Podcast: Hugo (2011)

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The film Hugo takes place in 1930’s Paris. The Protagonist is Hugo Cabret, an orphan who lives in a train station. Hugo works the giant clock tower and makes sure it runs, that responsibility is his Uncle who was to take him in after Hugo’s father dies. His Uncle is drunk and leaves him to run the clocks and no one at the station is the wiser. Hugo spends his free time stealing food and rebuilding his fathers automaton, the last object tying him to his father. To rebuild the automaton he steals from George Meilies, a toy store owner. While attempting to get parts, Hugo’s notebook is stolen by Meilies. Hugo starts to work at the Toy store to get back his notebook and strikes a friendship with Meilies’ goddaughter. Together they share many experiences in discovering film and repair the automaton. They find that Meilies was a famous film maker before but had to give up his life’s work for the war effort. Eventually we find that many of his film still lives on Hugo becomes his apprentice.

 

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Podcast: Shutter Island (2010)

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This film focuses on two US Marshals investigating an escaped patient. The protagonist is Teddy Daniels who was apparently a “legend in the force.” Teddy Daniels has many dream sequences to his time in World War II where he encountered a concentration camp and killed many german soldiers over their atrocities. Daniels’ investigation leads him all over this mental hospital for the criminally insane. The film focuses on Daniels revelation of coming to terms with his time in WWII and the death of his wife. The death of his wife is attributed to arsonist and later we find out the Daniels was the one who killed his wife. We learn that Daniels is a patient on the island one of the most dangerous ones and he has been on this drug to make him better and that this was the last chance to se if he could be helped. Daniels then has a dream of what happened on the day of his wife’s death and breaks down. The nest seen we see Daniels and Chuck Aule his partner/ psychiatrist talking. Teddy asks Chuck whether its better to live as a monster or die a good man. He stands up and willingly goes with the orderlies, as he would rather choose to continue his fantasy than accept the horrors of his reality. 

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Podcast: The Departed (2006)

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This film takes place in South Boston. The state police force is waging war on organized crime. One of the Protagonist Billy Costigan is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by the antagonist Frank Costello. Billy quickly infiltrates the organization for the State Police. Colin Sullivan, another Protagonist, has infiltrated the state police as an informer for Costello’s criminal syndicate. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the mob and the police that there’s a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy-and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself. THe central conflicts for this movie is focused on revenge.

 

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Podcast: Gangs of New York (2002)

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This film is based in the late 1800s. The film starts out with Pastor Vallon with his son the Protagonist Amsterdam Vallon. This film starts out with a battle between the Dead Rabbit Catholics and Bill the Butcher’s Protestants to determine who would control the Five Points area in Lower Manhattan. This portion of the movie is when Amsterdam is kid, the battle results in the death of Pastor Vallon. Next we have a sixteen year time skip, showing Amsterdam as an adult, who purpose in life is revenge for his fathers death. This bulk of this movie takes place during the Civil War Era, which adds an element of distress seen throughout the movie.

 

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Who is Martin Scorsese?

Scorsese was born on November 17th 1942. Born and raised in Little Italy, which is interesting as Scorsese does place an emphasis on New York in his earlier work. After 22 movies, five commercials, 13 documentaries, a handful of music videos, three children, five wives, and 25 studios, he has a huge list of accomplishments. The films that I will be focusing on in this blog will be Hugo, The Departed, Gangs of New York, and Shutter Island. The latter three movies have heavy psychological weight to the movies. Hugo stands apart as it a very emotional story with a surprisingly happy ending.

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Scorsese has written a few articles on Directing. In a letter to his daughter, Scorsese talks about he growing field of technology and how it will affect cinema. He claims that movies can be made by anyone these days, the tools are out there to help budding filmmakers. The future of cinema is so bright and has changed so much from Scorsese’s time.

“But I don’t think I’m being pessimistic when I say that the art of cinema and the movie business are now at a crossroads. Audio-visual entertainment and what we know as cinema – moving pictures conceived by individuals – appear to be headed in different directions. In the future, you’ll probably see less and less of what we recognize as cinema on multiplex screens and more and more of it in smaller theaters, online, and, I suppose, in spaces and circumstances that I can’t predict.”

This quote taken from his letter is not condemning the future of cinema but to express hope for it. Scorsese loves film, in many articles and interviews he talks about how he loves meeting new directors and watching movies to learn from them. Its great that the technology has improved but it’s only a tool, it’s the individual that makes the movie.