The turn came for Martin Scorsese to deliver a film in 3D, and what a movie he gives us. Hugo is a great story, beautiful to look at, where 3D is part of the story, not a gimmick. Just like Pixar did before him.
Mr. Scorsese gives us a movie about movies, which only a few can pull off. And he does it marvellously. He brings to the screen some of the best actors of our time, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee and I’m sure I saw Johnny Depp in an uncredited role.
Add to them the great casting of Asa Butterfield as Hugo which reminded me all the time of Elijah Wood and Chloë Grace Moretz who I kept seeing as a young Kim Cattrall. My only complaint, as Ebert has stated many times, is that such a work of art gets very dimmed and the colours are dull because of the glasses required for the 3D experience. Movie exhibitors should take note as this requires better calibration of their projectors to compensate for the polarized glasses.
I recommend this film. My son enjoyed it as much as I did and he learned a little about the craft of filmmaking, taking it upon himself to research right after the movie who Georges Méliès was.
And on the same filmic topic, this week we saw a small kefuffle regarding the RED cameras. In is blog post titled Why I love the RED Epic and why I don’t have one anymore, Philip Bloom explains precisely that. I won’t go into a rant on this regard. Sufficient to say that I agree with his point of view. Don’t take me wrong. I do like the RED cameras but I’ve always thought that it is very risky to be working with a critical piece that seems to be always in Beta. Further more, I’ve never hired a DoP based on his gear. I always choose a person because of his eyes, and any good DoP can make beautiful pictures with the simplest of cameras, were a bad one can’t do it even with the best gear available. It’s not the camera, ever that makes a film, but the people who work it.
And for those that are waiting for some piece of gear to create their newest opus, don’t. I’ve heard and read many times that this movie or that documentary will start as soon as X or Y camera become available. If that’s the case, you have no movie, just an idea. Go ahead and make your film with whatever gear there is. It will always be a better film than the one you never made.