On November 23rd one of the more fascinating films of the year hits theaters, courtesy of director Martin Scorsese. His adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (shortened to Hugo for the theatrical release) is just mesmerizing in every conceivable way, as we first reported back when the film enjoyed a secret screening at the New York Film Festival (read our reaction and The Conversation that followed). Not only is it a beautiful nod to the beginnings of cinema — and to the moviegoing experience as a whole — but when all is said and done it’ll probably go down as the year’s most satisfying 3D experience too.
It’s all pretty amazing considering this is Scorsese’s first time utilizing 3D for one of his movies, and it’s not surprising to see the director turn the somewhat gimmicky technology into its own character, injecting the film with a sense of wondrous discovery as we ride along on this child-like adventure back to the days when motion pictures first gave us the ability to watch our dreams come to life. And as part of the film’s release, Brian Selznick put together a companion piece called The Hugo Movie Companion, which serves as an easy-to-digest behind-the-scenes look at what went into making the movie that’s geared toward a younger audience. While reading about the companion book on Amazon, we came across an interesting section where Selznick — who takes the reader through the entire process of making the book and the film — mentions the movies that inspired the book, as well as the movies Scorsese showed his cast and crew.
It’s that second section that piqued our interest, because Scorsese split the films he showed his cast and crew into four sections (based on the most important components of Hugo): Films for 3D, Silent Films, For Color Tinting and, finally, For Enjoyment. We’ve cropped that particular section out and you can check it out below. The films may surprise you (especially those who think Avatar is going to top the list of 3D movies).
Yup, typical Scorsese. We sort of love the fact that he didn’t turn to the flashy new big-budgeted 3D films of late when screening examples for his cast and crew, but instead looked to the 3D used for House of Wax, Dial “M” for Murder and Kiss Me Kate for inspiration. And when you watch Hugo, you’ll see bits and pieces of all these films hiding in dark corners, dancing across the screen as the iconic director takes his childhood obsessions for a magical spin around the ballroom — or, in this case, train station floor.
While Hugo might not scream “children’s movie,” its companion pieces like this that will certainly help interested parents connect the dots for those kids who do take a chance on Hugo (which they should). Feel free to begin the conversation with your little ones now by picking up Selznick’s book and movie companion piece over at Amazon, and let us know how it goes.