Martin Scorsese Screens Work-In-Progress 'Hugo' at the New York Film Festival

8:37 PM PST 10/10/2011 by David Rooney
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The legendary director was greeted by a standing ovation at Avery Fisher Hall before presenting his incomplete film -- the festival's first since "Beauty and the Beast."

NEW YORK – Martin Scorsese was greeted with a standing ovation Monday night at the 49th New York Film Festival, as he took the stage at Avery Fisher Hall to present a surprise work-in-progress screening of his upcoming 3D family release, Hugo.

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“This is a really special evening for us,” said NYFF selection committee chairman Richard Pena, introducing the director. “There’s only one other time, back in 1991, that we’ve screened a work-in-progress as part of the festival, and that was Beauty and the Beast. We’re just as proud this evening to have this film.”

Scorsese explained that the print being shown was not color-corrected, still required tweaks to the sound mix and music, had partial credits and incomplete visual effects.

“There are still what are called previsualizations,” said Scorsese. “Computer generated people that they promise are going to be human -- pretty soon, I hope. And you will see a few wonderful green screen moments where you can put in anything you want.”

The Paramount release opens Nov. 23. Scripted by John Logan from Brian Selznick’s bestselling novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” the adventure film follows the story of an orphaned boy living in a railway station in 1930s Paris, whose search for a message from his dead father yields discoveries concerning the French film pioneer Georges Méliès.

Young cast members Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz took a bow following the screening, but Scorsese did not reappear onstage. The cast also includes Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Michael Stulhbarg, Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour and Helen McCrory.

NYFF announced the surprise addition to the program last week, identifying the film only as an uncompleted feature by a master director, due for release later this year. Despite attempts to keep the title under wraps, word leaked out Monday that Hugo was the mystery title.

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