Official 17.05.07 . 00:00 AM
Update13.02.18 . 10:58 AM

Un Certain Regard: “Flight of the Red Balloon” by Hou Hsiao Hsien

Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge, film's team

Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge, film's team © BBQ

Un Certain Regard is presenting Flight of the Red Balloon by Hou Hsiao Hsien as its opener at this 60th edition of the Cannes Festival. This Taiwanese director has been a frequent visitor to Cannes with no less than six films in Competition, and was awarded the Jury Prize in 1993 for The Puppetmaster. This year Hou Hsiao Hsien brings to the Festival a very nostalgic look at Paris, starring Juliette Binoche.

Producer François Margolin explains how this film came to be: "Flight of the Red Balloon is the first film in a series initiated by the director of Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, Serge Lemoine, and the production, in conjunction with the museum’s 20th anniversary. The idea is to bring together contemporary artists, in this case world-class filmmakers, and the Museum’s Impressionist or Art Nouveau treasures. The terms are particularly simple: the museum must be present, either throughout the film or just a scene. This is how Hou Hsiao Hsien came to scout locations for the first time in Paris. This was the starting point for the adventure of this film, Flight of the Red Balloon."

And that is how Hou Hsiao Hsien developed a variation on the classic Albert Lamorisse Red Balloon short, winner of a Palme d’Or in 1956. Simon is a 7-year-old boy with his head in the clouds, a bit left to his own as his mother is so completely absorbed with her puppets. He becomes fond of Song Fang, a Taiwanese film student, hired to babysit him, because she has her head in the clouds as much as he does.

Photo Copyright Bertille Blard-Quintard

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