Art in Film: A little film companion to the recent film Gravity
I couldn't resist passing on this out of the box idea, a treat for those that have seen the movie "Gravity." Click to play
Jonas Cuaron's seven-minute companion short, filmed in Greenland and featuring Bullock's voice, could make Oscar history.
This story first appeared in the Nov. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The idea for Aningaaq, which follows an Inuit fisherman stationed on a remote fjord in Greenland, occurred to the Cuarons as they were working out the beats for the Gravity screenplay "It's this moment where the audience and the character get this hope that Ryan is finally going to be OK," Jonas, 31, tells THR. "Then you realize that everything gets lost in translation.”
Both Cuarons spent time in the glacial region (Alfonso once toyed with setting a movie there) and fell in love with the barren vastness of its frozen wilderness. During one of those visits, Alfonso met a drunken native who would become the basis for the title character, played by Greenland's Orto Ignatiussen. But it wasn't until Jonas, on a two-week trek gathering elements for his film, was inspired by the local inhabitants' profound attachment to their sled dogs that he decided to incorporate that element into the plot.
The short was filmed "guerrilla style" on location on a budget of about $100,000 -- most of which went toward the 10-person crew's travel costs -- and Cuaron completed it in time to meld the dialogue into Gravity's final sound mix. The result is a seamless conversation between Aningaaq and Ryan, stranded 200 miles above him, the twin stories of isolated human survival providing thematic cohesion. Still, Jonas says he was careful "to make it a piece that could stand on its own." Should both get Oscar noms, an interesting dynamic would emerge: Two films potentially could win for representing different sides of one conversation, to say nothing of having come from father and son.