Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lamorisse's Classics

ImageThe Red Balloon (Janus Films)
Albert Lamorisse’s classic family film about a boy and his beloved balloon in a picture-postcard Paris retains its power to beguile audiences of all ages. Best Screenplay winner at the 1956 Oscars -- the only short film to ever win that award -- The Red Balloon is a near-silent celebration of the strength of imagination, and one of the most ravishing movies ever shot in the French capital. The final images of dozens of floating balloons in a riot of colors remains among the most transcendent in all cinema. No extras, but Criterion is planning a special edition later this year.


White Mane (Janus Films)
A few years before his classic The Red Balloon (see above), Albert Lamorisse made this enchanting film about a wild white horse and the young boy who befriends him. Photographed in black and white tones nearly as exquisite as the deeply saturated colors of the later movie, White Mane wistfully returns us to another time and place. Viewers can watch the film with the original French narration or with an English track spoken by Peter Strauss. No extras, but as is the case with The Red Balloon, Criterion is planning a special edition later this year.

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