How Gravity Works
Gravity as a force is measured in Newtons as produced by constant acceleration times an objects mass. The cinematic experience of Gravity (2013) provides pseudo realism of anti-gravity through disengaging the mind from the constraints of physical forces acting upon the body. The three dimensional form of the film excels at placing viewers in a transient limbic flux. All referential grounding is lacking thereby depriving audiences the codes upon which are relied on to establish directional navigation. This free floating immersive state ignites the suspension of disbelief created when the imaginary and the symbolic are released to supersede the conscious real.
A removal of referent barriers permits a heightened identification and empathetic self-awareness with the female character of Ryan (Sandra Bullock). The connection with the male character of Kowalski (George Clooney) exists on a more paternal level as a watchful yet distant observer. While the fear and fascination experienced by Ryan is at the forefront of the journey that we are asked to embark on. And it is a journey, as all great narratives are a journey, a quest, a life altering trip into Oz or Wonderland that forever changes the protagonist. As viewers we grasp at the only beacon available in this vast expanse of orbital rotation. The immersion into the psychic point of view of Ryan provides an attachment point.
The journey which Ryan provides us is twofold first is the external means of physiological survival. Secondly, perhaps more integral to the film’s success, is the internal struggle of grappling with how we got here, who we are and who we will become. Initial fear suffered during the disaster sparks a regression to darkness and an embryonic stasis. Symbolism of tethering to the ship and free floating blackness harken connotation to the maternal womb, umbilicus and embryonic fluid. We emerge from several stages or shells to experience full rebirth in a strong maternal development. Where we will land or if we will ever regain solid footing is left to fate.