A Clockwork Hugo

“”Hugo” is unlike any other film Martin Scorsese has ever made, and yet possibly the closest to his heart: a big-budget, family epic in 3-D, and in some ways, a mirror of his own life.”- Roger Ebert

I have to disagree this film is not his most personal, I thought it was his semi-autobiographical masterpiece Mean Streets. However being the cinephile that Scorsese is I can see why this might be put up to debate. This film caught me off guard but in the best way possible. I guess you can equate it to a Tarantino musical. I don’t think it would happen but i sure as hell pray.

This animation reminded me of the work in the newest Great Gatsby. I love watching all movies but I am not particularly fond of digital animation granted the digital animation did enhance the fantasy of the film but it also took away a great sense of depth. This film was 170,000,000 dollars to make. The Great Gatsby was 105,000,000 to make. Digital is expensive.

I think the money is what made the film great not the story. The story premise felt average to me. The movie didn’t make me think like Spirited Away did. I just sat there mesmerized like a blob mainly because everything felt given to me. I guess the audience is based for children should be not dumbed down, but more easily understood.

I think Hugo was a tribute to early cinema but i feel that one shot I would have loved would be the face of the girl mesmerized by her first movie. I didn’t really grasp her reaction or maybe i was busy tweeting.

All in all Hugo felt simple to me. But simple is hard to do. Just as a clock hand moves the devil is in its details.

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2 thoughts on “A Clockwork Hugo

  1. I totally agree with your point that the animation is reminiscent of the new Gatsby. It’s not the selling point of either film, and it is both subtle and noticeable enough to really flow well with the rest of an otherwise live action film.
    I disagree with your comment that money is what made this film great. I think that whether or not this film had the pizzazz of digital animation, which is ultimately the source of much of the cost, it would have been worth watching. For me, what really carries this movie is the connection to film history. As we talked about to some degree in class, there’s a lot less to get out of the film if you don’t understand the larger context, namely the Méliès storyline. Before I took this class and had that context, I had no interest in Hugo and I wrote it off as just another children’s movie. Now that I know what the film is really commenting on and celebrating, I really enjoy it.

  2. I think that the digital effects were at least part of the reason why the movie was a must-see while in theaters, since it is Scorsese’s first venture into 3-D. But, I do not think that the money was what made the film great, nor that the story was dumbed down. Sure, the themes were a little in-your-face, but that goes with the territory — the film is based on a children’s book. But there were plenty of easter eggs referencing film history that certainly a child, let alone an adult that is not a film buff, would not catch.

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