Hugo dances with Pina and comes out a wallflower

i hope my war correspondence phase is over but it just seemed to boil up on top of my mind these days. i am not able to shoot any images  due to having rotator cuff surgery, hey it’s spring. so i am out of it for a few months. we are putting together an exhibit for may, june, july out in lancaster, pa but more on that later.

i am not the best patient as i get feeling a bit better and want to get back in action, luckily i have mary watching over me so i don’t lift my arm, ouch it hurts to do that, but she’s there to help me, mostly from myself. but the other day i was feeling good enough to venture out and we decided to catch up on movie watching. seeing movies in suburbia is best done weekdays afternoons. we had the theater mostly to ourselves – just six other people there.

we have been going to movies, having seen the Artist, thinking it was a wonderful movie hoping it would win and we weren’t disappointed as i had been so many other years by the academy voters. having lived in LA years ago and worked in movies i often wondered if they, the academy members and i were seeing the same movies. this time we were happily rewarded.

the descendents didn’t move me at all, nor did the dull photography, set in hawaii. yes i’ve seen the vog there but lets have some lushness and color, this is a movie.

so we tuned into last sunday  for the academy awards broadcast hoping we would be delighted. the first award for cinematography went to robert richardson, won as director of photography on Hugo i had work for him and martin scorsese on Bringing out the Dead and seeing him create magic. he’s considered by some a bit of a odd ball but marty must love him as they’ve done three movies together these days. robert’s credits are amazing –  a who’s who’s of films.

this is one of the first years we had seen most of the academy award nominees except for Hugo which we thought would be full of kids, yes we do make up stories. so afternoon going was preferred as absent of children. we were a bit taken back by an admission price of $14.00 each, but hey you can’t put a price on a good time. after all it was in 3D and we loved wim wenders’  Pina in 3D. i even wrote about that here.

we thought the 3D added intimacy to the dance experience so we were up for Hugo. during the coming attractions previews  they showed the titanic as a 3D movie, interesting CGI has come a long way. i remember when it started down in culver city and the IATSE didn’t want anything to do with it until the members pushed the union into action to organize it. now it’s a multi million dollar budget item on most movies.

but here we are at Hugo. a lovely picture, robert did a wonderful job and deserved the award, one of three he’s earned but we were disappointed with the movie a as whole. there were times when my mind wandered, more than once, and i thought we were watching a pixar picture or shrek type of cartoon character, the story just wasn’t there. we think a good half hour could have been chopped on the cutting room floor.

this is marty’s love letter and a lovely tribute to the beginning of films and Georges Méliès’ work it did seem a bit out of place in this story. movies are dreams isn’t a new story but even dreams can go in some strange places, like saturday morning cartoons. oh did i mention such details as CGI dust as i explained to mary this very expensive production value. i wonder if the admission price could have been lowered by a buck had they deleted the dust.

Hugo, a boy living in the paris train station walls who’s trying to unravel a mystery left to him by his father, the automatron isn’t interesting enough we have to add a villian – the train inspector. main adversary to hugo was snatched from scooby doo cartoon character, who even has a dog that chases hugo. hmmmm

then the screen writer seemed to want the station inspector to be part love story/villain. if the story of Hugo  isn’t interesting enough who’s trying to unravel his personal mystery there comes along another grown up toy seller and his daughter, there always has to be a girl, friend to hugo who helps hugo solve the mystery. the father turns out to be none other than marty’s love: the Georges Méliès, the father of film character. happy ending

hey so what we get a short film history along with some dust. none of the nitrate film exploded burning down half of paris along with a happy ending. all that for $14.00 not bad although i remember going to saturdays matinees for $.25 oh well times change.

this is a movie that is hindered by it’s medium, 3 D. while Pina is enhanced by 3D. i am not a big fan of things whizzing before me. i remember Phantom of the Rue Morgue in 3D whoa that was a scary movie with bodies fall in your lap but clocks, dogs and stairways zipping past and through one please.

so if you’ve gotten this far you may have guessed i didn’t care much for the movie, had they saved me a buck of two by cutting out the CGI dust particles i might have enjoyed it much better but i notice details. 3D has come a long way and i am sure we’ll be seeing much more of it in the future.

i think Hugo would have been a wonderful movie story without all the special effects but we all have to learn to edit ourselves. as it is hugo is a lovely love letter to the craft of film making. it just doesn’t dance well, but we all need love.

i’ve gone on much too long with my prattle, oh well.

jene youtt


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One Response to “Hugo dances with Pina and comes out a wallflower”

  1. maryduranteyoutt Says:

    From the trailers, I thought this was a kid’s movie, but after seeing Hugo, I know that my 12 and 13 yo granddaughters would have been bored after 15 minutes. I can appreciate it on a few levels, so much work into it, cinematography was beautifully shot and Marty certainly employed a lot of people – just look at the very long list of credits. So the $14 per ticket went to a lot of people who didn’t have to be on the food lines in Hollywood.
    I too loved Pina and the Artist, but I also loved The Decendants. I thought the teen girl, Shailene Diann Woodley should have won or was she just being a teenager with attitude and not acting? (ps. I could have used a box of tissues).

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