Long before Sophia Coppola's short film for the Miss Dior Chérie perfume, and the Disney-Pixar film Up, there was Albert Lamorisse's short film, Le Ballon Rouge.
Filmed in 1956, in the Montmartre neighborhoods of Paris, the film is about a boy and his magical red balloon that follows him around the city. Pascal, the little boy in the film discovers the balloon while on his way to school. The two quickly become friends; they share in the adventures of an overbearing school master, a stray puppy, and school bullies.
Set against a backdrop of a grey Paris (perhaps winter), Pascal and his balloon brighten the scene wherever they go.
There is a delicate innocence about the film that immediately draws you in. Pascal is simple in the fact that he doesn't require much from his friend; he only wants companionship. While on his lunch break from school, the two play a game of hide and seek.
What Lamorisse was able to do in his 34 minutes of film was create absolute magic. There is very little dialogue. Rather, he chose to communicate through color and music. The final result is a film that captures the memory of childhood, and the nostalgic innocence as we remember it.
I highly recommend this film! If you have Netflx, you can watch it on Instant Play. You may also find the full version of the film on YouTube, by clicking here.
|All screen shots are mine.|