Watch The Short Film That Reveals A New Part Of Gravity
A Gravity spinoff? Already? Yes, it's real, but don't panic-- the above short film "Aningaaq" is indeed a companion piece to Gravity, the mammoth hit of the fall. But it's directed by Jonas Cuaron, who co-wrote Gravity's screenplay with his father Alfonso Cuaron, and it was made as a companion piece to the bigger film, revealing the other end of a short phone conversation that Sandra Bullock's character Ryan Stone has from way up in space.
The short is a bit of a spoiler if you haven't seen Gravity-- but who hasn't by this point?-- and it's worth watching anyway. In Gravity the scene arrives as Bullock's character is in a moment of desperation, running out of fuel and oxygen and desperately trying to radio for help to anyone who can hear her. Finding Aningaaq is no help-- he can't understand her or do anything to help-- but she finds solace in the conversation anyway, listening to the baby and dogs on the other end of the line and to Aningaaq singing a lullaby. It's a moment of pure human connection, across language barriers and the vastness of space, and a fascinating respite from the fast-moving action of the rest of the film.
I wouldn't have expected this short to carry the same punch, but Cuaron does a lot with a little here, having Aningaaq agonize over the hard decision of putting down his dog-- a sad undercurrent to what Bullock's character interprets as the barking of a bunch of happy pets. As The Hollywood Reporter notes in posting the short, Warner Bros. initially intended "Aningaaq" to accompany the Gravity Blu-ray, but given the short's strong response at film festivals (and of course, Gravity's massive hit status) they are now entering it in consideration for the live-action short Oscar. That means that both "Aningaaq" and Gravity could be Oscar nominees-- the first time that's ever happened for a film and its companion short. Even if the younger Cuaron's contributions to the script were some of the weaker parts of Gravity-- the conversation scene that comes immediately after this phone call comes to mind-- this short proves Jonas has skills worth watching, and given the attention he's gotten since Gravity opened, he'll be showing them off more in the future. .
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