After Wong Kar-Wai’s My Blueberry Nights (starring Jude Law and Norah Jones) opened the 60th festival yesterday, David Fincher’s Zodiac screened for an international delegation of journalists early this morning at the Grand Theatre Lumiere. Zodiac, which already got its release in the US, is about the namesake serial killer who terrorized San Francisco’s Bay Area in the 70s only to disappear into anonymity; as the film progresses the gruesome murders become less significant than the growing divide and ensuing skirmishes over jurisdiction between the main law enforcement players. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., and Chloe Sevigny as Gyllenhaal’s love interest star in it.
Later this morning Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Voyage of the Red Balloon, a story about a red balloon following a young boy in the streets of Paris, screened in the Debussy theatre. The original Red Ballon was shot by Albert Lamorisse in 1956 and won the prestigious Palme D’or that year. Hou Hsiao Hsien’s version is just under two hours in length and stars Juliette Binoche in the role of a awfully busy single mother by the name of Juliette. Juliette (what a strange name for her) lumbers from one crisis to the next, teaching classes, running a puppetry studio and evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent. Juliette is prone to outbursts, but then really, who wouldn’t blow over? Juliette hired a baby-sitter by the name of Song, an enigmatic film student from Beijing whose ambition is to shoot a film about a young being followed by a red balloon.
It is difficult to say between she and the boy who is more captivated by the red balloon; while only the boy seems to see it, Song is inspired to do a movie about it. As these films go (ie, arthouse movies with little commercial value), however, the questions it raises are more interesting than the answers.