Advertisement

Male Wombs: The Automaton and Techno-Nurturance in Hugo

  • Holly Blackford
Chapter

Abstract

Based on an examination of automata, puppetry, and space in Martin Scorsese’s film Hugo, this chapter argues that the film creates a male womb grounded in techno-culture, from which the child Hugo is able to engage with both the industrial and creative elements of masculinity. Hugo makes this space his own, and in it, he transforms his father’s automaton from a clockwork machine to a puppet and, in doing so, begins creative construction of his own identity and future path. By restoring the small mechanical man while reframing it from his clockmaker father’s industrial and technological context to his own nascent theatrical and creative context, Hugo both reinforces his link to his father’s lineage and transforms the relational and creative potential of the masculine world.

References

  1. Annett, Sandra. 2014. “The Nostalgic Remediation of Cinema in Hugo and Paprika.” Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance 7 (2): 169–80.  https://doi.org/10.1386/jafp.7.1.169_1.
  2. Blackford, Holly. 2015. “‘Luke, I Am Your father’: Toys, Play Space, and Detached Fathers in Family Film.” In Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney, edited by Noel Brown and Bruce Babington, 137–51. London and New York: I. B. Taurus.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, Noel, and Bruce Babington. 2015. “Introduction: Children’s Films and Family Films.” In Family Films in Global Cinema: The World Beyond Disney, edited by Noel Brown and Bruce Babington, 1–18. London and New York: I. B. Taurus.Google Scholar
  4. Christie, Ian. 2012. “The Illusionist.” Sight & Sound 22 (1): 36–39.Google Scholar
  5. Clement, Jennifer, and Christian B. Long. 2012. “Hugo, Remediation, and the Cinema of Attractions, or, the Adaptation of Hugo Cabret.” Senses of Cinema 63. http://sensesofcinema.com/2012/feature-articles/hugo-remediation-and-the-cinema-of-attractions-or-the-adaptation-of-hugo-cabret/.
  6. Freud, Sigmund. 1919. “The Uncanny.” First published in Imago, Bd. V. Reprinted in Sammlung, Fünfte Folge. Translated by Alix Strachey. San Diego State University. http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/freud1.pdf.
  7. Hoffmann, E. T. A. (1814) 2002. “Automata” (Die Automate). Blackmask Online. Disruptive Publishing. http://www.searchengine.org.uk/ebooks/12/69.pdf.
  8. Holbeche, Yvonne Jill Kathleen. 1975. Optical Motifs in the Works of E. T. A. Hoffmann. Göppinger Arbeiten zur Germanistik. Nr. 141. Göppingen: Verlag Alfred Kümmerle.Google Scholar
  9. Hugo. 2011. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Film. Paramount Pictures.Google Scholar
  10. Kley, Martin. 2007. “German Romanticism Goes to Hollywood: Heinrich von Kleist’s ‘On the Puppet Theater’ and Being John Malkovich.” South Central Review 24 (3): 23–35.  https://doi.org/10.1353/scr.2007.0046.
  11. Kuznets, Lois. 1994. When Toys Come Alive: Narratives of Animation, Metamorphosis, and Development. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Marriner, Katy. 2012. “Mechanical Magic: A ‘Hugo’ Study Guide.” Screen Education 65: 18–29. ISSN: 1449-857X.Google Scholar
  13. Meikle, Kyle. 2013. “Rematerializing Adaptation Theory.” Literature/Film Quarterly 41 (3): 174–83.Google Scholar
  14. Selznick, Brian. 2007. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. New York: Scholastic.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 2011. The Hugo Movie Companion. New York: Scholastic.Google Scholar
  16. Seymour, Mike. 2011. “Hugo: A Study of Modern Inventive Visual Effects.” FX Guide. Last edited December 1. https://www.fxguide.com/featured/hugo-a-study-of-modern-inventive-visual-effects/.
  17. Standage, Tom. 2002. The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine. New York: Walker.Google Scholar
  18. Tillis, Steve. 1991. Toward an Aesthetics of the Puppet: Puppetry as a Theatrical Act. New York: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  19. von Kleist, Heinrich. (1810) 1972. “On the Marionette Theatre.” Translated by Thomas G. Neumiller. The Drama Review: TDR 16 (3): 22–26. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1144768.
  20. Vulliamy, Ed. 2012. “Brian Selznick: How Scorsese’s Hugo Drew Inspiration from His Magical Book.” The Guardian, February 11. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/feb/11/brian-selznick-hugo-martin-scorsese.
  21. Winnicott, D.W. 1982. Playing and Reality. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Wood, Gaby. 2002. Edison’s Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holly Blackford
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers University-CamdenCamdenUSA

Personalised recommendations