Flight of the Red Balloon

Hou Hsiao Hsien à ParisTaiwanese director, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s newest work is based on a 1956 film by Lamorisse, but a much more delicate piece than the original.  flight of the red balloonSet in Paris, it is a remarkably gorgeous documentary-style rendering of everyday life that is delightfully laced with fantasy.  We follow the everyday life of a small boy: his frenetic mother, his new nanny, and friends and foes along the way.  Nothing in particular stands out.  There is no real crisis beyond getting through the day.  The result is Zen-like: a gentle unfolding of dialogue and setting that takes one out of oneself.  flight of the red balloon

It is a movie about nothing really, more than the day-to-day struggles of children and adults as they try to define life and their place in its daily flow.  It is “Seinfeld” of a serious nature, where one can get lost in the frequent mindessness of living.  Yet it clearly defines the evolution of relationships: between mother and child, care-giver and child, between neighbors and lovers, as seen in the periphery their of meaning.

flight of the red balloon

What I love about Hou’s style?  He never looks at anything directly in the eye.  In doing so, the viewer must do that for himself in reflection.  And it is a fine way to see things.  As color, light and symbols captured in the film bouce back, with each glance, you see more.union st mirror



~ by rfgainey on April 9, 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The Fine Art of Visiting

Sharing points of view politely, just like Grandma taught me. Now that we're visiting, join in the conversation!

Wordcrafters In Eugene

The Focus is on Fiction: It's All About Craft

A Literary Lion's Tale

Musings from the The Literary Lion, Peter Miller

The View From Here

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs: A writer at the water's edge

Greasergrrl's Surprise Machine

Dogs, music, tech and other random ramblings

%d bloggers like this: