starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
directed by Alfonso Cuarón
by Walter Chaw Alfonso Cuarón's eagerly-anticipated, already-buzzy follow-up to the tremendous Children of Men is Gravity--a title that doesn't reference the Ray Bradbury story "Kaleidoscope," to which the film owes at least a little credit (in addition to the premise and theme, Gravity also lifts the character name "Stone"), or any real meat at the heart of the story. It's not for lack of trying, as Cuarón and son/co-writer Jonás attempt, after the emotional tissue connecting the protags of Children of Men, to graft another lost-child drama onto a larger science-fiction conceit. What results is probably the most venue-dependant release of a year that includes Pacific Rim--if you can see it in IMAX 3D, you ought to: the biggest screen with the best sound. It's possibly the first film since Avatar that actually works with the extra dimension, despite having been converted in post-production; at times while screening Gravity at the Werner Herzog Theater in Telluride, I felt a bit vertiginous. It's an effect that no doubt had everything to do with the dual-projection and the custom-designed sound system by Meyers Sound. I talked to several techs from the company running around before the show, tweaking, testing, making sure that organs physically shifted during the presentation. My favourite story of the festival is how Cuarón, from the auditorium, instructed the booth to turn up the audio to just less than twice the "acceptable" volume.