Monday, November 28, 2011

Phil sees HUGO 3D at the Camera 7 Pruneyard-November 27, 2011

Whenever someone mentions the name Martin Scorsese, a thousand thoughts and images run through my mind. He is an American treasure, one of the most talented, beloved, and respected directors of the last half of the 20th century. His film have enriched all our lives, and we have been privileged to see his films. For the second film I saw today at the Camera 7 Pruneyard, I went and saw Scorsese's new film HUGO 3D, based on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by author Brian Selznick.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2011)
Set in 1930s Paris, the film follows a young boy named Hugo (Asa Butterfield), whose master clockmaker father (Jude Law) died in a fire and thus is dragged off by his uncle, an alcoholic watchmaker who is responsible for maintaining all the clocks in a Paris train station. After his uncle disappears, Hugo steals gadgets and tools to fix the only thing left by his father: a broken automaton—a mechanical man that his father was restoring, which may also solve the mystery of his death. But one day Hugo is caught stealing tools from by a toy store owner named Méliès (Ben Kingsley), who takes away Hugo's blueprints for the automaton. By coincidence, Hugo befriends Méliès' adventurous goddaughter Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), who helps him with his automaton. But by investigating the origin of the automaton, they both discover a startling secret: that Isabelle's godfather is none other than Georges Méliès, forgotten French film pioneer of silent cinema!

The film is Scorese's love letter to both his passion of films (is this case silent films) and his idol, the great Georges Méliès. In the scene where Hugo and Isabelle sneak into a theatre to watch Harold Lloyd's 1923 silent film classic SAFETY LAST, my heart went a flutter. For those people in the audience, young and old, who have never seen a silent film before, here was Scorsese's opportunity to expose people to this long, lost art form. When Hugo gets the automaton to work (thanks to the key that Isabelle wears as a necklace), it draws an image that he saw in a film with his father. This leads the children to the library to learn more about the cinema. They look through a film book which has pictures and, in a beautiful montage, Scorsese has images form some of the most important silent films ever to have graced the screen. From D.W. Griffith's 1916 film INTOLERANCE to Charlie Chaplin 1921 film THE KID, the audience is given a visual treat, a treat that hopefully inspires them to see and learn more about the wonderful world of silent films.

The image that the automaton drew was from one of the most iconic image ever in cinema history. In 1902, Méliès directed the film A TRIP TO THE MOON, one of the most important and influential films ever made! Now I have seen this film several times in my life, and I can honestly say that every time I watch it, I am just amazed by it. It was one of the first films to tell a story; containing a plot to put it more scholastically. A group of astronomers create a rocket that sends them to the moon. The image of the moon's face with a rocket in its eye is THE most recognized image ever! Whether or not you have seen the film, you have defiantly seen this image! Scorsese pays homage to Méliès in the film, citing him as cinema's first true innovator, pioneer, and artist.

HUGO 3D is Scorsese's most personal film to date; a marvelous family film that also pays tribute to films and filmmakers of the past. The film truly is Scorsese's best movie ever, and for this film lover, it is wonderful gem to watch. Please go see this amazing film with your family, your friends, or even by yourself, and share it with others! Six out of five stars here people!!

HUGO 3D is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including the Camera Cinemas here in the South Bay. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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