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Scott Lax Blog

THE RED BALOON and a Little Boy Who Loves Balloons

Finn watches THE RED BALLOON
A couple of nights ago Lydia and I put on the wonderful 35-minute French film from 1956, THE RED BALLOON (Le Ballon Rouge), directed by Albert Lamorisse. Though I'm a film buff and came of age with French writer/director François Truffaut as my favorite filmmaker, I had never seen THE RED BALLON.

This lapse in my film education and appreciation is like an author never having read, say, "Crazy Sunday," the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yet I hadn't. I like to think that I was waiting for the perfect people to watch it with.

And so I finally watched it, with Lydia, Finn and my step-son, Angus.

The film was magnificent, magical, startling in its technical brilliance and beauty; simple and profound. I recommend it with five stars.

Finn, as you can see from the photo I've posted on my bio/gallery page, and to the left on this page, loves balloon. I took this photo of him in May. His wonder and joy in seeing and playing with balloons remains. In the photo on this blog post, Finn is watching THE RED BALLOON with rapt attention. And for reasons known only to the maker of my camera phone, the red balloon in the picture -- the one on the TV -- comes out yellow.

See THE RED BALLOON. See what pure artistic filmmaking can look like; see what has inspired countless artists and film lovers, parents and children. And Finn, his dad, mom and brother.  Read More