Before an angst-ridden teenager recorded a plastic bag dancing in front of a brick wall in American Beauty, a balloon followed a little boy around the streets of Paris. Albert Lamorisses sincere, playful short film The Red Balloon tells the tale of a young boy (played by Lamorisses son Pascal) and his ill-fated friendship with a red balloon. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1957.
Lamorisse won his first film award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953, taking home the Best Short Film award for White Mane, a story about a boy and a different found object: a white horse. You can see both shorts today, and if, after that, you want more Lamorisse, go home and play a challenging game of Risk. Lamorisse created the complicated board game of world domination in between making films and raising a family. (Were guessing nobody told him there wasnt an Oscar for multitasking.) 7 p.m. today through Sunday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For tickets and information, call 713-639-7531 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.
Jan. 4-6, 7 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 6, 2 p.m., 2008