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randall 
"I like to watch."

NYC, USA

Posted - 11/10/2011 :  03:19:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We were surprised when they handed us 3-D glasses for tonightís ďWork in ProgressĒ screening at the New York Film Festival, only the second time in its 49-year history that the Fest has sneaked a movie like this. [For the record, the other one was twenty years ago, for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.]

Out walked Martin Scorsese to introduce his fall picture, HUGO.

Mr. Scorsese explained it was indeed unfinished. The sound mix and score by Howard Shore were both temp tracks: Shore is recording the full orchestration in London right now. Some green screens were visible. The first long swooping, panning shot isnít done yet; we saw a pre-viz. The press was warned: no reviews, this is just for your enjoyment. But I know exactly why NYFF and Scorsese went to all this trouble: (1) it delivers the goods, and (2) there could be no more appropriate venue for this movie than a film festival.

Itís based on an illustrated novel for young readers [by Brian Selznick of the moviemaking Selznick family] which I havenít yet read, and Iím going to assume you havenít either, so Iíll be careful not to spoil. A boy lives in the walls and the clock tower of a Paris train station in the early Thirties. His late dad, a clockmaker, taught him lots of secrets and the kid is a natural, but he makes do by stealing. Both book and film are love letters to the early days of movies.

Itís the best example of live-action 3-D Iíve ever seen, and that includes AVATAR: finally, even softly lit scenes are bright enough to see. Certain setups are just breathtaking in the extra dimension: the light from a movie projector bursting toward us, a closeup on a staring Doberman [itís just funny!], a security guard intimidating a boy by leaning closer, closerÖ

The film is stuffed with British character actors, none of whom attempts a French accent: Jude Law, Richard Griffiths, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, on and on.

This one is for the whole family and will probably get a PG rating, maybe even -13* [there are a couple of intense scenes, and you can never predict what the MPAA will think]. Mr. Scorsese is justifiably proud, and Iím so glad I got to see it with enough film fans to fill up Avery Fisher Hall.

*Though that would be a real shame. Any thoughtful kid will love it, trust me.

EDIT: It got the PG. One of the reasons is *smoking*.

Edited by - randall on 11/11/2011 11:51:48

lemmycaution 
"Long mired in film."

Posted - 11/10/2011 :  05:42:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lucky you. I'm salivating.
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BaftaBaby 
"Always entranced by cinema."

Posted - 11/10/2011 :  08:47:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
WOW! Thanks, randall - I can't wait!!

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randall 
"I like to watch."

NYC, USA

Posted - 11/10/2011 :  15:27:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I believe its U.S. release is Thanksgiving week. That shows you how close they have to cut it these days for effects-heavy pictures.
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lemmycaution 
"Long mired in film."

Posted - 01/12/2011 :  22:10:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mrs. lemmy and I finally caught up with this. A magical cinematic experience, rich on so many levels.

The first 3D I've seen since Avatar and I was amazed at the advances.

This demands more than a single viewing.
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Chris C 
"Four words, never backwards."

Posted - 02/12/2011 :  10:47:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's released in the UK today. We hope to get to see it in the next week or so, but we WILL be seeing it.
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randall 
"I like to watch."

NYC, USA

Posted - 09/01/2012 :  00:33:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lovely screening at the New York AMPAS theater tonight, plus a nice q&a afterward with Martin Scorsese and Sir Ben Kingsley, both extremely well-spoken gentlemen. Methinks it's a bit of Oscar gamesmanship, trying to stay top of mind. Guess I just helped.

The film was just as spectacular on second viewing. Ms. randall, who missed the work-in-progress screening last October, was as overwhelmed as I'd hoped; she loves it every bit as much as I do. [I deliberately left out plenty of details when I reported to her after the October NYFF event.]

Edited by - randall on 11/01/2012 21:33:16
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BaftaBaby 
"Always entranced by cinema."

Posted - 19/02/2012 :  13:40:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Am going to try to catch up with individual films in the Film category after my Bafta marathon filmfest.

I can only agree with all the praise above given to what I'd call Scorsese's love affair with cinema. Of course, being Scorsese it's about lots more than an evocation of an era. It celebrates film as a fusion of art, science and technology, and how magic and illusion heighten reality and provide emotional truth.

His films aren't always joyful, though always masterfully made, and laced with wit. This one is all that and joyful too.

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