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The Red Balloon/White Mane [DVD]
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Double-bill of short films from French director Albert Lamorisse. In the Oscar-winning 'The Red Balloon' (1955), a young boy finds a red balloon, which becomes his companion, following him through the streets of Paris. Some bullies puncture the balloon but this does not prevent a jubilant ending. Pascal Lamorisse, the director's son, played the lead role. 'White Mane' (1953), set in the Camargue region of France, follows young Folco (Alain Emery)'s attempts to befriend a wild horse that local ranchers have given up trying to capture. But on discovering the boy has managed to tame the horse, the ranchers suddenly have a change of heart.
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Top Customer Reviews
I originally went to see "The Red Balloon", as the supporting film to the 1956 Royal Performance Film "The Battle of The River Plate" at the now long gone Broadway cinema in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, on Saturday, April 27th, 1957, one day after my tenth birthday and thought it was totally wonderful. It still looks just as wonderful today, nearly fifty-two years later and you can't say that about many films seen in that era.
You will notice that The Red Balloon has been reclassified from its original "U" rating to that of a "PG." But the British Board of Film Classification, in their wisdom, have, I believe done the right thing here. The film is actually in two parts. Part one is charming and enchanting and funny and lovely. But twenty minutes in, the film suddenly becomes much more serious and has a darker, more ominous tone about it, as the bullies of the neighbourhood appear, intent on not only destroying the happiness that six years old Pascal and his dearest friend, the balloon, have found together, but beating up Pascal and destroying his friend. A large gang of them chase Pascal, as he holds on tightly to his balloon, through the narrow, twisting and turning cobblestoned alleyways and streets of his neighbourhood. Pascal knows that if he and his balloon are caught by these vicious scumbags, it will be the end for both of them and he quite literally is running for their lives.Read more ›
The White Mane obviously appealed to me, being a typical horsey mad girl, but the relationship between the boy and the horse is magical. Buy both, I am now its on Amazon!
Watching Red Balloon - one half of a Lamorisse DVD, the other being 'White Mane' - directly after 'Up', the similarities echoed ever more. About how when cornered and facing certain 'death' whether that be balloon or small French boy, a last bid for freedom is at least a dream, or even a prayer. 'God', you might say, 'get me out of here' and....well, you can fill that picture in yourselves.
Anyway, back to the almost dialogue-free story. Being somewhat sceptical about having small children being a bit twee and 'Ahh' being sighed audibly as said big, red floaty object follows the boy around like a lovesick puppy. Scorn indeed, but a living, breathing Paris, in the early morning sunshine, along with occasional views of familiar landmarks keeps one keen to see where Mr floaty balloon will float to next. If, like me, you're also probably trying to catch out who and what is controlling this meandering object. "Are there strings attached to watching this DVD?"
The film does have charm and is short enough not to have felt that too much of one's valuable life has been used to see it. This was my fourth viewing and I saw bits I hadn't before and the ending is really one of those that will rekindle faith and humanity into the coldest of hearts. Including slightly scornful and sceptical ones like me!
White Mane is the adjoining feature to 'The Red Balloon' both written by Lamorisse.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Albert Lamorisse's two films, White Mane (1953) and The Red Balloon (1956) both won the Palme d'or for Best Short Film at Cannes, and their appeal has proved enduring. Read morePublished 10 days ago by schumann_bg
Takes me back 55years and two great film to watch. Let your children see them.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
Fabulous very moving I don't speak French I know they were subtitles but you can follow the story without any language. This DVD is a must watch.Published 1 month ago by b.tonner
You can't beat the classics. Watched it with my six year old grandson and my husband. Brought back many memories of watching this when I was a child. PoignantPublished 6 months ago by seeker after truth
All arrived in good order and all were received with much appreciation.Published 6 months ago by Bronwyn K. Purton