Gravity (film)

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German title Gravity
Original title Gravity
Gravity (movie logo) .jpg
Country of production United States ,
United Kingdom
original language English
Publishing year 2013
length 90 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
JMK 12
Director Alfonso Cuarón
script Alfonso Cuarón,
Jonás Cuarón ,
George Clooney
production David Heyman ,
Alfonso Cuarón
music Steven Price
camera Emmanuel Lubezki
cut Alfonso Cuarón,
Mark Sanger

Gravity ( English for gravitation ) is an American - British 3D space thriller from 2013 . The main role is played by Sandra Bullock , who can be seen as the only actress for most of the film. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón , who also worked on the script and editing and co-produced the film.

The premiere was at the Venice International Film Festival in 2013. The film was released in German-speaking cinemas on October 3, 2013. In the 2013 film year, the film won numerous awards, including seven Oscars .

Space suits from the film on display at Warner Bros. Studios


The veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski and mission specialist Dr. Ryan Stone are together with three other astronauts in a space shuttle called "Explorer" with the mission number STS -157 in space . It will be Matt Kowalski's last assignment before he retires. For the biomedical scientist Stone, on the other hand, it is the first flight in the space shuttle and the first field mission in space. The two astronauts work with a third colleague to repair the Hubble space telescope. They learn that a Russian satellite has been destroyed and the debris is floating in orbit. Since these are in a different orbit than the astronauts and, according to Houston, there is no danger, the astronauts continue their work for the time being.

After a short time, a radio message comes in from Houston that the debris from the Russian satellite has hit other satellites, the field of debris has increased considerably as a result, and parts are now racing towards the astronauts in the same orbit. Because there is now a danger, the outdoor use should be canceled. Kowalski and Stone try to get into the shuttle. But the debris hit shortly afterwards and fatally injured the third astronaut. The "Explorer" and the Hubble telescope are destroyed by the impacts. Radio contact with the ground station is lost, Kowalski and Stone are thrown away from the ship. Stone is pushed out into space and rotates on its own axis. Nevertheless, she can establish radio contact with Kowalski, who tries to calm her down because the oxygen supply in her spacesuit has reached a critically low level. He can free her from her panic, and shortly afterwards he moves to her position with the help of the thrusters of his jet backpack . Back at the shuttle, they find the lifeless bodies of the rest of the crew, as the satellite debris destroyed the outer shell of the space shuttle and its life support systems. Kowalski specifies the International Space Station ISS as a new destination so that they can use one of the existing Soyuz spaceships there to re-enter the earth's atmosphere. They make their way there with the help of the thrusters on Kowalski's spacesuit.

When the ISS comes into view, they find out that this too was damaged by the rubble and that the braking parachute of the spaceship that remained after the emergency evacuation was triggered. In addition, the fuel for Kowalski's space suit has been used up, and so the two astronauts are thrown against the outer shell of the ISS and threaten to be thrown back into space. The braking parachute of the landing module prevents this initially, as Stone gets caught in the parachute lines. However, this hold threatens to loosen, and Kowalski makes the decision to loosen the belt connection with Stone so that at least Stone can save himself. Although Stone protests against it, Kowalski disengages and drifts out of reach of Stone into orbit the earth. Stone escapes inside the ISS on Kowalski's last instruction. She enters a pressure lock where she activates the oxygen supply and takes off her spacesuit.

She can escape into the Soyuz and use the steering nozzles to direct it towards the nearby Chinese space station Tiangong . However, since the main engine does not fire, the station remains inaccessible. Stone is now floating in orbit and desperate about her situation. Through constant radio attempts, she manages to come into contact with a person, but the person turns out to be a Greenland- speaking fisherman.

Stone wants to kill himself when Kowalski knocks on the outer shell of the spaceship in his spacesuit and gets inside. He does not answer the question of how he could get back to Stone and suggests using the brake rockets of the landing module to get to the Chinese space station Tiangong . He tries to encourage Stone to undertake this and prevents her from suicide. Kowalski's appearance turns out to be a hallucination, and Stone realizes that his appearance and the conversation between the two of them was not real. Nevertheless, this gives her new courage and, with the help of the Russian operating instructions, sets out to separate the modules and activate the brake rockets so that the resulting thrust brings them to the Chinese space station. Once there, she can get out of the Russian capsule and, with the help of the recoil of a fire extinguisher that she was able to take with her from the ISS, maneuver to the airlock of the Chinese space station. However, the station was also damaged and is in the uncontrolled re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. Stone succeeds in detaching the Chinese spaceship Shenzhou from the space station and with it she lands in a lake on earth.

When she arrives at the shore of the lake, she is overwhelmed by the feeling of having safe ground under her for the first time. She can only stand up straight and walk with difficulty. American radio messages in the Chinese capsule previously announced during the last phase of the flight that Stone's reentry had been noticed and help was on the way.

Short film Aningaaq

The short film Aningaaq , shot by Jonás Cuarón , the son of the director Alfonso Cuarón , was released parallel to the main film . The short film sheds light on the strange recipient of the SOS radio calls from Dr. Ryan Stone.


The German dubbing was done by FFS Film- & Fernseh-Synchron , Berlin . Dialogue directed by Clemens Frohman , also comes from the dialog book.

role actor Voice actor
Dr. Ryan Stone Sandra Bullock Bettina White
Matt Kowalski George Clooney Detlef Bierstedt
Mission Control Ed Harris Holger Mahlich
Space Station Captain Basher Savage Imtiaz Haque


Initial reactions after the premiere at the 70th Venice Film Festival, which the film opened, were consistently positive. Direction, actors and effects were praised.

“What Cuarón created with Gravity is cinema for the 21st century. While the rest of Hollywood wallows in infantile boy fantasies and wants to sell us over and over again the destruction of American cities as the ultimate blockbuster showdown, the Mexican shows what you can really do with the tools of modern digital effects, if only you can use knows. "

- Philipp Süßmann : serial junkies

“The terrific science fiction drama is a deeply sensual experience and a triumph for director and co-author Alfonso Cuarón ( Children of Men ) . It celebrates an original desire to tell stories in moving images, bows subtly and perfectly in front of classics of the genre and presents one of the most exciting and emotionally demanding films of the year. "

- David Kleingers : Spiegel Online

“Cuarón waited four and a half years, together with his cameraman Emmanuel Lubezki […], until the technology was ready to bring his vision from space onto the screen, with lots of computer technology and post-production, in 3D. The shooting was hell, grueling and chaotic, completely unpredictable. Like Shackleton, says Emmanuel Lubezki. What came out is pure cinema, a film without socially critical ambition and without aesthetic hyperdrive. A meditation. A mobile. L'art pour l'art. "

- Fritz Göttler : Süddeutsche Zeitung

For the critic Ian Haydn Smith, the film is a real rarity, as it is both a commercial success and popular with critics. The film doesn't work despite its "cinematic intelligence", but because of it. The critic draws parallels to earlier films by Cuarón such as Y Tu Mamá También - Lust for Life and Children of Men . He criticizes weaknesses in the script, but the main actors Bullock and Clooney "more than make up for it". In this context, he compares Sandra Bullock's performance as an actress with that of Sigourney Weaver in Alien , finds that she does not come close to the latter, but notes that she gives her character “enough human traits” to make her one of the few credible “Sci -Fi heroines ”. He sees her strongest in the quiet scenes, especially when you can guess why she flew into space in the first place.

Classification as a science fiction film

It is debatable whether the film can be called a science fiction film . Science fiction films deal with fictional techniques as well as scientific achievements and their possible effects on the future. In Gravity there are no fictional techniques and the future hardly plays a role. The director himself explicitly stated that it was not science fiction. However, he emphasizes the drama parts of his work. This is how some critics took it:

“'Gravity' confidently mixes science and fiction, but it is actually not a science fiction film - it belongs to a small, fascinating subgenre of space cinema, which mainly consists of historical space program adventures such as' Apollo 13 'and' The Stuff of the the heroes are 'exists. "

- Christoph Huber : The press

“Space is a setting that often appears in science fiction films. An incident on a spaceship and the subsequent struggle for survival are the cornerstones of science fiction classics like Alien or Sunshine. Only Gravity is not a science fiction film and one of the few films that take place in contemporary space, i.e. H. the technology that you can admire in the film really exists. "

- Phil Heron :

"Not science fiction, but fiction fact: In« Gravity », space debris floating in orbit becomes a threat, not just any trigger-happy alien."

- Selim Petersen : SRF

Other critics and jurors refer to the film as science fiction. A number of details deviate from reality, which speaks for scientific fiction.

Gross profit

With production costs of around 100 million US dollars, Gravity achieved grossing results of 55.7 million US dollars (number 1 on the box office) on the opening weekend in the United States. By May 8, 2014, the film grossed $ 723.19 million worldwide.

In 2013, 1,296,052 visitors were counted at the German box offices nationwide, making the film the 24th place among the most visited films of the year.

Awards (selection)

Gravity opened the Venice International Film Festival on August 28, 2013 . There the film won the Future Film Festival Digital Award . Sandra Bullock was also named Actress of the Year at the Hollywood Film Festival in Los Angeles.

The film led the ranking of nominations at both the BAFTA Awards and the Academy Awards and was able to collect by far the largest number of awards in both awards (BAFTA Awards: 11 nominations, 6 awards, Academy Awards: 10 nominations, 7 awards). In 2014 he won the German Curt Siodmak Prize for best science fiction film.

Academy Awards 2014

British Academy Film Awards 2014

  • Award for Best British Film
  • Nomination in the Best Film category
  • Award in the category Best Director
  • Nomination in the category Best Original Screenplay
  • Sandra Bullock's nomination in the Best Actress category
  • Award in the category of best film music
  • Award in the Best Camera category
  • Award in the Best Sound category
  • Nomination in the category Best Production Design
  • Nomination in the Best Editing category
  • Award in the Best Visual Effects category

Golden Globe Awards 2014

Saturn Awards 2014

Critics' Choice Movie Awards 2014

  • Nomination in the Best Film category
  • Nomination in the category Best Actress for Sandra Bullock
  • Award in the category Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón
  • Award in the Best Camera category for Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Nomination for Best Production Design for Andy Nicholson & Rosie Goodwin
  • Award in the Best Editing category for Alfonso Cuarón & Mark Sanger
  • Award in the Best Visual Effects category
  • Award in the category of best actress in an action film for Sandra Bullock
  • Award in the category of best sci-fi / horror film
  • Award in the Best Composer category for Steven Price

Scientific accuracy

Comparison of the orbits of the International Space Station ISS and the Hubble Space Telescope

Cuarón stated that the film is not always scientifically correct as it required some freedoms for narrative reasons. The film has received praise for the realism of the structures in space and adherence to physical principles, despite a number of inaccuracies and exaggerations. NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino , who took part in the two Hubble missions STS-109 and STS-125 , praised the attention to detail right down to the use of individual tools. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson noted some inaccuracies.

Examples of matches and inaccuracies:

  • The last real mission was STS -135 in 2011, in the film it is STS-157, so the shuttle program was not discontinued in the film.
  • The space shuttle in the film is called "Explorer". A real space shuttle by that name has never been used in space . Only a replica of the shuttle was produced under the name “Explorer”; this pure exhibit has since been renamed “ Independence ”.
  • The Chinese space station shown in the film is a fictional successor to Tiangong 1 . In reality , the construction of a multi-module space station as shown in the film is only planned for Tiangong 3 , which is still in the planning stage when the film starts .
  • The Hubble Telescope , which is being repaired at the beginning of the film, has an orbit at about 559 km. The ISS has a slightly elliptical orbit at an altitude of about 420 km and a different orbit plane. It would therefore not be possible for astronauts to get from the Hubble to the ISS with a Manned Maneuvering Unit as shown in the film .
  • If the ISS needs to be evacuated, no spaceship will be left at the station. There are only so many Soyuz spaceships (with space travelers' seats) docked that the station crew can be evacuated with them (currently 2 Soyuz spaceships for 3 space travelers each).
  • Stone's tears fly from her face. Without sufficient acceleration, the tears would stick to your face due to surface tension .
  • The spherical movement of liquid droplets in their microgravity area is displayed realistically.
  • Stone mentions that she only had six months of training prior to the flight and was selected for her special training. Such persons are referred to as “payload specialists” and not as “mission specialists”. You wouldn't be trained to take a spacewalk or land a spaceship.
  • Fields of debris the size shown in the film are unusual, but not unknown. In 2007, China shot down the decommissioned Fengyun-1C satellite as a military show of force , leaving over 3,000 pieces of debris. On February 10, 2009, the Kosmos 2251 and Iridium 33 satellites collided . The resulting fragments prompted the ISS crew to retreat to the Soyuz spaceships for the possibility of a quick evacuation. The endangerment of NASA's STS-125 mission to maintain the Hubble space telescope a few months later was analyzed but discarded. These events sparked discussions about the endangerment of manned spaceflight by space debris .
  • For the idea of ​​a collision with space debris, Cuarón followed the theory of Kessler syndrome , a model designed by NASA consultant Donald J. Kessler , according to which an increase in space debris will make manned space travel in near-earth orbit impossible for decades. This chain reaction is not - as in the film - triggered by a satellite accident, but is already running very slowly.
  • The collision of space junk and space stations or Hubble cannot be heard due to the lack of an atmosphere in space. In the film, the transmission of noises or their absence is shown more realistically than usual in SF films. Most realistically, it is structure-borne noise .
  • Stone gets caught with her shoe in the parachute of the Soyuz and holds Kowalski by a strap. The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson criticizes the scene that Kowalski drifts away from the Soyuz after loosening the belt. It only takes a small jerk to pull Kowalski towards the Soyuz. NASA instructor Robert Frost explains that Kowalski is drifting away because his movement has not yet stopped. Kowalski loosens the harness on the assumption that the parachute lines cannot absorb enough kinetic energy to slow both people down.
  • Various sources report that astronauts wear adult diapers or some form of liquid-cooled body suit on space walks. In the film, Sandra Bullock only wears normal, skin-tight underwear.
  • The film shows the control of an MMU with faster changes of direction and higher speeds than is possible in reality, taking into account the inertia and the feed rate used. It is extremely difficult to pilot an MMU and targeted approaches are tedious. In the film, on the other hand, Kowalski circles swiftly and seemingly effortlessly between the outer elements of the space shuttle and satellites.
  • The debris rushes visibly towards the astronauts at a speed of around 8 kilometers per second. These fragments would not be visible to the naked eye because they are simply too fast. A bullet only reaches a seventh of this speed and cannot be seen by the human eye.
  • In the film, the astronaut has massive difficulties getting out of the capsule after landing in a lake. That is unrealistic: Spaceships are just constructed in such a way that they can be left without any problems if they land in the water.


After the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched the PSLV-CA C23 on June 30, 2014 , Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented on the cost of the Mars Orbiter Mission in relation to Gravity : This space mission to Mars is cheaper than that Movie.

For the simulation of weightlessness, which occurs most of the time in this film, the actors were hung on ropes for the entire day of shooting alone in an opaque room, in which they could only be observed via monitors and where they also had to take breaks from shooting.

Astronaut Matt Kowalski hears the country song Angels are hard to find by Hank Williams Jr. several times in the film . The lyrics reveal an emotional subtext of the music: In the song, Williams celebrates a lost love and asks God to help him find a new one be. This can be interpreted as a prophecy because it will turn out that Dr. Stone is confronted with the memories of the loss of her daughter in the silence of space. It is no coincidence that the music breaks off at her request at the line of text "It's my fault I lost the first one you sent to me".

Web links

Wikiquote: Gravity  - Quotes

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Gravity . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , September 2013 (PDF; test number: 140 747 K).
  2. Age rating for Gravity . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Aningaaq , short film by Jonás Cuarón ( Memento from October 5, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on the background of radio contact
  4. Gravity. In: German synchronous file , accessed on June 10, 2019 .
  5. Dave Trumbore: Early Reactions to GRAVITY Praise Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's Performances, Alfonso Cuaron's Direction, Emmanuel Lubezki's Camerawork, and 3D. In: August 28, 2013, accessed October 12, 2017 .
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