Had I seen The Black Stallion (1979) when I was a child, it probably would have become one of my favourite childhood movies. But I think that as an adult I appreciate so much more its primal, extraordinary beauty and the energy it transmits. Alec (Kelly Reno, so good and natural in his role) is a little boy travelling with his father on a boat, where he shyly tries to forge a friendship with a beautiful black horse, the Black. The ship sinks during a storm and most of the people on board lose their lives. Alec is saved by the horse and they are cast away on a deserted island. This is the most beautiful and moving part of the movie, when boy and horse develop an incredible bond. No words needed, yet each frame, on the striking background of the white sand and azure waters (it was filmed in Sardinia), is filled with emotion and gaiety… pure cinema making. I have to admit that when Alec and the horse go back to civilization, the film, directed by Carroll Ballard, loses some of its magic, but the scenes with the two of them together still impress with their warm intensity and childlike joy.
photo: film still / Omni Zoetrope