Gravity (Dir. Alfonso Cuarón, 12A) (No Spoilers) Reviewed By Michelle Dee Life in space is impossible.Alfonso Cuarón
On Sunday I went to see Gravity. I'd seen a trailer the previous week, and had been totally seduced by the panoramic space spectacle, and couldn't wait to see the film that is being described as 'a cinematic masterpiece.'
Gravity is visually superb; a thrilling, relentless experience, from the moment the space shuttle moves into view and you glimpse the astronauts outside the craft working on an antenna array, as the earth slowly rotates far below.
Sandra Bullock gives a stellar performance as the emotionally cut off Dr. Ryan Stone, on her first mission in space, who must suddenly find the strength to fight for her own survival, hundreds of miles above the curvature of the earth. Her career defining performance grows in stature as her situation becomes more and more perilous.
In noticeable comparison, coming across as rather two dimensional, is co-star George Clooney's laconic and laid back portrayal of the veteran spaceman Matt. Kowalsky.
The three dimensional effects allow for the familiar, things-coming-out-of-the-screen trick. But in a place where movement, scale, perception, sound and light are all entirely
different realities with non-terrestrial rules, the 3D super-enhances the disorientation until you really do feel as if you are adrift; spinning helplessly in space.
Particularly memorable and effective is when the camera looks out through Ryan's space helmet and you see and experience everything, and the nothingness, through her eyes.
Gravity, just as Avatar before it, has been made to push the boundaries of 3D cinematography, and Director Alfonso Cuarón has succeeded in raising the bar considerably.
Creating dizzying, ground-breaking scenes with a pseudo-realism never achieved before; a simple, scientific notion such as momentum becomes an altogether terrifying prospect in Cuarón's hands.
Avatar Director James Cameron describes Gravity as being 'The best space film ever.'
At the heart of Gravity is a small story, a simple story: it is after all only 90 minutes long - very slimmed down by normal standards. Set against the vast emptiness of space, the familiar tale of human adversity, coupled with emotional trauma, is magnified exponentially, leaving the audience in no doubt about the enormity of what must be achieved.
Is it as good as everyone says it is?
Yes, it is.
Would it have been just as good if you took away all the 3D magic?
It wouldn't have been the same. Just like Spiderman wouldn't have been the same without the amazing aerial sequences. It would, however, still be 'One helluva ride' as Kowalsky might say.
Later on Sunday night I overhear a news report on the World Service about a European Space Agency satellite, fuel reserves spent, losing orbit and falling rapidly and burning up in the earth's atmosphere...
Reviews, Theatre Tracks by Open Umbrella Theatre at The Brolly, Scrapstore Studios - 7th to 30th November 2013
By Michelle Dee
Sitting in The Brolly, I'm reminded of the tentative steps made by the acclaimed Hull Truck Theatre Company when it
began all those years ago. With singular ambition, the traveling company used local support to put on shows for the community of Hull.
At the core of Open Umbrella Theatre is the unshakable community-minded belief that theatre must be for everyone.
Reviews, Art Ghost Ship by Dorothy Cross By Michelle Dee.
I walk softly across the darkened exhibition gallery, towards a corner, illuminated only by the light coming from the projected image on screen. I sit myself down in one of the low seats provided. The other seat, beside the one I'm in, is occupied.
A quick glance out the corner of my eye reveals a man, possibly in a dark jacket and jeans, possibly with short hair. It's difficult to work out in this half light.
Reviews, Theatre Monday 14th October 2013 - Last Orders by Martin Breathnach at Fruit
By Michelle Dee
Last Orders is a play with community spirit at its heart. Set in a northern town within the confines of that rare thing, the local pub,
untouched by the ticking of the developer's clock.
It's the kind of place you've quickened your pace as you walk past, yet inside, whole lives are playing out in rudely vivid colours, scripted by heavy local venacular.
The new play written and directed by Irish playwright Martin Breathnach,
Reviews, Art Saturday 28th September 2013 at Heads Up Festival at Trinity Church - Cruel Theatre Leaves Critic Traumatised By Michelle Dee.
How had this happened? All eyes on me. Me, casting my eyes about wildly, looking for the great big hole to swallow me up. Immediately I'm transported back,
more years than I care to mention, to the school play.
There I am in my jester's costume, tumbling around the good-looking lead playing the King, and my nerves get the better of me and with each
jolly bell rattle, there's another, slightly
Reviews, Arts Hull Dance Prize 2013 - Big Hit with Audience at Hull Truck Studio Theatre - Thursday 3rd October 2013 By Michelle Dee
Hull Dance Prize 2013, organised by Hull Dance, saw six Contemporary Dance performers/companies battling it out in the
Studio Theatre at Hull Truck, to a capacity crowd.
Hosted by the jovial 'he gets everywhere' David Burns from the popular BBC Radio Humberside programme, The Burnsy Show.
The winners would be decided by an expert panel of judges and receive a cheque for £1,500.
Reviews, Art Trinity Church Showcases Hull Poetry at Heads Up Festival - Saturday 28th September 2013 By Michelle Dee.
They've performed everywhere from the Boathouse to the Hotel Tower Ballroom (maybe not, that was Jake and Elwood), five have taken part in the Edinburgh Fringe, and between them they have amassed seven published works, in a relatively short space of time.
Reviews, Art So You Wanna be a Crime Writer? at Heads Up Festival - Saturday 28th September 2013 at The Other Space By Michelle Dee.
Michelle Dee enters the grisly world of crime fiction, a place where a black inkwell resides at the heart of every writer, and attempts to piece together, from the thoughts expressed by a select gathering of authors, a rough guide to crime writing
Reviews, Theatre City Sketch Heralds a New Dawn for Storytelling in Hull - At The Other Space, Hull By Michelle Dee
City Sketch is a site-specific theatre work that takes place inside The Other Space, a
converted office block at No 94 Alfred Gelder Street in Hull city centre. Unusual theatre, immersive theatre,
interactive theatre is making all the traditional theatre practitioners sit up and take notice.
Just as audiences want to interact with news and entertainment online, so they want to be part of the story in theatre.
Reviews, Art Breakthrough for Community Art in Hull By Michelle Dee.
It does feel like something of a breakthrough; Community artists gaining recognition through having work displayed in the
same way countless established artists have before them. I am of course talking about Hull Art Top 20 Exhibition,
showing at Art Link on Princes Avenue until 24th August 2013.
Reviews, Art Rhythm is a Danza! By Dark Clerk Photos by Philip Rhodes.
I'm shouting in a gallery, I'm shouting in a gallery, just one of the many taboos that dancer/performer Ellen Turner broke at Danza! in Hull. Ellen delivered an outrageous finale, to a rip-roaring third annual Danza! the Contemporary Dance event this year gravitating from Fruit to the Live Art Space at Ferens Gallery. Whereas live music in the city and theatre is enjoying a popular resurgence, dance is still under-represented in the city.
Reviews, Books - Day and Night in the Damaged Goods Factory by Mike Watts Reviewed by Helen Mort
Mike Watts' second collection is darker than his debut, dealing with relationships, sex, debts and the difficulty of chasing your dreams while still making ends meet.
But despite the gravity and grit of the subject matter, the poems always have a kind of exuberance to them, and energy that's almost infectious.
Reviews, Theatre Michael Black's New Play Pride Debuts at Adelphi - Tuesday 18th June 2013 By Michelle Dee
'No-one will love you - you will be alone forever'
The new play Pride by Michael Black conjures up images of the barbaric treatment of homosexuality in the latter half of the 20th Century; a play that explores issues of societal division, segregation and rejection which are as relevant today as they were then.
It is appalling to think that from 1950 and then for the next three decades, Behavioural Aversion Therapy was being administered to homosexuals in NHS hospitals across the country.
Reviews, Books - Day and Night in the Damaged Goods Factory by Mike Watts Reviewed by Terry Ireland
Just spent an hour dipping in and out Day and Night in the Damaged Goods Factory by Mike Watts. Always did like his style - no words wasted, tight and sparse. Controversial at times but always readable.
Really enjoyed. Another good 'un Mike.
Looking forward to hearing some of them performed. Mike is a superb performance poet that I have had the privilege of working with and attending his work shops. I can hear his voice in every poem.
Reviews, Books - Day and Night in the Damaged Goods Factory by Mike Watts Reviewed by Michelle Dee
Day and Night in the Damaged Goods Factory crashes through life in quick-fire stanzas that whack the unsuspecting reader over the head.
This, his second anthology available now at Waterstones Hull, sees the popular writer flexing muscles, girding loins, easing into the
self-made role of Hull street poet.
The poems are accessible, something you can pick up during a cigarette break and immediately share in a sense of solidarity.
You and he versus the rest of 'em.