As of last week, Alfonso Cuaron’s outer space thriller ‘Gravity’ has crossed the $500 million mark worldwide. Despite a few haters out there in the world, the majority of fans and critics sing the praises of the ‘Children of Men’ director’s first film in seven years. There’s even talk of Oscar nominations in multiple categories. But there’s still more of the story to be told thanks to the filmmaker’s son Jonas Cuaron and Warner Home Video.
Originally meant as a unique Blu-Ray extra, Jonas Cuaron, who also co-wrote ‘Gravity’ with his father, created a seven-minute short film to act as a companion piece for the feature starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Titled ‘Aningaaq’, the short shows us what happens on the other end of the radio in the pivotal scene where Dr. Ryan Stone is trapped in the Russian space capsule with little to no chance of survival and finds herself making contact with a male voice speaking in a foreign language.
The younger Cuaron set off to shoot the film “guerrilla style” with a crew of 10 people in Greenland to show the titular character’s conversation with the hopeless astronaut. While it was intended to expand the understanding of the movie, Cuaron also was careful to “make it a piece that could stand on it’s own”. The original story from The Hollywood Reporter includes more details about how this short came to be and why exactly it was decided that it would take place in Greenland:
The idea for Aningaaq, which follows an Inuit fisherman stationed on a remote fjord in Greenland, occurred to the Cuarons as they were working out the beats for the Gravity screenplay. “It’s this moment where the audience and the character get this hope that Ryan is finally going to be OK,” Jonas, 31, tells THR. “Then you realize that everything gets lost in translation.” Both Cuarons spent time in the glacial region (Alfonso once toyed with setting a movie there) and fell in love with the barren vastness of its frozen wilderness. During one of those visits, Alfonso met a drunken native who would become the basis for the title character, played by Greenland’s Orto Ignatiussen. But it wasn’t until Jonas, on a two-week trek gathering elements for his film, was inspired by the local inhabitants’ profound attachment to their sled dogs that he decided to incorporate that element into the plot.
You can check out the short film below:
Finally, another interesting tidbit about this short is that it could very well make history. Warner Bros. has taken the short to festivals like Venice and Telluride, so they’ve also submitted it for Academy Award consideration in the live-action short category. If both the short and the feature are nominated, then this would mark the first time that a feature and a short drawn from the same source material could be up for Oscar nominations in the same year. And let’s be honest: After watching it with all that beautiful cinematography and compelling story, how could it not at least be considered for this year’s awards?
What do you think of the ‘Gravity’ companion piece, ‘Aningaaq’? Do you think that it will be nominated for this years Oscars? Let us know what you think in the comment section.