News from the Locarno Festival

The Black Balloon by Josh and Benny Safdie

The Black Balloon by Josh and Benny Safdie



With their two features, discovered at the Directors’ Fortnight, making them godparents to the new indie film scene in New York, the Safdie brothers continue to explore their home city with this tribute to Albert Lamorisse’s film Red Balloon (Le ballon rouge), the timeless classic that continues to delight audiences. One could well predict the same fate for its American counterpart.

Shot on 35mm with brilliant special effects that feel more like sheer magic than pyrotechnics, The Black Balloon has a rare ability to inspire a sense of wonder, a true poem in pictures that synthesises all the qualities of the Safdie brothers’ films.

The two brothers have a resolutely humanist, passionate, artisanal and generous cinematic approach, brimming with affection for their characters, extending to this black balloon, the black sheep that strays from its hundred-strong flock of fellow balloons, floating across the city, risking losing its way as it observes the urban theatre of our complicated but everyday lives.

Olivier Père

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