This movie takes us into a magic journey back to Paris of the thirties. We are looking at its world through the eyes of a boy, Hugo Cabret.
"The inventions of Hugo Cabret", a movie directed by Martin Scorsese, is a heart-warming story with excellent cast. The main character is a boy named Hugo, an orphan, maintaining clocks at a Paris train station. Hugo is living right under the building's roof in a clock tower of Montparnasse station and is observing the city from behind a huge clock. The interior of the clock and its huge works are an important element of the set decor.
The boy took after his father, a clockmaker (Jude Law) amazing technical skills and works also fixing old toys for an elderly man with a difficult character (Ben Kingsley). The old toys we see in the movie are oh-so-beautiful. Wooden soldiers, red rocking horses, tin cars and trains so much better than the ones are popular nowadays.
The director wanted to be faithful to the book on which he based the movie, "Invention of Hugo Cabret". His author, Brian Selznick, illustrated the book quite precisely defining its atmosphere. Some places, like the train station bookstore, are presented exactly as in the book. The bookstore that Hugo and Isabelle, his friend, are visiting, is by the way an exceptional, fabulous nook of the station. Its interior is filled with towers of books from floor to ceiling. Funny thing, some of the books are fakes, made of painted glass fiber, so that they are easier to stack and move.
From the movie we get an idea of what Paris looked like in the 30s. The set decorator, Francesca LoSchiavo, searched for period objects on Paris flee markets and in antique shops. That is how she found furniture and decorations, including the train station cafeteria tables and lamps.
Train stations built in Paris at the end of 19th century - Gare de Lyon and Gare du Nord - still exist. It's worth to see at least one of them when visiting Paris, their iron cast constructions are very impressive. The clock from the movie was inspired by a clock from Gare d'Orsay, train station transformed into a famous Musée d'Orsay. There is a restaurant under the clock now.
Every detail of this movie with Paris in its background amazed me. "Invention of Hugo Cabret" got an Oscar for set design, so apparently I wasn't the only one to be amazed. You have to forgive me the amount of the pictures in this post I just couldn't resist. I hope you like them as much as I do.
First, let's see Paris of the 30s:
I visited, analysed and drew so many bridges like this when studying in Paris...And it was all because I signed for a course that seemed to be history of art...and turned out to be bridge construction :D (in French "ouvrages d'art" vs. "oeuvres d'art"). Many other foreign student made the same mistake though so the course was fun anyway :)
19th century Montparnasse train station and its spectacular architecture. It is actually inspired by architecture of other Paris train station, Gare du Nord.
|The is a still from the movie but it actually happened! in 1895 - the real photo below|
...interiors of train station toystore...
These toys are beautiful, aren't they?
Interior of thetrain station bookstore. Under a book tower a wooden chair with its shape referring to Louis XV style.
Train station clock, one of the most important set decor elements:
and this is how it looks like today
|Hugo is observing the world from behinf the giant clock enlightened by so called Edison bulbs. They are so in trends now! Look below:|
|The bulbs used to be protected with metal cages|
Lamps with the bulbs exposed are very popular now! Just look at the new collection by Nostalgia Lighting by KloshArt, a company known for their industrial style lamps. Every one of their lamps could "play" in "Inventions of Hugo"!
|sconce by Kloshart|
And here's some more shopping inspired by the movie
happy color palette of the bookstore and toystore
Allentown Howard Miller giant clock (21,5"). Exceptional!
Rocking armchair made of bentwood, TON, www.ton.eu
Bentwood chair, TON, www.ton.eu
In two days, on Wednesday, I'm publishing "THE WEEKLY WANT" where you're gonna find fun retro toys inspired by the movie "Inventions of Hugo" :)
Breakfast at Tiffany's and the sixties - amazing Holly's apartment
Almodovar's colorful and crazy pop-art
Oscar set design in The Great Gatsby
Lautne'r architecture, James Bond, Charlie's Angels and Big Lebowski
Cute Barbie pink and the sixtes in Down With Love
Supermodern future in Her by Spike Jonze
Fantastic colors and perfect shots in Grand Budapest Hotel
Masculine interiors of "Ghost Writer"
Great designer lamps in "Suits"
Article written in cooperation with KloshArt :)