Will Martin Scorsese reinvent 3D with Hugo?

Being a long time Martin Scorsese fan, I was certainly quite interested to learn that he’s made a movie in 3D, and a children’s film to boot. 

Sure, it’s not the usual fare of the man who gave us GoodFellas and The Departed, but he’s tackled a lot of different kinds of films in his career, from The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun, The Age of Innocence, to The Last Waltz.

Scorsese’s next film is Hugo, which is based on the children’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Footage was shown at the New York Film Festival, and the reaction was very positive.


Steve Pond at TheWrap wrote, “Has Scorsese just saved 3D? Viewers seemed to agree that the film makes remarkable use of the oft-derided technology.”

Yes, word has it Scorsese uses 3D much like Cameron did in Avatar, giving the film much depth and texture to peer into instead of throwing everything but the kitchen sink out at the audience.  IFC  explained that with Hugo, Scorsese “constantly moves the lens towards the objects in the frame, playing as much with our perception of movement as our perception of depth.”

And Deadline raved, “Scorsese has provided the most intriguing use of 3D since Avatar. Instead of the gimmick opportunity of using 3D to have objects jump out at audiences, Scorsese employs it to subtly immerse the audience into Hugo Cabret’s world.”


Scorsese is indeed a fan of 3D movies, and loved the irony that his favorite 3D film, House of Wax, was made by a director with one eye, Andre De Toth. So in a way his latest movie is surprising, but if you’ve followed his career and know his passion for movies, it’s not as surprising as you’d think.


As his long time editor Thelma Schoonmaker told MovieMorlocks, “There’s never the same reason why he’ll do a movie. I think sometimes he knows a movie’s going to have a small audience. For example, I don’t think he expected Kundun to be big box-office, he made it because he was intrigued. Mean Streets was another film he never thought was going to be released, but he had it in him, he had to get it out, and look what happened: It was his big breakthrough. Every film he makes for a different reason, and every film he sets a new challenge for himself.”