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Ten keys to see "Hugo"

The new film by Martin Scorsese is a tribute to the movies and an approach to its most emblematic. See here cinéphiles and historical references hidden in the film.

“The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” or simply “Hugo”, must be the most emotional film now showing in our theaters. But at the same time, is another demonstration of cinephilia who professes Martin Scorsese. A passion for cinema that goes beyond making films and documentaries has been reflected as “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies” and a personal film library of classic 35mm copies. From his first shot, “Hugo” is an array of references and historical data. A guide to enter the cinema through the front door which is summarized below in 10 keys.


Do not be fooled by the title, Georges Méliès is the central character in the film. The life of man began to tell stories with a video camera is the linchpin that holds the plot and it does so based on true facts. So, what we see on screen is a reflection of what happened in real life, though the great touch by directing tax Scorsese to suggest otherwise.

Georges Méliès, a French magician who discovered the film in a demonstration of the Lumière brothers, pioneered cinematic effects by moving his magic tricks to set recording. With the advent of World War I, his films lost popularity and was forced to change jobs: making it selling toys in the Paris-Montparnasse station.

“The great thing is that Georges Méliès investigated and invented almost everything we’re doing now. From him the line directly and drawn through all the sci-fi and fantasy of the 30, 40 and 50, up to the work of Harryhausen, Spielberg, Lucas, James Cameron. Everything is there. Méliès did what we do with computers, green screens and digital effects, just as he did with a camera in his studio, “Scorsese said at the premiere of the film.


Other characters also existed in real life are “Mama Jeanne,” whose true name was Jeanne d’Alcy, and René Tabard, the man who restored his popularity Méliès. The latter was actually a journalist, director of Ciné-Journal, and his name was Leon Druhot.


Another key figure in the history of “Hugo” is the automaton, a robot that was inspired by an actual creation of Jaquet-Droz. Between 1768 and 1774, Droz, a Swiss watchmaker, invented a mechanical family played three specific roles: musician, artist and writer. At present, these artifacts, considered the ancestors of today’s computers are exposed in the Museum of History and Art Neuchâtel (Switzerland). There, they were seen by Brian Selznick, author of the original script of “Hugo”, who adapted them to its history.


One of the key moments of the film is inspired by a classic scene of cinema, the scene of Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock in “Man fly.” She told Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays an inspector from the train station in the film, the actors in the cast had a work of documentation on the physical style of comedy of the time.

“Martin wanted me to take a look at the comedians of silent film, which was very interesting. They did brilliant things people like Keaton and Chaplin. Yes, I found a complete stranger named Charles Chaplin, I think, and his work is very interesting and certainly worth a look, “said Baron Cohen.


Another reference to a classic film takes place in one of the dreams of “Hugo”. The child sees a man on a locomotive recreating a scene from Buster Keaton, another legend of silent movies. In this episode alludes to Jean Gabin in the film “The Human Beast” by Jean Renoir.


Christopher Lee’s participation in the film also has an intention. The figure of the veteran actor is automatic association with the best times of film and Scorsese knows. “In this film finally was able to work with Christopher Lee, one of my favorite actors for 50 or 60 years,” said Scorsese.

While Lee held that in his long career he needed only a filmmaker in his list: “It’s not flattering to Martin, but I said,” Probably I have more credits than any other living actor, or so I hear. But I’ve always thought that my career would be complete at all unless you make a film, because I worked with John Huston, Orson Welles, Raoul Walsh, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson and many, many more, but never you. ” Now comes this story, and obviously there is something for me. Finally “.


A dream sequence in the film is the spectacular derailment of a train. The incident occurred in real life in 1895. The event is remembered as “the wreck at Montparnasse.” All train passengers survived. Five others were injured, two passengers, the fireman and two crewmembers. However, the concrete that fell off during the derailment killed a woman who was passing by a street. The accident was caused by a defective brake. The driver was fined 50 francs and imprisoned for two months.


Django Reinhardt, the Belgian guitar virtuoso, who was honored with “Hugo”. The musician, played by Emil Lager, shown playing in the train station where they develop various scenes of the film. Other historical characters who appear briefly in the film are Salvador Dali and James Joyce.


And if it comes to appearances include the Scorsese makes a spontaneous photographer who portrays George Méliès.


The book that Monsieur Labisse (Christopher Lee) presents him to “Hugo” near the end of the film “Robin Hood, the outlaw,” a version of Alexandre Dumas based on the work of Pierce Egan was originally intended to be a translation into French in English. The delivery of the book is symbolic, since Hugo is forced to prevent the forces of “justice” to survive.

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  1. Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:52 am


  2. Posted February 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    A stunning tribute to the great and wonderful Martin Scorsese, who takes the art of theatre one step beyond.
    Fantasitc article, Gina. Sorry it’s been so long since I visited you. SOOOO busy. I’ll do better in the future. Promise.

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