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David Jenkins’ “Gravity—Review” Blows It Early

In response to David Jenkins’s 650‑word review of Gravity on Little White Lies 

http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/features/articles/venice-film-festival-2013-gravity-review-24643

By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic

David Jenkins’ “Venice Film Festival 2013: Gravity — Review” is an odd piece of work that, for its strange and interesting premise, doesn’t maintain the visceral power of its first act.

The opening sequence of Gravity—Review is peculiar: it almost immediately barrages its audience with a dose of somewhat indelicate (but not over-the-top) sexuality. For as graphic as it is, its strangeness is arresting. Without giving away too much, the reader is treated to a view of conception and fetal development not often seen in reviews of this caliber.

However, the compelling first act gives way to something far more banal. A minor spoiler here and there crop up against a backdrop of exposition that focuses heavily on the visual, sublimating plot to the phrase “down-home disaster movie.”

In a way, leaving plot details to the viewer is effective; nevertheless, the attempt of Jenkins to “show by telling” falls very flat. References here to other works abound, and the reader will be hard-pressed to make those connections without conceptualizing something they may in fact not want to view in spite of an early endorsement.

If only Gravity—Review had employed the same striking metaphor throughout, audiences would have a consistent and intellectually engaging piece to ponder. They’re left instead with amorphous images and an analysis that’s nondescript. The same advice applies to children during a racy scene: look away.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation

Rochus Pomponius joins the Existimatum staff after a celebrated career as a court jester and the personal entertainer of Emperor Trajan. His studies in rhetoric inform his assessments.