Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick.

"...I want you to picture yourself in the darkness, like the beginning of a movie. On screen, the sun will soon rise, and you will find yourself zooming toward a trainstation in the middle of the city. You will rush through the doors of a crowded lobby.You will eventually spot a boy amid the crowd, and he will start to move through the train station. Follow him, because this is Hugo Cabret. 
His head is full of secrets, and he's waiting for his story to begin."

Recently, I saw a movie trailer for Martin Scorsese's new film Hugo which looked really magical: an adventure, with kids, secrets, and hiding places, and a robot machine with a story to tell. This movie had all the similar makings of The Polar Express, another successful holiday classic magic story that I watch annually to remember watching a story with the glint of a child's eye. I stored it as a film to see over Thanksgiving Break, probably by myself, as it did look as if it were geared to children. Sometimes, I can sell a kid movie to Tom (my husband) like I did successfully with Despicable Me, Toy Story 3, Fly me to the Moon, but sometimes I am unsuccessful and he becomes wary of my choices: Enchanted (Tom: "There's singing in this movie?!") So I figured I'd be seeing this one on my own...but after reading the book, (which even at its colossal 520 pages reads in less than an hour or two, due to the fact that it's mainly a "graphic novel" interspersed with a story only 26,000 words long-only 128 pages of text,) I think I may even be able to convince Tom to see it!

Before today, I had no idea the book was even connected to the new movie Hugo, until one of my students pointed it out to me this morning in class. (Thank you!) Knowing it was a graphic novel I could get through in a day, I took it home and read it. I found it as magical, endearing and inspiring as I had hoped for! 

Especially in learning that the mechanical "automaton" in the story was based off of a real machine created by the Swiss inventor Maillardet! David Selznick, the author, shares the website where you can see two different automatons from the 19th century operate: the process and end result are stunning and worth a look! You can view the YouTube video's of the automatons working here.

You can also view the trailer for Scorcese's latest film here. Check the movie and the book out: I hope you enjoy the magic as much as I did!