Travel Adventure Documentary Magazine
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Filmmakers Should Love Scorsese's New Film, 'Hugo'

Hal McClure Posted by Hal McClure in Jump Cuts December 6th, 2011

If you love old films, their creators and their back-stories, I urge you to see Martin Scorsese’s newest, Hugo. And watch the 3D version if you can. It’s the best use of 3D I’ve seen yet.

The whimsical film already has been chosen the year’s best movie by the National Board of Review. Scorsese also was picked as its best director.

Hugo and station clock

You’re not quite sure where the film is headed when you first watch the young orphan boy Hugo, the film’s hero who lives in a Paris train station, secretly maintaining all the terminal’s clocks.

Hugo’s major goal, however, is repairing a broken mechanical man, the same automaton his watchmaker father had hoped to fix before he died.

Without giving away any more of the plot, filmmakers will be delighted to meet one of the famous names of those great early hand-cranked days—the French director Georges Méliès.

Georges Méliès

Méliès was in attendance when the French Lumiere brothers screened their ground-breaking Grand Café film in Paris in 1895. He immediately tried and failed to buy one of the Lumiere cameras. Enamored by the movie concept, however, he eventually produced and showed his own films—over 500 of them, appearing in most.

In 1897, our American travel film pioneers, Burton Holmes and his indispensable sidekick, technology wonk Oscar Depue, bought a Chronophotographe camera from Gaumont in Paris to inaugurate the travel film art form that is still with us today a century-plus later.

The final words the audience hears before Hugo’s credits roll are—“Come and dream with me.”

All Travel Adventure Cinema filmmakers have been hearing that siren call since the house lights dimmed on our own first production.

To see a short, hand-colored version of the original Le Voyage dans Le Lune click moon below.

Moon

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