…Hugo is to Martin Scorsese. Sure, Hugo is awesome, it’s Scorsese’s masterpiece and most personal film, yada yada blah blah. But for all you cinephiles out there… it’s just so goddamn full of references!! Just like Stephen King wanted to put every monster known to man in one giant horror book, Scorsese seems to do the same thing here with Hugo. And it’s awesome.
Now, I’ve seen some of this chatted about online already… but other than the obvious clips of Melies and Lumiere Bros films among other historical clips (Lloyd, Chaplin, et al)… how come I’m not seeing anyone talk about the film techniques that Scorsese used as homages as well? For me, one striking example was Citizen Kane‘s through-the-window shot at the end of the movie. And another sequence homaged the mob scene from Metropolis when Isabel gets lost in the crowd running after Hugo. Were there others? I think there must be. Only because Scorsese is the greatest spokesperson for film EVER, and if he’s going to make us all rediscover the joys of cinema, then goshdarnit, he better refer to every movie ever made in his magnum opus, period, or else he’s just a hack.
Seriously. What’s up with that? If DePalma can recall Eisenstein in The Untouchables or ripoff Hitchcock in Body Double, Dressed to Kill or any other movie he’s ever made except for Mission to Mars (argh, I just got sick), then can’t Scorsese at least recall DePalma recalling Eisenstein/Hitchcock for Hugo? I mean, Marty does go a little Vertigo with a chase up the clock tower, but does that count? And is the heart-shaped key an homage to My Bloody Valentine — or is that wishful thinking? And while he’s at it, can’t he give some love and pay homage to Subject Two? I mean, he does have it snow in Paris. So that counts. Right??
If anyone knows of more film references in Hugo, please post them here in the comments. I’d love to here more. In the meantime — entertain yourself with this great link, a glimpse into Hugo and film history.