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.
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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