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.
18 and 19 Passage Ronce seen from the rue des Couronnes.
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.
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.
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.
Filmed at roughly the same time as The Red Balloon, La Crise du ligement offers a view of the same alley.
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”.
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).
Credits – La 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)