Gravity, Things Spacey, and How To Creatively Mount Your Gravity Poster

March 14, 2014 | By

She’s going back to ‘the womb’. Get it? THE WOMB!

Jut uploaded is a review of the Oscar-winning  Gravity (Warner Home Video), the dramatic cinematic experience in which astronauts repairing the Hubble telescope are literally stranded above the Earth, unable to find safety in neither the international nor the Chinese space stations.


How To Creatively Mount Your Gravity Poster

At Toronto’s Bay Street Video, the 3D qualities of the film were ‘astutely’ conveyed though a collaborative staff effort in displaying the film’s poster, quite appropriately, in the store’s nether regions. If you look up… way up when you come in…  mounted on the ceiling is the poster, with an ever-swaying balloon (a fanciful addition), and a dioramic space-suited Sandra Bullock and George Clooney hovering below with a mildly peppery self-deprecating speech bubble.

This is the way most people see a poster: flat, upright, and meh.


This is what’s above the heads of browsing customers like you:


What’s that blue thing swinging at the bottom? It’s balloon… because… well… it just makes sense:


Meticulously made from excess cardboard, Canada Post rubber bands, and a jellybean no one wanted, the balloon traveler is a metaphor for the sense of direction and purpose that was brutally taken away from the astronauts after that fateful collision. AND IT’S GOT A JELLYBEAN:


And a dioramic pair of lost astronauts:


“I told you NOT TO LET GO! We’re totally fubar’d!”

Isn’t that better than a flat wall mounting?

Let’s move on to more reviews.

Given Gravity deals with space exploration, the Space Station, and the still-functional Hubble Telescope, here are some links to related DVD reviews worth your time (especially if you’re a space doc fan) from the archives: there’s the IMAX doc Space Station 3D (Warner), the lesser-known TV doc Inside the Space Station (Artisan), the IMAX doc Hubble 3D (Warner), the chronological doc Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery (SPV), and the trippy yet evocative galactic animations by astrophysicist John Dubinski in Gravitas (self-distributed).

Newly added are some similarly themed docs, starting with the classic NFB short Universe (1960), nominated for an Oscar and a major inspiration for the effects in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. When I was maybe 10 or 11, I used to go Saturday mornings to the Royal Ontario Museum where kids would be treated to a short film in the basement level screening room (the same one used annually by Hot Docs), and then break off into study groups and themed displays where we’d learn about dinosaurs, mummies, gems, and planets.

One Saturday, we watched a 16mm print of a B&W NFB film about planets, and I remembered it as one haunting, hypnotic little movie because of the cinematography and arresting score. Turns out that doc was Universe, which is happily available for free streaming from the NFB’s website, and for purchase as a 720p digital download.

With some wholly unavailable films widely available as downloads, every once in a while you’ll see a review here of some gem that can be yours, DRM-free, for a modest fee from a legit site. I’ve already got my sights on another NFB film shot in sixties Toronto, and you can bet I’ll be pausing it a few times to see how my home town looked before things went condo crazy.

(BlogTO recently published a boatload of Toronto snapshots taken in the 197o. Behold and be bewildered by the clean sky and uncluttered waterfront before the city buckled and allowed a wall of bleeping condos  to be erected. It’s absurd for people to whine and complain and constantly target the Gardiner Expressway for ruining our access to the waterfront when a cluttered complex of cheaply made, generic glass buildings will forever prevent us from seeing the sky and the lakeshore. Builders must still be laughing at the bait & switch that still goes on: get citizens to focus their ire on a vital motor artery, and while they’re distracted, build even more impenetrable, permanent barriers that restrict easy access to the lakeshore and its waterfront developments to the condo communities. Harumph.)

Also added is a ‘vintage’ planetary doc The Voyager Odyssey (1977–1989) from Image, and because there has to be a little paranoia to counter-balance the aforementioned factual and edifying dramas, there’s a review of Bert Shefter and Paul Sawtell’s score for  It! The Terror from Beyond Space (Monstrous Movie Music), the film often cited as a major inspiration for Alien (1979).

The taglines of Gravity and Alien kind of go hand-in-hand: “Don’t Let Go” because “In Space No One Can Hear You Scream.” Yikes!

Coming next: Twilight Time’s gorgeous Blu-ray of the underrated aviation classic The Blue Max (1966).





Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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