Arts & Entertainment


Flight of the Red Balloon is an interesting blend of Chinese and French cultural influences ‘ puppet theatre, fine art and film ‘ and was produced in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Musee d’Orsay. A mysterious red balloon follows seven-year-old Simon around Paris. His mother Suzanne (Juliette Binoche) is a puppeteer who uses her voice to bring her shows to life. Overwhelmed by her responsibilities, she hires Taiwanese film student Song Fang as an au pair. Director Hou Hsiao Hsien scripted the scenes in detail, but all the dialogue was invented by the actors. The film lacks the conventional narrative arc of Hollywood movies, so it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it was awarded Un certain regard at Cannes in 2007. (Lachlan Jobbins)