This looks like real sci-fi

I’ve been excited about seeing “Gravity” ever since the first trailer hit the web last spring and wowed everyone’s socks off. It opens with a deceptively peaceful scene of beauty, right before hurling the audience into the sheer terror of physics in space. (View this and the other videos in full screen. Seriously.)

I’m guessing that people who have a fear of heights or open spaces should not watch this movie.

What is especially exciting to me is that the science looks right. The speed of incoming space debris, the cascade effect of collisions, the rotational forces, the limitations (and possibilities) of movement in zero gravity, the silence except for the actors’ voices and the orchestra’s music — do we finally have a science fiction film that emphasizes science, rather than fiction?

Now we find out that it’s going to be an IMAX film! And in 3D, too. Normally I detest 3D films and would happily pay a premium to not be subjected to one, but one of the most gripping films I ever saw was “IMAX Hubble 3D,” which was the closest I ever thought I’d get to being in outer space.

Turns out that “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuarón’s favorite IMAX film is…”Hubble 3D.” This is such a good sign. He went heavy on the research for “Gravity,” because he wanted the terror in his film to come from the reality of it, not the fantasy. When an astronaut says, “Somebody did their homework, because everything is exactly like it was on our mission,” you know the scientific consulting was intense.

(That factoid about using a human hair for leverage? Extremely cool.)

I so want to see this at the Science Museum in London (which, alas, is probably the cheapest IMAX theater for us in terms of travel costs). Audiences will likely be having heart palpitations as they dodge shrapnel and cables, but what I really want to experience is what astronaut Cady Coleman promises: “You get to go” to space.

Now, in case you haven’t yet gotten enough glimpses of this film, here’s the newly released extended trailer — five and a half minutes of sheer terror.

UPDATE: Omigosh! We just found out that the Lisboa IMAX theater, which has been promising to “open soon” for years now, actually did open three months ago. And it’s showing “Gravity” starting October 10! We are buying tickets the moment they go on sale, and taking our kid with us.

Bouncing with impatience now…


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in astronomy, culture, science, video. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to This looks like real sci-fi

  1. Lisa Shaw says:

    “Real sci-fi” … isn’t that a contradiction in terms? 😉 Perhaps “real science” better describes it. How cool that you will get to see this movie as it was meant to be seen. Enjoy!

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