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Callanan Chases After 'The Red Balloon' in his Recent Essay

LeAnn E. Crowe, flickr

The 17th annual Festival of Film in French is going on at UW-Milwaukee now through Sunday.

The festival features recent French language films such as Paris-Manhattan and French Immersion, and classics including 1936’s La Grand Illusion and 1918’s J’accuse.

But it’s a different French classic – not showing this year - that’s on the mind of novelist and UWM English professor Liam Callanan. Callanan wrote an essay, “In Paris, tracing the path of the ‘Red Balloon” about the real life journey of The Red Balloon’s director, Albert Lamorisse, in the online magazine Medium.    

The title comes from the French film, The Red Balloon, which came out in 1956.  It’s about a young boy who follows a mysterious and yet charismatic red balloon through a Paris neighborhood.

In his essay, he noticed that red balloons are appearing everywhere in Lamorisse’s work. Is it a coincidence or is there a hidden meaning?

Click here to read Callanan's essay.