Have you ever wondered what it would be like to float through space? This topic was recently broached by a pair of French freedivers, Guillaume Néry and Julie Gautier, in their short film “Ocean Gravity.”
Shot in the depths of the Tiputa Pass (a well-known scuba diving destination) filmmaker Gautier immediately distorts perspective as she pans and spins over the ocean floor, resulting in a which-way-is-up environment from which Néry appears.
Free-floating along (in in-utero fashion), Néry seemingly transcends any inkling of a gravitational pull. Accomplishing neutral buoyancy is easily explained, but not easily done: It requires continuous correction and skilled control over his breathing—which, as a freediver, is his specialty.
The effect of weightlessness is made even more compelling as the duo takes advantage of the strength and pull of the lagoon’s deep current. In the dark and watery environment, Néry tiptoes and somersaults over and through the cratered ocean floor, the slightest touch driving him forward and resulting in the same superhuman-like strength an astronaut gains on the moon.
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If you’re wondering what prompted this weightless venture, Néry summed it up on the film’s landing page: “Historically, my dives propel my imagination in the fantasy of space exploration. Tiputa Pass allowed us to imagine the visual proximity of two worlds: water and air, ocean, and space.”
If the average person were to hypothesize, they might conclude that the lack of air inspired these accomplished freedivers to broach the concept of gravity. But artistically speaking, they succeeded in capturing the kind of trippy, transcendental ride that unifies and ignites imaginations. The films soundtrack, by Glitch Mob, helps too.
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