Martin Scorsese’s film, HUGO, is the young man’s counterpart to the young lady’s BRAVE in its exploration of the dilemma of headstrong kids in conflict and eventually harmonizing with adults. Set in the Paris train station, the clockwork tended by Hugo is a metaphor for finding one’s role in life. There are mentors in both HUGO and BRAVE that are ready to introduce the children to various wonders of the world, whether good or bad. Hugo’s relationship with his dad is foremost as BRAVE’s heroine’s relationship with her mother is paramount. Appreciation of cultural heritage is a great theme in both. In HUGO, this enfolds the delightful figure of Georges Melies, the French founding father of cinema and maker of the first sci-fi film. The steam-punk genre perfectly shows the advent of the industrial revolution growing from ancient alchemy illustrated in Georges Melies’ film, “A Trip to the Moon.” Scorsese nicely symbolizes the influence in showing the loved-hated Eiffel Tower dominating the Paris skyline as we went from Stone Age 2 to the Iron Age 2. Here’s Georges Melies moonshot flick on YouTube.
HUGO is based on the book by author-illustrator Brian Selznick, a blending of words and illustrations with both advancing the plot. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is Selznick’s award-winning (cheap) 550 page novel for ages 4 and up available here: