A post sponsored by Nuffnang


Do you remember the first movie you ever saw at the cinema? Mine was Star Wars, not bad eh. I was five, Dad was taking my brother and I BEGGED to go too. My main memories from it was how big the cinema was, how dark and cold it was as the lights went down and how LOUD it was. I imagine this was not George Lucas’s intent as far as memory goes but there you have it.

As time went on and I saw more movies – always a very special experience as a child – there was always that sense of wonder and awe at what I saw. Of being transported. A very early viewing was Dot and the Kangaroo  and then  Little Boy Lost. I cried in Little Boy Lost and I remember my aunt turning to me and chastising me for doing so. I choose to focus on the power of film to make a six-year-old cry rather than the surly aunt.

For fear of coming over all ‘back in my day’ there is something to be said about movies from my childhood versus movies from my children’s childhood. My recollection is that there was always an element of fantasy. That even if it was based in reality there was still an element of magic, of stretching the truth, of fantasy.

Which brings me to Hugo. OH man, I ADORED this movie. A.DORED. It is the story of a boy, Hugo, who lives in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. I KNOW. His life is precarious, fragile and solitary until a connection is made and a mystery unravelled. It is intoxicating. In the clip I’ve embedded below, Martin Scorsese – let’s call him Marty –  talks about film being magical but based in reality. That pretty much sums it up.

There’s a lot of film geek guff going on about it being in 3D and apparently James Cameron (you know, Titanic) said it was a masterpiece and the best use of 3D he’s ever seen. Who am I to argue and I’ve really been quite dismissive of the whole 3D experience (as @AnIdleDad once said, while you still have to wear glasses to see it 3D is dead to him) and I am totally talking through my arse to comment upon it, I do think the 3D component of it adds something to the depth of the film, the richness of the cinematography. It’s less about things jumping out at you and more about drawing you in to the world it portrays.

As it’s directed by Marty let’s be frank, it was destined by become an instant classic. The Golden Globes are on in a week and its nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score.



Hugo is played by Asa Butterfield, the actor who played Bruno in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I can not express adequately how incredible he is.

Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Bruno, Borat) plays the Station Inspector. I’m not sure if his appalling attempt at a French accent is meant to be ironic or for comedic effect but man, it’s b.a.d.

Below is Marty talking about the movie, Part 1 is more about the role of 3D and the decision process he underwent to use it (his 12-year-old daughter and her friends asked if it would be), this part is more about the story itself:


But enough about me, did Chef enjoy it? Did the BOYS enjoy it? Is ‘yes’ with a shoulder shrug an answer?

This really is about storytelling of old with the modern wonders of 3D. It unravels a mystery through telling the history of cinema. It’s a film about a boy but does that necessarily make it a film for children? Yes and no. All four of mine watched it WITHOUT the aid of popcorn, chips, drinks, chocolate or any other bribe. Grover (4) was the only one who got obviously restless. So yes, I would say that the cinematography is that visually intoxicating it will capture a child – be it an older (as in school age) or at least a thoughtful one.

I think it now stands as the movie to show children that all cinema is not action! and drama! and more action! That they can slow down and think in a movie. That there is more to be transfixed in a movie. Surely that is a wonderful thing.


I’ve got three double passes to give away. Leave a comment on one of the first movies you ever saw and how it affected you to be in the running.

It’s in cinemas from 12 January 2012.


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  • My first vivid movie memory was going to see Top Gun with a group of girl friends for someone’s birthday. We would have been 10!?! We all got these amazing top gun cloth caps as a deal with a drink and a popcorn and it was a LIFE changing moment for me! I still don’t think it was an age appropriate movie to take a bunch of pre-teen girls too but I can still recall the desperate sobs I was choking back when goose died. Phew.
    Super sarah recently posted..Homebodies.

    • OH MY GOD – Top Gun – my GOD the impure thoughts that movie gave me was enough to fuel my Christian guilt for YEARS.

  • Susan, Mum to Molly

    The Shaggy D.A. at the drive-in movies!

    I was four years old and I’ll never forget it.

    I’d love to take my nine year old to see Hugo.

    • The Shaggy DA? Was that the original version of the one that came out with Tim Allen in it a few years back? I lOVED that movie.

  • Susan, Mum to Molly

    PS: Should xx = January 12 by any chance? 😉

    • ah yes, thank you!

      • Susan, Mum to Molly

        Wouldn’t want you to miss out on your Nuffnang bucks for any reason! 😀

  • ‘National Velvet’ with Elizabeth Taylor…..I was her for days after – in fact I was in my early 20’s before I stopped being the leading lady for days after seeing a movie, the last time that happened was after seeing ‘Sophies Choice’ .
    Jody Pearl recently posted..JaM – Step away from Your Sewing Machine

    • OH MAN, I did the same thing – each and every movie I saw I imagined myself as the leading lady afterwards – often working quite intently on my Oscar’s acceptance speech as well. Dear God I still do it. Just like I do when I get into a sport – when I start imagining myself as being the wonder-story of the Olympics – you know, mum of four becomes oldest competitor to win blah blah blah. I know. Deluded is my middle name.

  • mmm. ET. with my grandmother in an old cinema in the valley, brisbane. Cried and cried. But loved the experience of going to the cinema.

    The movie outing with grandma became a once-every-school-holiday treat until she passed away when I was in high school. I still treasure the memories.
    rakster recently posted..Reading… an interpretative adventure. Especially when you’re 2.5

    • Oh man, I still cry at ET. And you know, I did the same thing with my Nan and absolutely loved it too. We used to get a taxi into Wollongong and go to the movies. So lovely.

  • ‘The Rescuers’ was the first film I saw at the cinema – I must have been about 7. I remember being asked at school what my favourite film was and feeling relieved that I had actually seen a film and therefore had an answer to the question. Everyone else was saying “Grease” which seemed to me the height of sophistication.
    Julie recently posted..Good things of summer

    • My Mum wouldn’t let me see Grease at the movies – OR at my neighbours house because I was too young. I remember when I finally saw it and OH MY LORD I was obsessed. Still adore it.

  • Paula Petralunga

    Star Wars, also! Luis Lesca (in my Yr 3 class) drew me a picture of X-wing Fighters and The Death Star, as he had already seen the film seven times. When I took the picture home and showed my dad he said, “I’ll take you to the movie and you can draw your own pictures.” 🙂
    I’ll never forget dressing up, going into the CITY, just him and me, to see what became a love affair with the magic I saw on the screen – it blew me away!

  • kay

    First movie I can recall was Mame, starring Lucille Ball. My older sister was in the State calisthenics troop, they were doing a number from the movie and for reasons I still don’t quite follow, Mum took us all to see the movie in this ancient movie theatre. (We lived in a semi rural area so any trip to the “city” was a big, big deal.)

    I didn’t see movies on a regular basis until I was working and could pay my own way. Now, I love going to the movies on my own – no distractions and I don’t have to share the lollies!!

    I saw previews for Hugo and have to admit, it looked awesome.

    Btw, love your work Kim!

  • My first film memory was seeing Charlotte’s Web (1973) aged 3. Apparently I shouted out ‘It’s a pig not a ghost’ at a critical moment. I remember the film being very sad at the end.

    My mum didn’t let me see Grease (1978) either but I wangled it when I spent the Christmas holidays with my cousin and my aunty took us (I was 8). We spent the rest of the holiday listening to the soundtrack on tape and writing out the words. A learning experience there!

    I also remember going to see Class (1983) with friends when I was 12 against my mother’s wishes. Instead I blatantly lied about the movie we’d seen. I’m sure it was rated M. I don’t know how we worked that one! Another eye-opening movie experience!
    Carolyn recently posted..Kindness of Strangers

    • That reminds me of a girl I went t school with who had two older sisters. Somehow they had a video of the movie Breathless – and convinced their mother it was a movie about an asthmatic. As I age I realise our parents were not, in fact, stupid, but just paid our sheer audacity at times the fall-out was not life-threatening.

  • I don’t remember the first movie I ever saw at a cinema, I know it had to have been a cowboy movie, because in my childhood Thursday nights were called “Ranch” nights and featured two cowboy movies with a newsreel and a cartoon. Dad and me went every Thursday night until the cinema closed down. I remember the first movie I saw on my own, an afternoon showing of Pollyanna starring Hayley Mills, I believe it was 1964.
    river recently posted..what a downpour!

    • Nice. Loved that movie. And the one where she played the twins separated at birth – you know the one?

  • I think it might have been superman at the drive in as a kid in Broken Hill when Dad was posted there. Struggled like a lunatic to say awake. Fox likes Ben 10, Ninjago and all that other biy crap, Cha likes lots of stuff, but I would like them to see something GOOD.

  • Funny you should mention Dot and the Kangaroo – I can remember seeing that … and my sister being so terrified Mum had to take her out. She was only two! I am struggling to remember my first ‘movie’ because the small town I grew up in didn’t have a cinema. We sometimes had screenings in the local hall and it was there I saw some quality flicks such as Back to the Future and, er, Gremlins. As I said, pure quality…!
    Sarah recently posted..What will this year bring?

  • I loved reading your thoughts on this film Kim. I haven’t seen it, but Noah is busting to go (along with all the other films he wants to see these holidays?!).

    My very first film was E.T. – and from that moment, I was hooked. I had a colouring book – which Scout brought out just the other day. I think that first movie was such a great experience for me, and so memorable.
    lexi recently posted..Kids Night Out