Thursday, June 7, 2012

To the makers of the film "Hugo"

For the record, I was not an extra for this film.

I casually follow a photography/videography blog called FStoppers and it had an interesting video about the making of Hugo. After I saw "the closing steadicam shots" I had to see the movie!

It doesn't happen very often that I find a film that I just look at am shocked at how personal it seemed--how it made me feel it was just for me--the story line, the colors, the movements of the camera, the characters all blended into a unique version of European chocolate for the mind/emotions--originally thought up (somewhat) right here in Brooklyn (the book the movie is based on is called The Invention of Hugo Cabaret).  And to top it off, my children loved it.

I youtube-d the movie to find out if I could see more behind-the-scenes stuff and I learned that Mr. Scorsese had made the movie so that he could show his 12-year-old-daughter his work (his other work is not child-friendly).

After I watched the movie I decided to write a letter to Mr. Scorsese thanking him and I wanted to post it here, just in case any of the people worked on the film got curious, Googled something or other, and ended up here so they could read it and be personally thanked through the following letter:

Dear Mr. Scorsese:

My family and I just finished watching Hugo for the first time.  Never has any movie taken me almost completely out of my seat and made me feel as though I was with Hugo lonely and desperately determined; Méliès facing memories and turning to something he loved to do (which felt very personal for me); or Isabella, whose joy it was to use exceedingly long and outlandishly appropriate words while anticipating the next adventure.  

My whole family was sitting in the living room of our Brooklyn apartment, sitting on the couch undeniably entranced by Hugo. It was like we were a part of the story smiling at each other at the idiosyncrasies of the people falling in love and gasping in anticipation with each development. When they found the hidden compartment in the armoire my son (age 8) said, “Mom, that’s like me, I would have found that.”  And at the end my daughter (age 7) said, “Mom, do you think I’ll be like her?” She was referring to Isabelle.  And after it was over we all got up and danced around the room, whirling each other about and laughing as the ending credits played.  It was a few moments of pure heaven. The details of my beautiful children’s faces seemed brighter and clearer and all I could feel was condensed blessedness in every aspect of my life.

Hugo was art, art that engages, enthralls, sympathizes, empathizes, chills you, cries with you, laughs with you, sings to your soul, and just about reaches out to hold your hand; undoubtedly just what you had in mind. It brings the ideals of finding a purpose, loving family through thick and thin, and pressing on despite adversity.   

If Hugo, the movie,  was a person, we would be friends.

You must receive millions of letter like this, but if you do see this, Mr. Scorsese, thank you very much!  Thank you for spending all those hours and complicated moments making this movie for me and my family. And please tell your nearest and dearest thank you from me and my family for being your inspiration and support.

With Deep Gratitude,


P.S. Please make more movies for your daughter. You are very good at it! The world needs more child-friendly movies as illuminating as Hugo.

My children drew pictures to add to the envelope.  

Isabelle, Station Inspector, Hugo (hidden in the clock) and the mechanical mouse at the toy shop.
Yes, we are working on spelling. :)

I'm sending it tomorrow.