(aka 'À la recherche du ballon rouge' or 'Ballon rouge' or 'Flight of the Red Balloon' of 'Orsay' or 'The Red Balloon')
If the luscious red orb that
sails through “Flight of the Red Balloon” like an airborne cherry looks as if it
flew in from another movie, in some ways it did. The film, the latest wonderment
from the Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien, takes as one of its inspirations
Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 classic, “The Red Balloon,” about a young boy and the
talismanic sphere that follows him through the gray streets of Paris like a dog,
a lover, a ghost — as much a reminder of the precariousness of life as an emblem
Theatrical Release: May 17th, 2007 - Canes Film Festival
DVD Review: IFC - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover
CLICK to order from:
|IFC - Region 1 - NTSC
Average Bitrate: 4.61 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
|English, English (SDH), Spanish, None
The IFC transfer tends to look a little green to me (which we have been told is intentional) and the single-layering doesn't bring out the best characteristics of the image for SD-DVD. In fact - this is typical of IFC's less than stellar treatment of art house film in region 1. I don't yet own the Network Region 2 PAL edition HERE, but, although, I understand it is also bare-bones (it at least has a trailer), I suspect the transferred image quality will be an improvement. We will compare as soon as we can. Some good news is that I don't see excessive digital manipulation and this image is as clean as you might expect a 2007 film-to-DVD to be.
There is an under-used 5.1 track and it presents the music of the film fairly well while all dialogue is clear and consistent. English subtitles are available (and SDH or Spanish). The single-layered DVD limitations don't take away from the magnificence of the film. A wonderful and gentle dissertation on life.
NOTE: We, now, understand the Network edition is also single-layered and bare-bones (except for a trailer). Buy the cheapest for your geographic location!