Arts Express: Gravity – A Conversation with Screenwriter Jonas Cuaron

Filmmaking father and son team Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron respectively, met with Arts Express at a special breakfast gathering. And to share much food for thought as well, about their space thriller, Gravity.

When asked about the multiple meanings explored in Gravity that venture far beyond action and special effects, Jonas cited ideas and metaphors related to uncertainty. And pervasive anxiety during this period of global financial crisis.

The co-screenwriter of Gravity, which is directed by his dad, additionally deciphered the prevailing theme as “a movie about adversities. And overcoming, through a rebirth and a desire to simply live.”

And though confessing as the younger member of the distinguished duo to being part of the “attention deficit generation” fixated more on technology than concepts, Jonas impressed with a profound understanding of historical creative influences from classic on his detailed and nuanced approach to filmmaking. Including French director Robert Bresson (Pickpocket), Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train, and Steven Spielberg’s 1971 tractor-trailer terror spree, Duel.

“I want to create an immersive experience for the audience,” said the younger Cuaron. “And conjuring notions of the oppressor and bully, in pursuit of stripping the narrative down to basic archetypes. And Gravity as above all, an expression of adversity.”

“And the connection to music is especially important to me,” he continued. “In other words, there is the melody of narrative in the connection to music. A harmony and a rhythm, with a dialogue between theme and tension.”

And on a lighter note, when asked what happens when Jonas and his father disagree about a creative decision, who ultimately prevails, Jonas laughed, mulled and replied along the lines of a draw. “When we argue, we always find a middle ground!”

Gravity is currently in theaters.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.