Martin Scorsese’s HUGO is a film lover’s dream. A homage to those early days of cinema when virgin movie audiences would jump from their seats frightened the oncoming train would burst right through the screen and run them over.
The film is based on the children’s novel, “The Invention of Hugo Caberet” by Brian Selznick. The last name should sound familiar. Brian is a relative of the late Hollywood producer, David O. Selznick whose classic films included “Gone with the Wind,” “Spellbound,” “Rebecca” and “David Copperfield.” It must have been some kind of organic fate that attracted the filmmaker, connoisseur and historian Scorsese to this woven tale of fantasy and celluloid love.
Enchanting is not a word that comes to mind when discussing Martin Scorsese films but I cannot think of a better one to describe this affectionate look at the early days of a new art. The name Georges Mêliés will mean little if anything to most current filmgoers, it’s a name almost lost in the passage of time. An early pioneer in the art of film, Mêliés short works were innovative gems of science fiction and fantasy using cinematic techniques like stop motion, time lapse photography, dissolves and editing to create early celluloid magic with works like, “A Trip to the Moon” (1902) and “The Impossible Voyage” (1903).