Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paris In July 2012 - "Hugo"

Heck, this Paris In July thing is going much better than I anticipated! The other night The Big Guy came home with movies and what should he have in hand but "Hugo." Miss H and I have already seen it but it's so delightful, I sat down and watched it again. "Hugo" is Martin Scorcese's 2011 movie adaptation of Brian Selznik's The Invention of Hugo Cabret and is set almost exclusively in a train station in Paris and actually filmed, at least partially, in Paris. The soundtrack even includes music by French composer Camille Saint-Saens.

Orphan Hugo Cabret lives alone in the a train station where he tends to all of the clocks, a job he started doing when his uncle took him in after his father died. Now that his uncle has died, Hugo is left to fend for himself. He is also left with his father's legacy, an automan Hugo is convinced is storing a secret message from his father, if only he can get it repaired. To that end, Hugo has been stealing parts and mechanical toys form a small toy store in the station until one day he is caught and the store keeper takes the notebook Hugo's father has left him. Hugo is drawn into working for the storekeeper and, in meeting his goddaughter, is drawn into a mystery the automan will revel. Perhaps not the message Hugo was hoping for but a message that will allow Hugo to finally live a happy life again and bring an old man the happiness he long ago thought was lost forever.

"Hugo" is largely the story of the birth of movies but it also features a marvelous bookstore, a library, and many references to books including "Robin Hood" a book Hugo and his father were reading together. The bookstore is filled with thousands of books but, books being heavy to move around for filming, some of the books you see in this scene are actually made of fiberglass.

So far, my Paris In July has been a journey to the movies. Who knows, I might just continue that route. After all, it's been a while since I've watched "An American In Paris." On the other hand, perhaps it's time to take up some French cooking and baking.

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