The lastest film from director, Alfonso Cuaron -- Motorcycle Diaries, is a beautiful example of how far technical magic has gone. Though it suffers from a rather simplistic story line, the 3D artistry of the created world of outerspace is enthralling.
George Clooney (Matt Kowalski) and Sandra Bullock (Dr. Ryan Stone) are two NASA workers who run into trouble when a satellite disperses its debris and knocks their mission off balance. George, playing the good old joker, enjoys his free floating space walk, hoping to break the record when he gets the word to abort. He pushes the engineer, Bullock to quickly finish her job. What happens after that gives new meaning to the word topsy turvy, as their bodies float in the great abyss of outer space.
It' s hard to do a two person film, and like Tom Hanks in Castaways, Ms. Bullock carries her character through to the end by msotly talking to herself. There are no little monkeys or flowers to converse with and she does a good job.
The sound of this film is extraordinary and though outer space is virtually without sound, the director opted for powerful audio to keep the story alive. Everytime their space suits hit the metal of a station's exterior, you flinch in your seat, feeling every bruise.
What I liked is the sense of being untethered...the letting go. In some ways the whole voyage is a metaphor for death and Clooney's character figures as the release of self, of ego.
Watching the film, I recalled a ten minute experience with the drug DMT. My brain was sailing through time and darkness. Life, death, love, fear.... Everything comes up. Bullock has a few of these moments and it reminded me of the film Contact when Jodie Foster's meets with her dead father. I asked the director if he felt that human consciousness shifts when in outer space. and though that wasn't what he was trying to say, he spoke of the many astronauts who have had major psychic changes after spending time in deep space.
The one thing I hoped for in a gravity-free environment was the chance not to age. But that's only possible if you don't lose your helmet and get your face sucked away. Still, it's easier to find a quiet restaurant than in New York and you never have to worry about a toilet, it's built in.