White Mane

January 28, 2012 3 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

White Mane is a wild horse who no man could capture or tame, despite countless efforts by numerous parties. Some of the locals have pursued the horse to no end, determined to break White Mane and prove that man holds dominion. While the others try to capture White Mane, a young boy (Alain Emery) only wants to befriend the horse. The process is not a simple one, but through time and patience, the horse begins to trust the boy somewhat. Soon the two become the best of friends, enjoying a kind of freedom few could even understand. But at the same time, there are those who seek to exploit the situation, so can the boy and his horse keep this freedom for long?

While not as well known as The Red Balloon, Albert Lamorisse’s White Mane deserves a place of its own as one of the best short films ever produced. In just forty minutes, we’re taken on a journey of genuine emotion, something most filmmakers are unable to do with three times the duration. The world of childhood clashes with the world of adulthood, a theme that is universal and hasn’t lost a step in over fifty years. This is a darker, more realistic film than The Red Balloon, but White Mane is so powerful and memorable, it shouldn’t be missed.

Video: How does it look?

White Mane is presented in full frame, as intended. I was impressed with this image, which looks quite good thanks to a recent restoration. The prints shows little wear, with minimal grain and no real damage to speak of. The visuals have good clarity and I did not see any instances of softness. The black & white image is bolstered by mostly superb contrast levels, though some scenes do look a little too bright. Overall though, great presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

The narration is available in the original French or a new English option, which should please younger viewers who might not appreciate the subtitles. The audio is pretty thin, as you’d expect from a 1953 mono soundtrack, but the basics fall in line and that is what matters. The music sounds good, without hiss or harshness and adds to the experience. Not much else to mention, though you can enable optional English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a theatrical trailer for the double feature of White Mane and The Red Balloon.

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