Ad astra: The intimate beauty of space inside
James Gray wonders about the sense of emotion and does so while imagining a man lost in outer space. Alone. The image of a floating human being rocked by
- Genre: Drama
James Gray wonders about the sense of emotion and does so while imagining a man lost in outer space . Alone. The image of a human being that floats by the absence of gravity is not only the perfect metaphor of helplessness, it is also the fear, emptiness and even pain. Loneliness maybe. "How many times have we heard of someone who is a genius of mathematics, but never says of anyone who is managing his emotions. And yet, any mobile has a calculator capable of doing everything we learned from mathematics in the school. It's emotions that put us above artificial intelligence, "says the director to try to place the true purpose of Ad astra , a film of space concerned almost exclusively with what happens from the skin inward in that uncertain terrain where affections are built.
Let's say that the prodigy, that is, worked by Gray runs alternately in two parallel planes: so far from each other and yet hardly distinguishable. On the one hand, the reconstruction of the myth of space adventure as it has lived and grown in the history of cinema ; on the other, the demolition of the most intimate of a man unable to handle matters such as the pain of loss, anguish over the unknown or the possibility of forgiveness. And it is there, in that astrometaphysical duality, where the film acquires the sensation of extraordinary, unique.
A film that makes space the only place, necessarily sacred, for fascination and amazement
Gray maintains that much of the cinema he admires feeds on all the myths that identify us as part of the same tribe . To all. 2001: a space odyssey , for example, is Homeric by the same title, by the archer (Bowman) who stars in it, by the too human cyber cyclops who kidnaps the crew and even by the capricious theological game that orders it. And like her, all the others. What if cinema, in general, had already been able to create its own mythology for the new world that saw it born? Then, all movies would talk about other movies to refute, reorganize or simply relive them. Then, cinema would only feed on cinema. What if Ad astra were an innocent, virgin and even contradictory pure recovery of the prodigy signed by Kubrick?
This would be the first formal concern of the film: to recover for the viewer a new look at the space that is both a continuation of that certain mythology that has been shaping the cinema since its invention. The film tells the journey of a man (Brad Pitt himself turned into myth, the last of recent cinema) to a distant station in Saturn where long ago the trail of an expedition was lost. The task of those was to find an extraterrestrial intelligence and the order of the now sent is to save the planet (as is) while meeting his father, since he was the man in command.
The director designs a clear line strategy. Far from the metaphysical labyrinths, the temporal loops and the agony of the emptiness that always accompanies the genre, the idea is to reconstruct a realistic, dirty, slightly apocalyptic and very human space in which the imagination acquires the virtue of the tactile, the possible, The disturbing by close. Not in vain, and despite being the future, each ship seems more like the past. All perfectly recognizable and real. The film advances without digressions in an attempt never forced to recover the transparent innocence of space , of risk, of adventure as the cinema has told us, in fact; that interior cinema that configures the retina of any of us.
But not only that, Ad astra is essentially the journey of a single man . And when it comes to traveling, it matters more what you run away from than what you want. And Ad astra , in effect, is very aware of that. Gray's entire offer lives in a virtuous loop in which more relevant than the destination, no matter how far it is, is the place of origin. The furthest point is also the center of everything . And so, on this Hubblian precept (by physicist Edwin Hubble), the director designs the most intimate and personal space adventure ever filmed.
Again, as is the rule in the director's filmography, a not-so-invisible thread unites that effort for the virgin essence of the imagination with the very nature of madness and this with the need for paternal encounter-disagreement. As in Z. The lost city , the most obvious and closest reference, the trip to the farthest end of humanity ends up being a journey towards the deepest. And as in the adventure of the explorer who seeks a forgotten kingdom in the middle of the jungle, the whole trip is marked by the need for discovery , mystery. Again, the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.
And so, whether spatially or intimately, Ad astra ends up standing before the gaze like an essentially beautiful , magnetic film in each of his contemplative as well as vibrant planes. Ad astra is a film that turns the necessary game of recognition into an almost sacred space for wonder and, above all, for emotion. A single man who floats in space is not only a metaphor for loneliness, it is loneliness itself.
It was Borges, always he, who said that of all the inventions of man, the book is the most unique of all. While the others (the microscope, the plow or the sword) are extensions of his body, the book is of his memory and imagination. Well, Gray is convinced that cinema is from the eyes (with all the myths that inform him) that they look surprised at the universe. Be it to the stars or to the deepest part of the bowels. And so.+ The interpretation of Pitt does justice with the mythology that precedes it: the last great star of that planet called Hollywood.- Now the discussion is where to place Interstellar and where Ad astra . Hard cinematic choice.
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