Amy's Reviews > The Invention of Hugo Cabret & Official 'Hugo' Movie Companion

The Invention of Hugo Cabret & Official 'Hugo' Movie Companion by Brian Selznick
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Nov 25, 11

Read in November, 2011

When The Invention of Hugo Cabret first hit the shelves, I stood there at Barnes & Noble waiting for the sales clerk to cut open the box for me so I could buy my book. I've been a long-time Brian Selznick fan, and I had followed his entries on his website as he got ready for publication. I love art, travel, films, entertainment, creativity, and most especially, stories of redemption. This book had it all for me. I was already familiar with Méliès's Journey to the Moon movie, and in fact, I used quite a bit of it in some eLearning science curriculum I had written for the state of Texas.

The Selznick story "re-triggered my obsessions" and I learned quite a bit more about Méliès's life after reading the Hugo Cabret book. I was lucky enough to go to Paris and visit The Georges Méliès exhibit at The Cinemateque right after opening. To see his drawings in person, to "visit" his studio, and to feel the demise of his art form brought this story to a new level of inspiration for me. He was so fully engaged in his passions, yet times changed and he believed he had utterly lost what seemed like his established place in the world.

One thing I love about Brian Selznick is his love of learning the details, so I knew the movie companion would be something I would appreciate. Normally, I would not read a "book about a movie about a book," but this one was simply fascinating because it described the ways the various people on set connected with the story they were telling together. It was not an actor-focused book, but it included the contributions of everyone (glide-cam operator, make-up director, scripting director, dialect coach, etc.) and what they did to solve challenges and create "magic." As a writer and film maker myself, I have so much appreciation for the attention to detail, careful planning, and what must have been a staggering budget.

Thank you, Brian, for publishing the Hugo Movie Companion. The original book, the intertwined stories, and your thoughts on how the movie illuminates our human needs for connection and purpose have brought me many hours of joy.
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