Thursday, 5 April 2007

Little Red Plane (and Red Balloon)

I returned to a number of emails this afternoon and one well wrapped DVD from Joey Jones. So I have at last seen the full copy of Little Red Plane. It is a heart-warming movie, very sentimental and I mean this very much as a compliment. The story of the little boy following in his father's flight-path is not a new one but here the beautifully crafted figures and action sequences are a joy. It is also very much a child's world. Joey has very kindly agreed to be interviewed by one of our students when we return from the Easter break. In preparation I shall simply have to introduce my classes to one of my favourite films (as opposed to animations) Le Ballon Rouge. It is a long time since I have seen the film; it used to be shown regularly on British television but, unless I've missed it, not for years sadly. Albert Lamorisse's thirty minute or so movie, made in 1956, traces the journey of a little boy through the streets of Paris as he is led to his adventures by the little red balloon. I remember the quintessentially French music very well too. In the absence of a recording I guess this film will have to be a purchase. So, two rich offerings for my classes, and two touches of class. Surely Joey and Wira Winata were influenced by the French classic.
I also received a welcome email from Naoki Mitsusi who has an animation project in mind and I just hope this highly talented guy whose work I admire so much decides to act on his impulses.
Finally my copy of The Guardian this morning featured an article on Mark Anders from Adobe who extols the virtues of Flash, the player being the most widely installed piece of software around. The article moved on to developments in the software designed as much, from what I can make out, to ward off encroachments by Microsoft and build in the words of the reporter "the new publishing tool of the century" Well, duuh, don't know about that but it allows our students to produce animations like Stormcrow by Lindsey Robinson and Brendan Campbell a year or so back which also features a dog fight in the skies and I think quite a sentimental feel to it. For now I'll check out to see if I can understand the latest developments in flash.

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