This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (book) and Hugo (the movie) A world worth visiting.

How good is the movie Hugo?  Well when you walk out of the theatre you have a half a mind to get in line for tickets to see it again.  From the first scene the film takes you to a world you will never physically get to but which is certainly worth visiting  more than once. That  world is not the just the Paris of  1931, but a world of dreams, machines, magic, and movies.I avoided this this movie because I thought it might be a biography of  Victor Hugo, and it was directed by Martin Scorsese who had yet to direct a movie I enjoyed seeing. I relented only because the Golden Globes picked him for Best Director but Hugo did not get Best Picture. That sort of split almost never occurs with the Academy.

 I went with Uncle Mike who screens four to six movies a day and is a tough critic. Believe me if Uncle Michael sits through the credits the picture has scored a knock out. Hugo put him down to for the count.
The only disappointment was my inability to explain the picture to my wife.  Face wrinkling and a sarcastic, “sounds wonderful,” greeted my  explanation of orphan living in the walls of a Paris train station who encounters a mean old man and….” I’m usually good a movie synopsis but I struck out on Hugo. Must have  been  the sports analogies.

So the next day I struck out on the internet to see what could be said that I wasn’t saying. What always amazes me about art is how collaborative it is. It’s not just the skills or Martin Scorsese. It is also the book by Brian Zelznick  and the creative genius of a magician turned movie maker, Georges Melies.  The movie which is fantastically and beautifully portrayed on the screen is based the real life of the latter. 
Should you see it in 3D $8 or 2D $5 Birmingham Palladium (which currently does not offer the 3D version)? See it in 2D for the full effect without distraction. Even in 2D you can get an idea of how
fantastic the movie will be in 3D. Then see with the added dimension because George  Melies  would have wanted you to see it that way. For Mr. Melies  in the last years of the 19th century the illusion of film knew no bounds so why stop at two when you could go on to three D. Then you can buy the book, read it and enjoy the illustrations.Finally knowing you have exhausted all aspects for the time being, you can buy the DVD  for posterity in the dimension of your choice.

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