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Flight of the Red Balloon
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Two adults, a 12 and 17 year old agree that this is a wonderful engrossing film.
The most important point about Flight is the film production. I'm certain most reviewers have missed the fact that cut to cut time averages well over 3 minutes, maybe more like 5 to 10. The shots are very long, and a lot of character development and story progress happens in each long take. Compare that to the average film shots are rarely more than 10 seconds, and long is 20 seconds. Anyone that has seen this film once, should watch the film again and pay attention to when cuts are made in the film. It's incredible the choreography that had to take place for this to work.
I felt like this was two hours spent with some wonderful people, a boy, his mother, a nanny, a neighbor, and a host of minor characters. People float in and out of this movie just as they do in real life. The story isn't resolved, just like in real life. But the path these characters follow is interesting and pleasing.
The connection with the fabulous movie Red Balloon, it's a bit tenuous. There's homage in here, that's critical to understand. It's homage in the film sense, a director does things in a similar way or uses cues that make us think of the other film. The single most important homage to me, shot length and rythm of the original Red Balloon.Read more ›
I suspect that "Flight of the Red Balloon" is one of those art house films that will brook no middle ground. Some will think it is a lovely contemplation of Parisian life--a snapshot, if you will, of life being lived. Or you might just be baffled by how mundane the story is. There is no grand drama here, no revelatory experiences that will linger in your head--only slice-of-life moments captured from afar. Most of the film is seen in stagnant long shots captured from a distance. In many ways, this establishes an ephemeral and dreamlike quality--a voyeuristic perspective that becomes transitory based on where the action is being viewed at any particular moment. The point of view presents camera shots in which the metaphorical balloon (or other outside entity) is peering into ordinary family life.Read more ›
Somehow it brought the feeling of "day" into my evening spaces and lightened fatigue, caught me with the French, and I watched.
I loved "The Red Balloon" and used to show it to students in 1st grade, my daughter in kinder saw it- and always stated it terrified her. So there was enough just in that to make me interested in an homage.
For the most part you follow a beautiful child, into his day,he's very independent, learning of his new child care taker, seeing his small apartment, the life of his mother. She voices puppets. His Maman is so beautiful, sensual, high strung a bit, struggling. His father it appears eventually has left her and she has someone living in the apartment down stairs from something he allowed-not paying- that she's got to deal with and apparently evict. And that's causing her to struggle. She's in her own world-has her share of pain, the child has his, the care taker serves as an observer. It's a kind of movie moving like the balloon did in the other -through their existence. You know what I always recall of the Red Balloon? The teasing playfulness, how it would come in and take you, float you, so I think the child in this movie, the characters, tend to come in and rather float you. It moves through music, it made me wistful this score. There wasn't the humor though, and I noticed that.
I doubt I'm capable of revealing this movie. There are very long shots of the characters just living, mostly in an apartment but escaping at times to the street, the actress Binoche reminded me of a friend Norma and her relationship as I knew it with her two children. Almost entirely I felt an observer of their life-as this is-noticing as I did here-being engaged.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd love to briefly describe this film's plot, but am unable to do so because there is no plot to speak of. Read morePublished 15 months ago by J.Taylor
Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien is a critically acclaimed auteur whose work is maddeningly unavailable on DVD. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Film Buff
If this is a tribute to Paris, then it is an insult to Paris. Do not waste your money.Published 17 months ago by marlidNY
Just plain boring. Contrary to the stated, little of the beauty of Paris is seen. Avoid this film.Published 17 months ago by Adam
I was disappointed that this was not the original Red Balloon. The story was weak. I do not want to write more.Published 19 months ago by Ruth Dixon
I loved the 1956 classic, but this movie really does not have much to do with it. Sufficiently interesting as a French movie, but did not see much connection to original.Published on January 3, 2014 by Madame O
Juliette Binoche and the whole ensemble are great.
This is a favorite film, full of heart and beauty.
And no explosions, car chases, etc. b.s.
Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien ventures away from his homeland for this homage to the classic French short film "Red Balloon. Read morePublished on July 7, 2011 by K. Harris