Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is truly an enchanting cinematic experience. It may appear to be a fun children’s film, but there is too much depth and art to this film to simply be a “children’s film.”

Set in 1930’s Paris, the story revolves around an orphan, Hugo, who lives in the walls of a train station and is in charge of up-keeping the station’s clock. Before living in the train station, he learned his mechanical skills from his father (Jude Law) who was a master clock-maker.  Tragically, Hugo’s father dad died in a museum fire, leaving him to his alcoholic uncle who lived in the train station.  The only thing Hugo has left of his father is a half-fixed automaton, which he disparately tries to make work again.

The plot kicks in to high gear when Hugo gets caught stealing a wind up toy (pieces for the automaton) from a  toy-shop proprietor.  The owner, Monsieur Georges, makes Hugo work for him, in return, he will not turn him in to the authorities. While working for him, Hugo, and Monsieur Georges’ adopted daughter, Isabelle, become friends. Together, they bring to life the automaton and uncover the hidden past of Monsieur Georges. (SPOILER ALERT) He is the great Georges Melies; director, actor, and magician.   

With this discovery, the film takes a great turn. One that film enthusiast will love.  It takes you on a trip into cinematic history; taking a look back at the roots of film. It really opens up your eyes to see how far film has come since its beginnings.  I think it is no coincidence that this film is in 3D or why Scorsese decided to make this film his first film in 3D (even though, Scorsese says it was his daughter’s influence). It is not a meaningless gimmick, it adds depth to the film and becomes integral in telling his story. It is a story wrapped up in innovation, film preservation, and the act of evoking emotions.

In the film, they talk about the Lumiere Brothers’ film, Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895). When they first screened this film, the audience shrieked and ducked when the train pulled into the station. We might not understand this today, especially when looking back at this film but, this was a completely new experience for audiences. Scorsese was able to reformat the Lumiere Brothers’ film in 3D for Hugo. So today’s audience could experience the same emotions of those back in 1895, making it seems like the train is barreling through the screen into the audience with the new innovation of 3D.  Really spectacular.

If you love cinema, you will love this film. It is both artistic and thoughtful!


On Miami University’s campus, thousands are currently celebrating Green Beer Day – a tradition that occurs every Thursday before spring break.  However, this year, Green Beer Day isn’t the only reason students will be skipping their classes.  George Clooney is on campus filming his new movie, “Ides of March.”  700 students will be skipping class today to play extras during the 12 hours of filming.

The film, based on an adaptation of the Broadway play, “Farragut North,” follows a young press spokesman, Ryan Gosling, as he goes on a presidential primary campaign tour with Democratic party hopeful, who is played by George Clooney. The newly built, Farmer School of Business building will play itself today and will be the site for the film’s Ohio Democratic Primary Debate.

Miami’s marketing is playing it smart and utilizing this opportunity to capitalize on free publicity. Since Miami is playing Miami, the marketing group tried their best to make sure every movie watcher knows this is Miami of Ohio. Prior to the filming, they created posters for various Miami clubs, placing emphasis on Miami University – which they normally don’t make a point of doing, and hung them around the building.  They also placed big, red ‘M’ stickers on all the garbage cans. In addition to the actual “product placement” in the film, the movie buzz has garnered an increase of positive publicity from the media.

This is a great opportunity to publicize Miami of Ohio and its highly ranked business school. I’m sure the marketing efforts will go smoothly, provided those who decide to participate in Green Beer Day do not embarrass themselves, as well as the school, by making a bad decision…at least near the filming.

[Pictures from Dayton Daily News]