This is the first time I’ve ever done a trailer alert on this blog, but hey, this is the brand new film from my favourite director, Martin Scorsese (ok, I’ve actually got three favourite directors, with Brian De Palma and David Lynch rounding out the other spots), and because of that, I feel the need to promote it.
However before I talk about the trailer, I just want to mention this disturbing new trend of dumbing down the titles of films to their lowest common denominator. This is a practice becoming much more frequent in the U.S and it is driving me insane. The original title for this film was “The Invention Of Hugo Cabret”, which is a great title not just because it is the title of the book that the film is based, but because it has a sense of magic to it. However during production it was revealed that the title would be shortened to “Hugo Cabret”, which made me irate. Imagine how I felt about a week ago when it was announced that the new title was just “Hugo”. What the hell?!? That is the dumbest, most generic title they could have thought of. I’m still holding out hope that European countries may still use the full title, but I just do not know yet. Unfortunately, “Hugo” isn’t the only victim to this practice with other new films suffering similar fates: Francis Ford Coppola’s “Twixt Now And Sunrise” is now called “Twixt”, Roman Polanski’s “God Of Carnage” has been changed to “Carnage”, and “John Carter Of Mars” is now simply “John Carter”. This is ludicrous and it has to stop.
Anyway, let’s briefly talk about this trailer. This is Scorsese’s new film and it is something completely different from him because “Hugo” is his first family film. Now on first impressions you may think that this looks nothing like a Scorsese film, however I have now watched this trailer many, many times and it is very easy to distinguish Scorsese’s strong visual style throughout. There are a number of shots that are similar from a variety of his films. The shot with the paper flying around the room looks almost identical to one from “Shutter Island”, Hugo looking through the robot is like a shot from “The Aviator”, the sweeping shot of Paris that begins the trailer is very similar to the beginning of “Gangs Of New York”, just to name a few. My favourite thing that Scorsese has done is, like in the first half of “The Aviator”, he is emulating the look of 2-strip Technicolor for this film. I’m a huge fan of the look of 2-strip, with its strange blues and reds, which is evident throughout this trailer. Like “The Aviator” the film is set in the time period (the 1930’s) when 2-strip was used, and also like the previous film, “Hugo” has a connection to cinema past (in the story Hugo meets Georges Melies, who was the godfather of all cinema, especially of special effects).
The film was also shot in 3D and from the looks of the tracking shot through the station, it appears that Scorsese is using the technique to create depths to his images (which is when 3D is at its best), rather than just having things come out of the screen (although there are some of those too, see the end of the trailer). I have not read the book the film is based on, but from what I hear it is about, this trailer does not represent the film properly, making it look more like a silly slapstick comedy. I also do not think the music from the trailer really fits with the kind of film this is and the images that are on display (still, I am warming to it). So while I am still excited to see this film, I do not think that this is a great trailer for it. Anyway, check it out yourself and make up your own mind.