Furore #6 reissued at last!


After forty years, this rare and highly rated issue has been re-issued at last.

Although we aimed for an exact replica of the original texts, images and page layout, this is not a facsimile edition. The print quality of the original 1977 did not allow it. The images, originally printed in black-and-white with a coarse screen, had to be newly scanned. Back to the source: finding the original photos or negatives, drawings and books proved a lenghty process. The original black-and-white look of the magazine has been largely preserved — with some exceptions which are discussed here.

In 1977 digital files did not exist. The original page layouts (pictured here) were preseved and some of them could be used as a source for scanning.

Page 1 is a composition in red and black; it remains so, even though we now have a color image of The Shadow Meets The Prince of Evil (July, 1939).




Page 2 is unchanged; page 3 was newly typeset but is otherwise unchanged. Please note that the information on this page is no longer valid — subscriptions are no longer possible, Har van Fulpen is no longer the publisher, Wim Schroot wasn’t the printer and Loe van Nimwegen did not do the reproductions.


The letters page opens with a letter by Peter Oosterbos in Roosendaal. At the time, Oosterbos was a tireless letter-witer specializing in American literature, typewriters, rubber stamps and other paraphernalia. A few years later we allowed him to organize the magazine’s review section, which did not end well. Oosterbos discovered how easy it is to ask for free copies of books, cds, dvds etc. in all countries of the world, presumably for review purposes. The situation got out of hand pretty quickly. Forty years later, we still receive queries from publishers, art galleries and record companies asking whether this mr Oosterbos can be trusted. The answer is no. Furore #16 (1983) en #22 (2017) contain articles about Oosterbos’s fraudulent actions. More on the subject can be found here.

Uit Furore #22 (Janu, 2017)
From Furore #22 (Janu, 2017)
Illustratie in Furore 6 (1977)
Illustration in Furore 6 (1977)
Illustratie in Furore 6 (2017)
Illustration in Furore 6 (2017)

This illustration (in a letter by designer Paul Mijksenaar) proved quite hard to find. It turned out to be a detail of a London Underground Poster reprouced in the previous issue of Furore, but where did that come from? Not from the book London Transport Posters, mentioned in that issue. The solution arrived in the form of an enormous scan sent by Ruiz Alexander at the London Transport Museum. The image is a diagram of Camden Town Underground Station (‘London’s Newest Underground Wonder / Open April 20’), drawn by Chas. W. Baker in 1924. The drawing is so pretty that we decided to reproduce it in colour.







Trouwfoto, 1956

The photo accompanying ‘Een model Cadillac’ was newly scanned thanks to the Van Doornen family archives. Herwolt van Doornen adds the information that his parents posed in front of the Cadillac in J.M. Coenenstraat (at Roelof Hartplein), Amsterdam, in 1956. Note: on p. 33 parts of the same photo return in a new context.

The Hergé interview (p. 6–8) took place in the course of preparing for the exhibition ‘Kuifje in Rotterdam’ at Lijnbaanscentrum, Rotterdam, as organized  by Joost Swarte, Har Brok and Ernst Pommerel. Mr Hergé, then 70 years of age, revealed that he was unhappy with the album edition of The Broken Ear (1943); he considered some pages as “too empty”. “No, that cannot remain so”, he said. The young interviewers found the old images and the less-than-perfect translations utterly charming. This experience strengthened our resolve not to correct our “charming” mistakes from 1977 in the new edition.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to show Joost Swarte’s original drawing for ‘Kuifje in Rotterdam’ in its original color.


Page 9 is the only one in which the lay-out is different from the original.
The images from the Beatles’ “Penny Lane” promo clip (p. 13) were taken from a Dutch music monthly; the photo of Lennon in the recording studio came from Salut les Copains magazine. This time around, they are reproduced in their original colours.


John de Rooij’s photo of John and Yoko was newly scanned. The original is in Har van Fulpen’s personal collection.

Yoko Ono en John Lennon in Tittenhurst, 1969 (Foto © John de Rooij)
Yoko Ono en John Lennon in Tittenhurst, 1969 (Foto © John de Rooij)


André Fraquin’s drawing was originally reproduced from the first issue of the free comics zine Guust, published in December 1976 by Strip en Kartoen Centrum Driesen. In 2003 a colored version appeared in a “hors série” publication devoted to Franquin.



Pages 18/19 contain an original drawing by Aart Clerkx.


In the department ‘Le Furore’ (p. 20-21) other magazines and media are being reviewed. These pages were scanned from the original magazine pages and may contain mistakes.

The text of the article ‘De wereld van de Pulps’ by Ed Schilders (p. 22–28) was newly typeset and correceted by the author. The images, mostly derived from Tony Goodstone’s book The Pulps, are now reproduced in colour.


The slogan “Tex Pax Bax: Mex?!” appeared in minuscule type in a corner of Piet Schreuders’s cover design for Vrij Nederland Boekenbijlage of March 24, 1977 (reproduced in Furore on p. 30). It is a variation of the famous Variety headline “Sticks Nix Hick Pix” (July 17, 1935). “Tex Pax Bax: Mex?!” translates as: “Ursula den Tex (then design editor at Vrij Nederland magazine) packs her bags to go to Mexico.” Some time later, “Tex Pax Bax Mex” also became the title of a song by the rock group Rahitiband (see also Furore #9, p. 35).

Karel van het Reve, 30 oktober 1976

The photos of men in front of their bookshelves were taken in October 1976 for a ‘Book Shelve Quiz’ in Furore #5 (January 1977), p. 22.



In de department “Een Deur Moet Open Of Dicht Zijn” (“A Door Must Be Either Open Or Closed”, p. 32-33) Furore usually writes about visual gags, puzzles, and secret (digital) codes. This issue was the first, but certainly not the last, in which the “secret” abbreviations seen above the windows in the London Underground were described. The “mystery” was finally solved in 2013, thanks to the internet: Furore #21 published an exhaustive list of the meaning of all such abbreviations, including:

Con:COS = Control Cut-Out Switch
E:Cou = Emergency Coupling Adaptor
BRV = Brake Release Valve
EPBIC = Electro-Pneumatic Brake Isolating Cock


Jay Lynch (1945–2017)
Jay Lynch (1945–2017)

The original photographs of Jay Lynch, James Finlayson, and “Everhard van Woudschoten” (= Egon Woudstra) on p. 32 en 33 were not found. They were “descreened” by Evert Geradts in France using a program called “Inverse FFT” (Fast Fourier Transform).


Type designer Gerard Unger provied the original drawing of the “a” from his Praxis.

The covers in the “Drukwerk” advertentisement (p. 35) were reprodced in colour. Because issue #7 of Inkt magazine was not ready by the time Furore #6 went to press, we showed a cover dummy instead.



Order FURORE #6 (reissue 2017) here.

Our library

The release of the film Le Ballon rouge in 1956 was accompanied by a picture book by Albert Lamorisse presenting the film’s story in words and pictures. The book was produced in the early spring of 1956 and soon became a bestseller the world over. Here is an overview of consecutive editions.


First edition (France)


Le Ballon rouge par A. Lamorisse
Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1956
“Les photographies de ce livre ont été pris au cours du tournage du film LE BALLON ROUGE”
Photos by A. Lamorisse and P. Goupil

Front cover photo: Pascal in the rue Vilin (balloon reflections airbrushed out).
Back cover photo: Balloons fly over the passage Piat and passage Julien-Lacroix (colour image)

Printed in rotogravure by Draeger, April, 1956

First edition — English

London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1957
Translated by Malcolm Barnes

Front cover photo: same as the French edition but brighter, sharper, and with reflections in the balloon

On the title page the name of the script girl (Reinie Bource) is given as “R. Bowice”

Text re-set in a sans serif typeface.

Printed in Germany by Carl Schünemann Bremen
(credit line on final page)

First American edition

American edition
Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1957 (?)
Printed in Germany by Carl Schünemann Bremen, Graphische Betriebe (rotogravure)
[Reprint 1970]

Front cover photo: same as the French edition but brighter, sharper, and with reflections in the balloon

In 1959 a Czech edition followed. This one was markedly different:

Czech edition

Czech edition: Cerveny balónek
Prague: Státny nakladatelství detské knihy, 1959
Translated by Adolf Kroupa and with an afterword by Adolf Hofmeister. Graphic design by Josef Prchal. Managing editor: dr. Arnostka Kubelková. Art editor: Vlastimil Lazansky. Text font: Gill Sans.
Press run 30,000 copies. Thematic group 14/2, 1.
Paperback Kcs 10.50, hardback Kcs 17.50.

Czech endpapers (1959)

Features endpapers printed in orange-red.

No printer listed.

Front cover photo: Pascal resting on the top of the stairs in the cité d’Isly, overlooking Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix. Black-and-white photo from page 29, hand-tinted and heavily airbrushed (especially the balloon).

Back cover photo: detail of the black-and-white photo from page 48, hand-tinted.Hofmeister’s afterword

A special feature of the Czech edition is the afterword by Adolf Hofmeister, which goes something like this:

“Dear children and parents, you’ve seen the film The Red Balloon? About the friendship between a red balloon and a small boy, taking place in Paris, in places that are similar to some parts of old Prague. The film won the love of children around the world. Do you think that it is not possible? That balloon cannot be alive? No, that goes only adults. For children in the world everything is possible, to fly in a balloon high over Paris…”  (Abstract by Petr Gajdosík)

Adolf Hoffmeister was a Czech writer, translator, playwright, journalist, lawyer and politician. In 1939 he emigrated to Paris, spent six months in prison, fled to Morocco, was in a concentration camp, 1941 fled to the USA and became editor of Voice of America. Returned to Czechoslovakia in 1945. Was Czech ambassador in Paris, 1948-1951. From 1951 rector of the University of Prague and President of Czech PEN club. After 1968 he was banned from all public activity. He died in 1973.

illustration by Adolf Hoffmeister in the 1964 Czech edition of “The First Men in the Moon” by H. G. Wells

(see more of Hofmeister’s work here)

Textbook (1959)

English textbook edition
London: Methuen & Co Ltd, 1959
First published April 30, 1959; reprinted 1960 and 1962.
Original French text by A. Lamorisse; all other text by Methuen & Co.; illustrated by Shirley Hughes; printed and bound by Butler & Tanner Ltd, Frome and London.

Publisher’s Note: “This edition is published by arrangement with Librairie Gallimard [should be Hachette?] and the author, to whom our thanks are due. All rights are reserved.”

Contains the original French text (30 pages), a biography of the author, a list of “special speech units”, irregular past historic forms used in the book, parts of the verb “devoir” used, with their meanings; vocabulary (6 pages).

Shirley Hughes’ illustrations were based on the photographs in the original book.

French reprint edition

French reprint edition
Paris, l’Ecole des loisirs, 1976
[reprinted 1985, 2007]
Mediocre offset printing by Mame Imprimeurs, Tours, France, resulting in flat images.

Design: same as original but text re-set in Times Roman.

Front cover photo: detail of the colour photo from page 25 (Pascal and Sabine Lamorisse with blue and red balloons)

American paperback edition
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday  & Company, Inc. (A Zephyr Book). ISBN 0-385-14297-8. Cover design by Peter Schaefer.

Cheap offset printing on cheap paper resulting in atrocious photo reproductions.
Front cover photo: probably based on the 1976 edition.

The original film still © Films Montsouris The paperback reproduction

Certain liberties were taken with the page layout as well:

Final scene (original) Final scene (paperback)

And, finally:


American reprint

American reprint edition
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday  & Company, Inc.
ISBN: 0-385-00343-9
[20th printing]
Library of Congress Catalog Card number 57-0220

Front cover photo: alternate version of the original (Pascal looking straight into the lens)

Back cover photo: same as original. Back cover lists ISBN.


Posted in fr

Fiona Tan’s balloon flight

In the morning of January 14, 2000, Dutch artist Fiona Tan (b. Pekan Baru, Indonesia, 1966) gathered fifty large red helium-filled balloons, affixed their strings to a harness and was briefly lifted into the chilly winter air above Amsterdam’s Sarphati Park. The activities were photographed and filmed by her assistants as well as by some press photographers. She drew the attention of passers-by walking their dogs and/or their children. Tan: “This was a dream I have had for a long time, ever since childhood, in fact.”

Fiona Tan, “Lift” (2000), silkscreen

In Het Parool newspaper, Tan was quoted as saying, “The balloons make me go upwards. They are lifting me up.” Her flight was recorded for posterity by a professional film camera and a simple video camera.

The flight was successful; earlier Tan had worried whether the fifty helium balloons would be enough to carry her 50-kilo body, but they did. At times she was as high as 5 metres above the ground.

After a few short flights, Fiona returned to earth, loosened the balloons and handed them to the surprised onlookers.

Fiona Tan, “Lift” (2000), video image

The event, seemingly inspired by the final scene of The Red Balloon, was a work of art. More specifically, it was the basis of a “film & video installation colour, silent digital betacam safety master, dvd, 16 mm filmprint, monitor 14 inch, dvd player, table, film projector 16 mm, no-rewind, electronic sensor, white projection screen”. As such, it became part of Tan’s solo exhibition at Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam, in September-October 2000. An image of Tan in flight was also made into a silkscreen print (108 x 64 cm); selected black & white images were on display as well.

Fiona Tan, “Lift” (2000), still
Fiona Tan above Sarphatipark, Amsterdam, February 2000

Art critic Douglas Heingartner wrote in Frieze:
“Lift (2000) . . . was well documented, yet only a few stills of Tan suspended in mid-air were included in this show, alongside several freeze-framed images of children with balloons. By encouraging the viewer to imagine their own version of her flight, Tan addresses the fragmentary nature of memory. Think, for a second, of a long-lost friend: the image in your head probably isn’t a film loop or video, but rather a still frame, blurry around the edges, perhaps a bit shaky, like a videotape on pause. The stills from Lift are, like our own memories, tentative, tenuous, possibly manipulated. Tan doesn’t withhold the registration of the event; she simply presents one version that requires more input.”

Fiona Tan told an interviewer that she “wanted to make an uplifting, hopeful work. Suddenly I had the image of flying with balloons. Around 1900 everyone seemed obsessed with photographing and filming the first experiments in flying. There exists an odd film of a tailor who jumps off the Eiffel Tower with home-made wings attached to his arms.”

Jacquine van Elsberg, writing in Skrien magazine, was the only reviewer mentioning the project’s references to The Red Balloon.

S. Monshouwer in Kunstbeeld (2000), p 16-17
Jacquine van Elsberg in Skrien (November 2000), p. 66
Kees Keijer in Het Parool (18 January 2003), PS van de week, p 26-29
Douglas Heingartner in Frieze

Malambars and Carambars

Ketty Belhassen, a former resident of 16 rue Vilin, recalls going up the stairs at the end of the street and frequenting the Boulangerie-Pâtisserie — the same one as visited by Pascal in Le Ballon rouge (Furore 21, p 63). “The boulangerie was open on Sundays. Every Sunday my father would give us 50 centimes each and then we would run to the boulangerie and buy our malambars and carambars, which cost 5 centimes then.”

In 1954, Mr Fauchille, director of the Delespaul-Havez company, and his employee Mr. Galois had a surplus of cocoaand decided to create a new, original recipeto use it up. The legend says that one of the machines in the factory was malfunctioning, making the long bars that still exists today. This sweet, in the form of a bar, was christened Caram’bar (with apostrophe). Inside of the wrappers, there were “Caram’bar points” which could be redeemed for various related products until 1961 when points where replaced by jokes. In 1972, the name changed to “Super Caram’bar”. In 1977 the name lost its apostrophe.

The sweets are now manufactured by Cadbury France. Official website: http://www.carambar.fr/

Raspberry, caramel and strawberry flavour

The Lamorisses visit London

In the summer of 1957 the Lamorisse family visited London, England. During a ceremony at the French Institute in South Kensington, Albert Lamorisse was presented with the British Film Academy Special Award for The Red Balloon. Afterwards, outside, his seven-year-old son Pascal held the strings of 50 red balloons; at his father’s word he let them sail into the air. Anyone who retrieved a balloon could exchange it for a copy of the book which is adapted from the film’s screenplay.

Lamorisse père then helped the assembled photographers who were taking stills of Pascal. Papa clicked his fingers above his head. Pascal looked up and the cameras recorded the expression that had endeared the boy with the red balloon to millions of picture-goers all over the world.

Pascal Lamorisse (7) signs autographs for female admirers. His mother (behind him) looks on.

(From an article in Films and Filming)

The Red Balloon in London

David Rayner writes —

“Here in the UK, The Red Balloon was given the honour of being chosen, along with The Battle of the River Plate, to be shown at The Royal Film Performance premiere in December, 1956, at the Empire, Leicester Square, London, and both films were sent out on general release together and were very successful at the box office. See attached scan of a magazine poster from the time. I went to see both films at my local cinema as a ten year old in April, 1957.”

Collection David Rayner

Pascal’s mother

Albert Lamorisse’s film productions were always more or less family affairs. His wife, Jeanne Claude Duparc, was also his script girl and assistant director. The films were conceived at the kitchen table, with each family member contributing. His children – Pascal, Fanny, Sabine – each played major or minor parts.

Pascal, Albert and Jeanne Claude in Cannes, 1956
In Parc Montsouris, 1956

As we describe in detail in Furore (p 84-85), Pascal’s bus ride — followed by the balloon — can be broken down into the following segments:

Le Ballon rouge 11’33” © Films Montsouris

11’33”    The 96 bus (car 2848) departs westward along rue de Ménilmontant (at stop Pyrénées-Ménilmontant). Jeanne is among a group of passengers waiting to get on; she has a red skirt and navy windbreaker, a leather bag slung across her shouder. As she gets aboard the bus she is telling the conductor something, after which her face is hidden by the balloon. Pascal “admonishes” the balloon and lets it go; it disappears from view.

Le Ballon rouge 11’59” © Films Montsouris

11’59”    A different 96 bus (car 5710) descends the rue de Ménilmontant at rue Boyer; Jeanne is standing directly behind Pascal; both watch the balloon intensely, as do the conductor and the other passengers.

Le Ballon rouge 12’09” © Films Montsouris

12’09”    Bus 96 (car 2793) is approaching boulevard Richard-Lenoir from rue Oberkampf while being filmed from a moving vehicle (another bus?); Jeanne is standing behind Pascal; this is followed by a close-up of Pascal in the bus, possibly filmed by Jeanne herself.
12’30”    Point of view from a moving 96 bus at the low end of rue de Ménilmontant, driving east (passengers not visible).

Le Ballon rouge 12’37” © Films Montsouris

12’37”    Yet another 96 bus (car 2884) drives off at 6 rue Oberkampf; we see only the front of the bus, no passengers.

Le Ballon rouge 12’41” © Films Montsouris

12’41”    Seen from a distance, a 96 bus goes west at the crossing Belleville / Ménilmontant.

Le Ballon rouge 12’53” © Films Montsouris

12’53    Another 96 bus (car 2116) stops in the rue de Rennes and Pascal alights. His mother is not in view.

Le Ballon rouge (book), page 20 (detail)

In a deleted scene, car 2843 is in the rue Saint-Antoine. Pascal looks at the balloon above; his mother is mostly hidden from view behind another passenger.

Visually similar

Willy Ronis / Albert Lamorisse

Vitrier! Vitrier! Vitrier!

Left: rue du Cascades, right: rue Piat


Albert Lamorisse / Robert Doisneau

Left: Albert Lamorisse, The Red Balloon, 1955

Right: Robert Doisneau, “Passerelle à vapeur”, 1957

Note: Lamorisse, Doisneau and Ronis probably all knew each other and each other’s work. Lamorisse started out as photography assistant to François Tuefferd, who belonged to a group of photographers also including Willy Ronis and Robert Doisneau.

How did the balloon move?

Jos Rampart writes:
I enjoyed your recent issue of Furore about Le ballon rouge. It is a magnificent edition full of information about father and son Lamorisse, the Belleville locations and the camera work. The only thing missing is the solution to the mystery how the balloon was made to move. An internet search did not help me. Can you answer the question how the natural movements of the balloon (and balloons) were realized?

Piet Schreuders replies:
The Red Balloon was supposedly a magic balloon, but such balloons do not exist in real life. Therefore the filmmakers must have used a thin wire to make it move. Exactly how they did this I don’t know, so I didn’t write about it.
But imdb.com has various commentaries on the subject. Someone wrote, “For a brief instant, a wire can be seen attached to the balloon as the boy waits to cross a street. Wire stands out against blue coat of man standing behind him looking on as the boy waits for intersection to clear.”

Le Ballon rouge 18'21" © Films Montsouris

(Actually, I don’t see any wire here.)

And here is some more about wires and special effects.

© Collection Lamorisse

This picture shows the film crew at work in the rue du Transvaal. A man holds a long fishing rod. The balloon wire is probably attached to this, but it is not visible here.


Le Ballon rouge 08’39” © 1956 Films Montsouris

The morning scene in The Red Balloon is illustrated by a baker opening up his shop, a glass salesman advertising his wares and a postman delivering letters. These scenes were all filmed in the rue Piat, Belleville. The postman walks along a walkway (passerelle) at the back of 21 rue Piat, as described in detail in Furore #21, page 51. The walkway was often used by photographers as it offered a good view of Belleville’s picturesque backyards and rooftops, particularly the rue Vilin. The atmosphere is upbeat, pastoral, village-like.

La crise du logement 03’00” © 1956 OKA Films

Jean Dewever’s propaganda film La crise du logement , made that same year, contains a shot taken at almost the same angle. The context here is utterly pessimistic, however: a voice-over informs us that hundreds of thousands of homes in Paris pose a deathly risk to their occupants by their very structure. We’re informed that the “rational reconstruction” of the old Paris necessitates the razing of these health hazards.

View from Rue Piat © 2010 Piet Schreuders

We all know where that led to: an “espace vert”, a nice, airy, green, sterile open space.


Balloonology 2: The St Raphaël mural


In Balloonology 1 we discussed Pascal’s walk in the rain with an old man, passing a restaurant. Pascal first meets this old man in another street, distinguished among other things by a mural advertising “St. Raphaël Quinquina”. Where was it?

The Red Balloon 05:12 © Films Montsouris

While looking for the “Chez Hubert” restaurant among old photos of the rue de la Tombe Issoire, I came across this one. It shows 52-57 rue de la T.I., looking south from the intersection of the Avenue du Parc de Montsouris (now called Avenue René Coty).

52-57 rue de la Tombe Issoire (© Pavillon de l’Arsenal)

I didn’t spot it right away, but there it was, in the distance: a St. Raphaël mural.

Detail of previous (© Pavillon de l'Arsenal}

A Google Street View search quickly revealed that the street Pascal and the old man were walking in is indeed the rue de la Tombe Issoire.They were standing in front of nr 71bis; the St Raphaël mural used to be on the side wall of nr 90.

View from 71 rue de la Tombe Issoire © Google Street View
© Piet Schreuders, November 2011

The “St. Raphaël wall today.

Since we learned that Pascal and the old man were filmed in two separate locations in the same area of the 14th Arrondissement, it seemed plausible that the duo’s third location – a parkside café – was not far from here.

Red Balloon book page 9 / Piet Schreuders November 2011

Just such a spot can be found on the corner of Avenue Reille and the rue Nansouty, bordering the Parc Montsouris — just a few blocks from the two previous locations.

25 avenue Reille, 75014 Paris, November 2011

What’s more, this bar-tabac (called Tabac du Parc Montsouris) is located at 25 avenue Reille. The Lamorisse family (and their film company Films Montsouris) occupied the apartment right above.
Compelling circumstantial evidence, I’d say.



Balloons in Ljubljana


Petra Slatinšek writes:

So great to read about your latest issue. Congratulations! If it will be available in English, please let me know.
The film inspired our children’s programme in cinema, it’s called Kinobalon and has a red balloon design.
The latest cover of catalogue for schools looks like this.Best regards from Ljubljana, Slovenia and I wish you to keep on doing great stuff!
Petra Slatinšek
Filmska vzgoja in program za otroke in mlade Kinobalon (vodja programa)
Young Audience & Film Education
Javni zavod Kinodvor
Kolodvorska 13
1000 Ljubljana”

Download the complete Kinobalon catalog here.

Balloonology 1: Chez Hubert


Ever since I started studying the many Red Balloon locations systematically (2007) I have been intrigued by the location of the restaurant called CHEZ HUBERT. It is one of the places Pascal passes as he tries to protect his balloon from the rain by sticking it under the umbrellas of passers-by.

The Red Balloon 05:28 © Films Montsouris
Detail of dvd image

The film offers us not only the name of the bar, but also its telephone number (GOBelins 11-05), the fact that it was on a street corner, and that the name of the cross street was the rue de la Tombe Issoire. So how hard could it be to find this place? Easy as it might have seemed, it took me no less than four years to pinpoint the exact location.

Rue de la Tombe Issoire © Google Maps

The rue de la Tombe Issoire is rather long. It has 21 cross streets. Which one was it?

In May 2009 I wrote to Dutch essayist Rudy Kousbroek because I knew he had lived in this district in the 1950s. He replied on Mon, 01 Jun 2009 23:50:29:

“About 1954-’55 I lived at 37 rue de la Tombe Issoire… The façade of ‘Chez Hubert’ looks familiar, but my memory offers up nothing specific. That can also be caused by the fact that I was mostly familiar with the street between boulevard St Jacques and the rue d’Alésia. The restaurant may have been on one of those corners, for instance at the rue Rémy Dumoncel, the rue Bezout, the passage Dareau. The phone number, GOBelins 11-05, suggest that district. But the rue de la T.I. extended all the way to the bd Jourdan and I never came that far.

“Also, we never went to restaurants at the time because we were too poor. In any case, you should look under Restaurant Chez Hubert, not under Chez or Hubert. In the 1955 volume of the phone directory, I’d say. In my day old phone directories could be consulted at the Hôtel de Ville. There are also directories arranged by street address. It seems entirely possible that the address was not rue de la T.I., but one of its cross streets.

A needle in a haystack. But even if you find it, what have you gained? You do have my sympathy in any case.”

Rue de la Tombe Issoire opposite nr 37 (where RK lived) Photo © Menno Hartman

On a research trip in January 2010 I visited the rue de la Tombe Issoire and took pictures of several likely-looking street corners. By now it was obvious that the corner — whichever it was — had changed beyond recognition.

© Piet Schreuders, January 3, 2010

To make sure of the right location I searched online and in photo archives in Paris for old photos of the rue de la Tombe Issoire. Still the results were inconclusive.

52-57 rue de la Tombe Issoire © Pavillon de l'Arsenal
Le Ballon rouge 05’28” detail © Films Montsouris

Then I realized that it must have been a major cross street because there were trees in it.

The shows only two such streets: the boulevard Saint Jacques and the rue d’Alésia. I was willing to put my money on the rue d’Alesia, but still I had no proof.


Finally, in October 2011, I found conclusive evidence in a telephone directory at the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris.

The 1954 Liste Alphabetique des Commerçants industriels professions libérales, etc has the following listing:
Chez Hubert, vins et restaur., 16 r. Alésia [no phone number listed]

Another directory, arranged by street, has this listing:
Rue de la Tombe-Issoire
82 – Lesur, vins et restaur., GOB. 11.05

We may safely conclude that the restaurant occupied the corner premises 82 rue de la Tombe Issoire / 16 rue d’Alésia and that mr Lesur’s first name was Hubert. The phone number on the window was his. The man we see cleaing the window as Pascal Lamorisse is passing by may have been mr Lesur himself…

November 19, 2011 © Piet Schreuders

Case closed.

Scope: a Red Balloon sequel?

According to IMDb, the film Scope (2004) is a “remake” of The Red Balloon (1956).

Come again?

Scope, a 40-minute experimental short by Corey Smith, can be viewed (and downloaded) here. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Albert Lamorisse’s original except for the fact that a red balloon plays a modest part in it.

Quoting from the film’s website:

Scope, a series of five experimental music videos, starts from the end of a story and moves its way back, explaining the plot from minimal and maximal vantage points. Because of this, the storyline seems unexplainable until the final three minutes in “Tiddler”. Combining these contrasting points of view to create a sense of confusion, Scope incorporates music to add to the bipolarity of these shots, like going from calm, soothing mathematically precisioned timed music box chimes to raw, random mechanically produced noises, all from album with the same name by composer Nobukazu Takemura. Scope’s goal is to show another way that a story can be told, and in the end, Scope is definitely not for everyone. However, those who are patient will certainly appreciate its beauty and theory of repititon and synthesizing.”

A viewer commented, “I didn’t find this film to be anything but a bland waste of my time… After watching this, I realized: life is short, do the best you can with your time on Earth, and do yourself a favor: don’t watch this film.”

© Corey Smith
© Corey Smith
© Corey Smith


Flora Kwong . . . . . . . “Girl” in “Balloon”, “Icefall”, and “Tiddler”
All storyboards, filming, editing, and directing by Corey Smith
Music from the full-length album Scope by Nobukazu Takemura
Courtesy of Thrill Jockey


Bart Simpson’s Red Balloon

In the Simpsons episode “The Crepes of Wrath” (1990) Bart Simpsons gets sent to France as an “exchange student”. Upon his return he brings the following souvenirs: an Eiffel tower T-shirt and a bottle of wine for Homer, a nice couture dress for Marge, a toy guillotine for Lisa, and a red balloon for Maggie.

The Crepes of Wrath © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
The Crepes of Wrath © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

It’s just a little Matt Groening in-joke, but enough to be caught by IMDB.com where it’s mentioned as a Red Balloon reference.

Images from

Copyright © 1990

Îlots insalubres (2)

FURORE #21, p. 68-69

In Furore #21 (p. 68-69) we describe a key location of the chase scene in The Red Balloon: the passage Ronce, which used to run between the rue Julien-Lacroix and the rue des Couronnes.

Le Ballon rouge 24’31” © 1956 Films Montsouris

18 and 19 Passage Ronce seen from the rue des Couronnes.

La Crise du logement 24'10"

At the end of Jean Dewever’s propaganda doc La Crise du logement (1956), filmed at roughly the same time as The Red Balloon, is a view of the passage Ronce as seen from the rue Julien-Lacroix. The school still exists today; the rest is gone.

Passage Ronce, July 2010 © Piet Schreuders

Îlots insalubres (1)

FURORE #21, p. 65

In Furore #21 (p. 65) we describe Albert Lamorisse’s creative use of the passage Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix in The Red Balloon’s climactic chase scene. At 27:26 the voyous follow Pascal into the passage, running north towards the intersection of cité Billon.


The Red Balloon Sc 14 - 27:26 © Films Montsouris
La Crise du logement 17’15”

This propaganda film in the guise of a documentary (Prix Louis Lumière 1956) makes a case for the destruction of 200,000 homes in Paris because they are “dangerous for the health of the inhabitants”.
“Today we must urgently evcuate and destroy the dilapidated neighborhoods, the slums, to recover the land required for the erection of a modern city,” an overly enthusiastic voice-over proclaims.

Passage Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix, 1955 (Dewever) © Oka Films

Filmed at roughly the same time as The Red Balloon, La Crise du ligement offers a view of the same alley.

Passage Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix, 6 March 1957 © Pavillon de l’Arsenal

At 17’02” in this Daily Motion excerpt we see the Passage Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix seen from the rue de la Mare. As the camera pans left, revealing the corner of the rue d’Eupatoria, there’s a marble plaque commemorating resistance fighter André Durand who once lived “au no. 13 de ce passage”.

Photo © 2010 Mu

As the entire passage and surrounding buildings were demolished in the 1960s the marble plate must have been destroyed too.
A replacement marble plaque is now installed somewhere in the area (exact location yet to be checked).

CreditsLa Crise du logement
1955 25 min B&W, 35mm
Writer director: Jean Dewever
Assistant director: Michel Wyn René Briot
Head cameraman: Roger Monteran
Editing: Geneviève Cortier, Maryse Barbut (Siclier)
Narrated by Roland Menard and Françoise Fechter
Original music by René Cloerec
Sound engineer: Jacques Lebreton
Sound studios: Boulogne Laboratoires L.T.C.
Production: Oka Films (J. Dewever)


Histoire d’un poisson rouge

Teyo Peperkamp writes:

“Do you know Histoire d’un Poisson Rouge? I’ve never seen this film, but judging by the photographs in this EP booklet I am sure it must be a beautiful movie! Hopefully it will be released on DVD soon. In any case, the music and the story on the record are hard to resist!”

Edmond Séchan was also the cameraman for The Red Balloon.

Narrower and narrower

Le Ballon rouge 28'19"

In the fall of 1955 Pascal Lamorisse was seen running down a narrow alleyway trying to escape from a band of “voyous”.

As we point out in Furore (p. 70), this scene was shot in one of the two narrowest alleys in all of Paris. Here is an archive photo of the same alley in 1962.

Image courtesy of Pavillon de l'Arsenal, Paris

Ten years after The Red Balloon, another Pascal was running through the same alley. It was actor Pascal Fardoulis in the experimental short Les Pays loin (1965) by Jean Rollin. Note that the buildings on the right have not survived the preceding decade.

Les Pays loin, 01'01"

(Thanks to Roland-François Lack of The CineTourist for alerting me to this movie)

Yet another balloon image

Furore‘s copy editor Fred Hermsen found this vinyl single sleeve while looking for images of people with balloons. It was the third item he saw as he browsed through his singles collection. Further research revealed that this record came out in October 1956, in other words, simultaneously with the theatrical release of THE RED BALLOON.