Week 14 Blog Assignment

While I felt there were some elements of the movie that took away from it overall, I was really impressed by Hugo! I thought it was going to more like The Polar Express, with the animated people that look somewhat real (I don’t know why, but I really dislike that sort of animation), but I was surprised to find that the animation was not the major selling point of this film.
I felt like there was a little too much going on in this movie. First, the man/machine theme was established, but it was never really resolved in a way that comments on man’s relationship with technology. Then, introducing Hugo’s love of movies, which is such a central part to the plot, about an hour into the movie was an awkward choice. Because the film’s major conflict is to help Papa Georges realize that his own film career has not been forgotten, it was unusual to me that Hugo’s part in resolving that conflict wasn’t introduced until halfway through the movie. Prior to Hugo and Isabelle going to the theater to see the movie, one cannot really tell that the movie has anything to do with film history at all. Maybe all of these things are deliberate, though; maybe, the point was to pose questions that don’t always have clear answers and outcomes.
Other than the fact that the film was going in a few too many directions, I loved it. I felt that because we started the semester off talking about Méliès and his influence on the history of film, it was super appropriate for us to watch a film celebrating his career near the end of the semester. Also, almost all of the themes that show up in Hugo have shown up in other films we’ve watched, such as time, man/machine, and youth and innocence. Watching this movie late in the semester makes it feel like we’ve come full circle: it reminds me how much I’ve learned and how much more I now get out of watching a film.

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One thought on “Week 14 Blog Assignment

  1. I have to agree with you on the occasional bad timing of Hugo. In the beginning, it is hard to see where the film is going. Essentially, the first half of the story does not even bring up the notion of film so it may be hard for the audience to establish it as a central idea in the movie. However, I feel that Hugo was ultimately able to tie in all the ideas presented in the film and form a heartwarming tale about finding purpose in one’s life.

    The audience sees this idea portrayed in the film’s two most important characters, George Melies and Hugo himself. In the case Melies, the audience sees a man who has lost his sense of purpose and consequently seems lost because of it. In the case of Hugo, the audience sees a boy desperate to find not only his purpose in life, but a sense of belonging as well. When their paths cross, however, they both ultimately help each other find their ways. In this light, Hugo can be seen as a film for all ages as everybody at some point in his or her life struggles with this idea. By presenting this great message with of celebrating the history of cinema, I feel that Scorcese was able to revive the magic that he felt was lost in cinema.

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