Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Promised Myself I Wouldn't Cry

Putting the subject of politics aside for a moment (you’re welcome) I ran across the following piece on Slate today by David Haglund on the 1956 Oscar-winning short film “The Red Balloon” by Albert Lamorisse.

Now out on DVD, this is a film a vaguely remember seeing as a small child, centering on a Parisian boy who befriends a cheeky red balloon with a mind of its own. I won’t reveal the rest of the story, but it wields a heartbreaking climax—a pale Christ allegory, not that I knew it then—that had me soaking my Garanimals with my own tears until a mega-happy ending kicked in.

Still, the emotional bruising was delivered, just as in another painful scene in “Dumbo” (posted below, I defy you not to sniffle) wherein our little hero’s mother—caged for defending her child from bullies—nuzzles him sweetly from the window of a locked wagon. Sure, “Dumbo” sports a mega-happy ending also, but this particular scene flayed open my four year-old heart like a trout.

Thanks for that, Uncle Walt.

But I digress.

The Haglund piece on “The Red Balloon” is well-worth reading, and includes mention of a 2008 reinterpretation—to say “remake” would be inaccurate—of the film by Taiwanese director Hou Hsaio-hsein retitled “The Flight of The Red Balloon” featuring a blond Juliette Binoche as the boy’s mother.

No comments: