What do you do with the unused footage?

Aningaak

In the movie Gravity, there is a scene of Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) inside a Russian space-capsule drifting in space giving up the will to live after discovering her new spaceship had no fuel.  She has tried to use the vehicles radio and finds herself talking to a man in a strange Chinese sounding language.  He doesn’t understand what she is saying and thinks her name is Mayday, she realises that he must be an aperture radio ham and the conversation drifts to the sound of a dog which becomes a farcical banter of dog impersonations between Dr. Stone and the strange voice, then the sound of a crying baby is heard and she asks the voice to bring the child to the mic.  These to her are all the sounds of home, comfort and safety that she tries to cling to in her desperate and hopeless situation.  The signal fades and the story moves on.

Included with my DVD was a documentary about the growing problems of space-junk and a short-film entitled, ‘Aningaaq’ by Jonas Cuaron the Director of Gravity.

This short-film is set somewhere up near the North-pole an Inuit is winding a winch he  is drawn to the radio in his sled and replies to Dr. Stones signal.  He doesn’t understand her and thinks she has given him her name as Mayday, we hear his dogs barking and Dr. Stone asks him to make the dogs bark again he doesn’t understand so she tries impersonating a dog so that he might understand what she wants, he thinks she is just having some fun and starts impersonating a dog to show her how it should be done.  He explains he must kill his favourite dog and he is sick and can not be helped.  We then see his wife with a baby and the baby cries, Dr. Stone now asks to hear the baby some more, her signal fades the film ends with the Inuit disappearing out of the frame to shoot his dog.  As we hear him do so we see some shooting stars, probably some of the space junk falling to earth.

I suspect this scene of the Inuit was originally shot intended for the motion-picture but ended up on the cutting-room floor, Cuaron probably decided that it could make a good short-film in it’s own right; hence why it exists and finds it’s way as an extra feature to the Gravity DVD.  It was submitted to the Academy-Awards as a separate film for the short-film category and has been screened alongside Gravity at various film-festivals.

Post note: Aningaak is the name of the Inuit character and he was an Inuit native of Greenland.

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