NPR profiles Scorsese and Hugo, which reminds me that it’s wholly unexpected to see Martin Scorsese take such a radical shift as a storyteller and filmmaker. Like John Stewart said, he was used to the high body count. When the trailer for Hugo was released people started whining about how it wasn’t a “Scorsese movie.” But you know, this is a director who has always tried different genres — he’s never made just the one kind of movie. Sure, he’s most known for his gangster movies but those are just a tiny part of what he can do. Here’s to hoping audiences discovered Hugo — it’s one of the best films of 2011, should be a Best Picture nominee. Will it, won’t it? Who ever knows. Does that matter? Nope. The Oscar race is a love affair. Some of them you remember, some you’d just as soon forget.
“It sounds like a cliche, but the idea is that you’re in the world with them,” he says of his decision to film in 3-D. “When you start telling stories, you want sound, color, a big screen, so to speak, and depth. People have always wanted that, and so for me this was a great opportunity.”
There was still a learning curve to using the new technology, but despite all that, Scorsese describes Hugo as one of the most rewarding experiences he’s ever had making a film. It also may have helped that the characters in Hugo don’t have a lot in common with the characters Scorsese usually works with, who “may not be the nicest people to be around.”
“But you know, Taxi Driver in 3-D would have been interesting,” he says. Just imagine a 3-D version Robert DeNiro asking a mirror, “You talkin’ to me?”
“He’d be talkin’ to ya,” Scorsese says. “That would be amazing.”