IMDb > Flight of the Red Balloon (2007)
Le voyage du ballon rouge
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Flight of the Red Balloon (2007) More at IMDbPro »Le voyage du ballon rouge (original title)

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Flight of the Red Balloon -- A boy is followed by a mysterious balloon around Paris, a city that has never looked so beautiful as when shot by the world's most lauded director, Hou Hsiao Hsien.

Overview

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Director:
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Release Date:
30 January 2008 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A little boy and his baby-sitter inhabit the same imaginary world: through their adventures they are followed by a strange red balloon. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
5 wins & 7 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(7 articles)
User Reviews:
Carrying on in the traditional Hou Hsiao-hsien style, but in French See more (36 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
Hsiao-Hsien Hou 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hsiao-Hsien Hou 
François Margolin 

Produced by
Rémi Burah .... co-producer
Kristina Larsen .... producer
François Margolin .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Ping Bin Lee 
 
Film Editing by
Jean-Christophe Hym 
Ching-Song Liao 
 
Production Design by
Paul Fayard 
 
Production Management
Florence Cohen .... assistant production manager
 
Art Department
Charlie Cappagli .... assistant set decorator
 
Sound Department
Shih Yi Chu .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Léo Hinstin .... assistant camera
 
Other crew
Lionel Berner .... assistant location manager
Christophe Besnard .... assistant to producer
Nicolas Leclerc .... production assistant
Lina Martins .... assistant: Juliette Binoche
Nadege Pageau .... production staff
Charles-Edouard Renault .... legal counsel
Marie Sonne-Jensen .... assistant to producer
 
Thanks
Damien Maestraggi .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le voyage du ballon rouge" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
115 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The director's first film to be shot outside of Asia.See more »
Movie Connections:
References O Jerusalem (2006)See more »

FAQ

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19 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Carrying on in the traditional Hou Hsiao-hsien style, but in French, 8 September 2007

Watched at the Toronto International Film Festival, with a personal appearance by Juliette Binoche, a favourite guest of the TIFF.

Those who have watched "The red balloon" (1956) will never forget it. "Flight of the Red Balloon", Hou's Hsiao-hsien's second foreign language (i.e. non-Chinese) film, is not a remake of this all-time classic. Rather, Hou's film pays tribute to it, as well as borrows from it the obvious motif.

Those who have watched his first foreign language film Japanese "Cafe Lumiere" (2003) would recognize Hou's unassuming style: slow, languid pace visually; complete silence to dreamy piano in the audio department. This film actually already has more "action" (for want of a better word) than most of Hou's other films. Wandering nonchalantly around various slices of daily life of a simple family in Paris, the film starts with Song (Fang Song), a film student from Beijing, taking up a post as nanny of little kid Simon (Simon Iteanu) whose divorced mother Suzanne (Juliette Binoche) is a busy actress.

Revolving around the three principle characters, the film depicts various things – alternatively amusing, frustrating, touching, mundane, inspiring – at that particular time in their lives: Song and Simon getting to know each other, Suzanne's interesting current assignment of supplying all spoken dialogue in a puppetry theatre (how wonderfully Binoche does that!), hassles with an irresponsible basement tenant, Song's self-initiated project of filming a "red balloon" sequence with Simon as the subject, Simon's longing for his loving elder sister currently sojourning in Brussels, and more.

It is through sharing with them their simple daily lives rather than earth-shattering emotional turmoil that we come to know and care for these characters. In Hou's usual unassuming style, meticulous attention is given to simple details, things so simple that a crafty Hollywood screen-writer wouldn't dream of writing. Example. Suzanne brings home an armful of grocery as presents and, in high spirit, dumps them on the kitchen table, hitting the overhead lamp with the upswing of her arm. Completely as-a-matter-of-course, little Simon says, "Mind the lamp". Example. Two workmen, after a tough negotiation with the staircase, succeed in moving a piano upstairs, during which time Song and Simon wait patiently downstairs. As the workmen, after a friendly chat with Suzanne and receiving their fee, walk out of the door, Song walks in, carrying the piano stool. Suzanne exclaims, "Oh, I've forgotten all about the piano stool!"

Going back to the title, the red balloon, as mentioned, is used as a recurring motif, not too frequently, but just at the right moments to punctuate the mood of the film. This is vintage Hou and brilliant Pinoche, except to those few who walked out of the TIFF screening, obviously out of boredom (and at Cannes early this year too, from a review I've read). But then there are always a few of those.

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