Superb tribute to film pioneer

Superb tribute to film pioneer

November 04, 2012
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Hugo Film_L
Photo: Jaap Buitendijk
It wouldn't seem technically advanced if you saw it now, but George Melies' A Trip to the Moon was revolutionary, a classic in every sense of the word. Apart from being the first sci-fi film ever created, it was also one of the earliest to incorporate animation and special effects.

That was 1902. Of course, we've progressed in leaps and bounds. But Melies' work laid the foundation for many Hollywood films and directors. One is Martin Scorsese; and his gratitude is evident in his ode to the great filmmaker, and to early cinema, his first 3D offering, Hugo.

Orphan boy Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in a Paris train station. Most of his time is spent fixing and finding (stealing, mostly) parts for his robot, which he started building with his father (Jude Law) before he died.

One day, toy store owner Georges (Ben Kingsley) catches Hugo red-handed trying to steal one of his toys. The episode leads to Hugo befriending Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), Georges' goddaughter, and discovering Georges' magical past.

The cinematography is stunning. The opening shot sweeping across Paris to the inside of the train station shows how 3D brings a picture to life. The set is spectacular: metal cogs, grease, smoke and the whirr and rattle of machinery evoke a setting akin to Dickens' London.

There's also an incredible mixed bag of emotions created from watching clips of A Trip to the Moon in 3D.

YP Rating: 5/5



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