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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

entry arrow4:24 PM | The Red Balloon

One of the best movies I've ever seen is a short film -- only 34 minutes long -- about a boy in Ménilmontant, in Paris, and his red balloon. Those who have seen Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon will have no recourse but to be immediately taken in by the simplicity and power of the film (the story here), practically a silent movie (there is no dialogue, only incidental sounds of Parisian life and the beautiful score by Maurice Leroux). You can read it as a simple -- even fantastic -- story of a strange friendship, the harshness of a cold world, and the magic that can happen to save us from it.

This is the beginning of the award-winning film...

The succeeding clips can be seen here, here, and here.

I'm thinking of this film again because I've been tasked to teach Film Appreciation for Silliman University's College of Mass Communication this semester, after a period of about five years. This is the first film I want my students to see, to make them feel the power of great cinema and erase any speck of Hollywood trash from their heads. I'm taking over the class from Jonah Lim who's intending to leave academe behind to pursue filmmaking full-time. Teaching film aesthetics was my first foray into the academe, and in a sense I've come full circle, I guess. I'm excited over this, because I do miss my old fondness for cinema (the college years are still the best years for any cinephile -- I was president of the university's film society!) -- and I want this class to be my reintroduction to an old love.

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