Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Martin Scorsese's Hugo: A Review Without Words (Or Very Few, By My Standards)

What's it about? The adventures of an orphan boy, living in the walls of a Paris train station, who crosses paths with a grumpy old toymaker with a fabulous secret.

But what's it about? Finding your purpose, or maybe rediscovering it. "Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason."

But what's it really about? Martin Scorsese's ongoing love affair with silent movies and the creative genius that made them possible.

And what did I get out of it? Aside from a pleasant afternoon with Katie-Bar-The-Door? Why, the pleasure of seeing dozens of silent film references on the big screen, including but not limited to:

My imdb rating: 8/10


Maggie said...

I'd love to live in the walls of a Paris train station, too.

I'll settle for a seat in the theater. : )

Yvette said...

I will definitely be seeing this once it comes to Netflix. Also can't wait to see THE ARTIST.

Mark Bourne said...

Indeed yes. It's about all those things. I'd also add Time's Ticking Clock, which is present literally, metaphorically, and thematically. I wonder if Scorsese, now 69, has that on his mind lately.

Yesterday Elizabeth and I caught Hugo a second time, and I tried to catch more of the references that go by. Along with your choice selections above, the Lumière brothers receive a significant nod, especially their "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station." We also get clips from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Tumbleweeds (William S. Hart's last movie), and a few others I need a third try to name (if I can). I love seeing Louise Brooks dancing from Pandora's Box. I wonder what young Hugo and Isabelle would make of that.

I also enjoy all the movie posters on view -- Louis Feuillade's pulp adventure serials Fantômas and Judex, Charley Chase's Why Men Work (if I caught the French translation correctly), a poster of Chaplin without a film title (rights issues?), and others panning by too quickly to capture in my memory this time around.

Guess I need to see it again. Aw, dang.

mister muleboy said...

Monkey and Mule, arm in arm, strolling down the Seine reviving insterest in silent movies.


Okay. More like "the Monkey and the Mule certainly saw and enjoyed the same movie. Film. Movie. It's good entertainment, but to those of us in its wheelhouse, it's great entertainment."