The Red Balloon

I can see why this short-film won awards. Its short, sweet, simple and enjoyable.

The balloon stands out so much because it is the only source of colour. This is not done by CGI or any kind of effects. The actual surroundings of 1950s Paris is almost colourless [and unfortunately, it was once like that, post-war]. The contrast between the bright redness of the balloon and the grey surroundings make your eyes drawn to the balloon in every scene; it’s a bigger star than the kid! You understand why the little boy and everyone else in the city is fascinated by it. The balloon itself could mean different things to different people. I look at the balloon and the way the little boy loves it and remember loving balloons myself. Why do balloons make us feel like children again? I blew some up for my mum’s birthday back in December and they’re still here and even though I could just step over them, I find myself kicking them and giggling as I do so. So, to me, the balloon represents childhood. I read on a website that its about Christianity but I think that’s bull and the person just has religious issues!

It will always amaze me when directors make simple storylines so interesting or just not boring! This storyline is about a boy going to school with a red balloon that doesn’t leave him alone. The movie is 34min long and I didn’t really get bored once. The kid being cute help me not get bored too! And the kid is the director’s son! I’d love to direct my cousins one day, wonder if they’d be as good as this little boy.

The ending is first sad but then joyous and we get bursts of colour as the balloons of Paris come out into the grey world. It must of taken so long to get those shots of the balloons across Paris but I can just imagine how pleased Albert Lamorisse must have been when he saw it played back to him. Its beautiful and I’m sure it is the inspiration to so many scenes in movies, television and advertisements. And so it should be! Its rather iconic and can mean so many things depending on how you look at it.

Very surprisingly good, pretty film!



Published in: on January 17, 2010 at 11:54 PM  Leave a Comment  

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