- The Red Balloon - I found The Red Balloon to be a visually stunning and sweetly whimsical. The bright red balloon set against a more neutral colored blue tinged Parisian cityscape was quite striking, along with the shots of brightly colored balloons floating in the sky above the muted brown and white buildings. Visually, the movie is definitely a work of art. A lot of the shots are so well framed and artistically conceived that I wouldn't mind having them captured as still photography and mounted in an art exhibit. I liked how the director used a lot of wide and long shots, showing off the location to its fullest, because this movie is just as much about the location as the little boy and his balloon. This movie would not be nearly as charming if it were set in some other location, say a modern day city. The location seems almost like a character of its own, and this movie tells a visual story of the the city as the little boy runs through it. This is especially poignant considering that the area that this movie was shot in is no more - ninety-five percent of the locations used in the film were razed to the ground in the late 1960's. As much as I liked the visual aspects of this film however, I found the movie somewhat boring due to the pace. As much as it pains me to admit this, I too am a victim of the "fast cutting" syndrome of the 21st century. I wonder how the crew was able to control the path of the balloons so precisely. I also think that the person that is hanging onto the bunch of balloons is not the little boy As this movie was made in the 1950's, there weren't many special effects, and thus I will have to assume that the shot of the 'boy' flying with the balloons actually took place. Considering all the fuss with the 'balloon boy' in the news lately, I wonder how they managed this safely.
- The Lunch Date - While I did not adore The Red Balloon as a movie, I still though it was a very valuable piece of cinema history. As for this movie, not so much. I was shocked to find out that The Lunch Date won Best Live Action Short at the 1991 Academy Awards. It wasn't that good. Although we discussed in class how meaningful the ending of the film actually could be by showing how the woman ignored this potential life changing event, I still don't feel like I gained any meaningful message from the film. It was such an anticlimactic ending. I found the plot dry and unoriginal, and the characters didn't strike me as anything amazing. At best, a mediocre film according to my subjective tastes. I also question the director's choice of black and white and lower quality footage. The footage appeared to have been filmed decades earlier, but the film was made in the late 1980's and the director could have made a higher quality color film. The movie itself is set in an earlier decade, but I don't see any reason to regress to earlier filming quality as well. I don't feel like it contributed anything to the film except to make the sound quality worse. The only reason I can think of for this choice was to make a film against racism that appeared to come from an earlier decade to give it a more historical feel. It didn't hurt the film, but it didn't make it any more appealing to me either.