Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Martin Scorsese Spends Time In Paris

Some find Paris the city of love and light. Others discover a maze of soot and sewage. Much of life's beauty is in the eye (and heart) of the beholder. So, the film Hugo begins with a wondrous flight through an industrial urban underbelly of trains and clocks that a less romantic view would see as ... less romantic. Thank God for children's eyes.

Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan boy shuffling around this industrial coil with eyes full of wonder. Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley) is a weary man ready to shuffle off this mortal coil due to eyes full of bitterness. Yes, they desperately need each other. Martin Scorsese brings them together in a movie based on Brian Selznick's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Long ago, someone advised me that I should commute to work by the most beautiful route possible, even if it's a little longer. This has proven sage wisdom. Our movie also meanders a long but graceful course. If you've got time for a little more loveliness in your schedule, see this film. If you don't, make time. I prefer to fritter away moments on beauty rather than therapy. Call me crazy.

I don't fully share this film's Jules-Verney wonder at technology or its Oscar-ready worship of movies as the dream-factory for humanity. (Forgive my lack of sophistication, but I'm still hopelessly awed by sunsets and real live girls.) Still, I do share its wonder of wonder.

When people lose the awe for that which is higher and greater, they become like clocks, ticking down the time with a lot of motion yet nothing inside but cold steel parts grinding to a preset pattern - until they suddenly stop. Hugo's tightly-wound clock-winding uncle quips, "Time is everything!" Yet, he sees this truth as merely an oppression when it's also an opportunity.

Georges concludes that humans can and should have more than time. He reflects: "The world, like a well-made machine, doesn't come with any extra parts ... everything has a purpose ... with people, if you lose your purpose, it's like you're broken." Need a fix? Whether your art focuses on gismos, gadgets, words, or spices, let it be a sincere pursuit of beauty, like this film.


  1. I have yet to see this. I must fix that post haste.

  2. this movie is better than any other of this genre