone brand new light as always, so thank you guys!

    About the long range radio communication scene … the man on the other end of the radio is an Inuit character named ‘Aningaaq’. Jonás Cuarón, son of Alfonso Cuarón and co-writer of Gravity, wrote and directed a short film ‘Aningaaq’, which shows the other side of that conversation with Stone.

    You can search for ‘Aningaaq’ on YouTube, but here’s the New Zealand YouTube link (not sure if it’ll work everywhere):

    The Gravity DVD has a super fascinating ‘Aningaaq’ making-of documentary, which was shot on location in Greenland.

    1. wes says:

      Dude, that was awesome. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen that before! Layers on layers, such a great film.

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