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Blothner, D. (2015). The ‘Poor Ego's’ Adventures in Outer Space - Gravity by Alfonso Cuarön. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(1):211-223.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(1):211-223

Film Essay

The ‘Poor Ego's’ Adventures in Outer Space - Gravity by Alfonso Cuarön Language Translation

Dirk Blothner

The eighty million dollar production Gravity was screened in cinemas in 3D format. This technology invites viewers to project themselves into the action even more than is possible in the case of conventionally projected films. Space appears deeper and more dynamic, and many scenes literally create a sensation of objects flying around one's head. That is the case even 12 minutes into the movie, when a volley of satellite debris surprises three astronauts who are busy carrying out maintenance work on the Hubble telescope. One of the three astronauts floating around in space is hit and fatally wounded, but the Challenger space shuttle and the telescope also suffer considerable damage; indeed, all the satellites responsible for communications worldwide are destroyed by the chain reaction. It transpires that the doctor, Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), still an outer-space rookie, and the spaceman due for imminent retirement, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), are the sole survivors. They try to make it to the International Space Station (ISS) nearby but get into intractable difficulties in the process, resulting in Kowalski sacrificing himself for the younger Stone. Alone and in constant danger of her life, she works to undock a damaged Soyuz capsule at the ISS in order to reach the Chinese space station located nearby. When she discovers that there is no fuel in the capsule tank, she wants to give up and switches the oxygen supply off. In a state between waking and blackout Kowalski appears to her, appealing to her intelligence and her persistence, so that she eventually hits on the idea of using the Soyuz's landing-rocket system for propulsion.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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