Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Red Balloon Studies 1-5






"Le Ballon rouge" or The Red Balloon, (1956 French short film written and directed by Albert Lamorisse) is perhaps the greatest short film ever made. I was just a boy in the 70s-80s when I fist saw it in school on 16 mm. Since then I've never forgotten it's message to take care of your friends. To have compassion for animals. To improvise and to think on your feet. To dream and stand up for what you believe in. These are my attempts to understand how each frame charged with symbolism, light, composition and color combine to tell a meaningful story. Cinematographer EDMOND SECHAN must have been influenced by European master painters of the renaissance. I tried to extract and simplify these shots while I had the film on pause. I hope these studies will inspire you to rent this film.

16 comments:

VIncent Scala said...

very mary blair which is amazing !

michael robertson said...

Absolutely breathtaking, robert. They used to show us this film in grade school and I'll never forget it. Seeing these makes me want to see it again and with these studies in mind, it will be that much more enjoyable . Have a great holiday, Robert!

justdoodleit said...

What a wonderful coincidence! I watched this again last Sunday and was thinking how it'd look as an animation film...wondering if it'll become Pixarish or will retain that simple poetic quality?

Your studies are lovely. Happy holidays Robert!

JC said...

These Balloon studies are gorgeous . have a wonderful Christmas ol'pal.

R.Dress said...

Vincent:
Thanks thats a stretch.

Michael:
Thanks, you too. After watching the movie, go back and pause some of the frames. There are so many layers of meaning with in. I think this film is one of the more painterly live action films I've seen in a while.

JustDoodleit:
Thanks, you too. I don't understand what you mean about the film translated into animation. I think Gerald Mc Boing Boing comes close to the simplicity and sincerity of this film. The red balloon is really a symbol of what ever we want it it to be. Weather the object of our desire, or a character the balloon is really just a metaphor in the end.

JC:
Thanks buddy same to you! I think some of these studies actually look like illustrations. How ever my intent was simply to decipher some frames to unravel it's charm and meaning.

justdoodleit said...

Hey Robert, Thanks for the reply. My thought was just about the 'form' and how the 'metaphor' is treated. Part of the charm of the original live action film comes from how the balloon behaves or is portrayed...In animation, of course, such things are pretty much expected out of the medium itself.

Like for instance, if Gerald Mc Boing Boing were to be a live action short, the essence of the story might be the same, but the aesthetics of presentation would considerably influence the degree of emotional impact on the viewer.

Anyway, love your new seasonal header and wishing you and your family a happy and prosperous year ahead!

Tomás Serrano said...

I´ve just watched it at youtube. Fascinating! And your drawings are catching the frames perfectly.

R.Dress said...

I see your point.

Robert Bandel said...

I love these. Beautiful studies Rob

R.Dress said...

Hey Robert thanks man! I spent some time on your blog the other day and I was just blown away.
Cheers!!! Go SVA!!!!

Jen said...

A couple of years ago, Hou HsiaoHsien’s film, LE VOYAGE DU BALLON ROUGE introduced me to LE BALLON ROUGE. Since then, small Red Balloons are another symbol of friendship or faith to me. LE BALLON ROUGE is magnificent.

I wonder if you have read THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, which also contains a great allegory about Friendship and Love. There, A FOX explains how to be friends and what makes friendship and love valuable to us and A FOX also gives us an advice, “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

And I really love your paintings. They are gorgeous.

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MikeS said...

I recently saw this film for the first time on a recommendation from someone. Wonderful studies, Robert!