CANNES, France — The mega-yachts have cast off, the red carpets are being rolled up and someone's torn down the 60-foot Ghostbusters banner that hung from the upper balcony of Le Grande Hotel: for the 69th Cannes Festival du Film, that's a wrap.
I attended the festival this year with a short documentary called Jackieland (as producer); it was directed by Darcy Turenne, one of the Sea to Sky's brightest filmmaking talents. Darcy won the WSSF 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown with the surreal single-take epic The Trip, and she co-created the seminal snowboard/enviro film The Little Things.
Darcy has big things on the horizon, however, so to help get to know one of our best local directors I used the 10-hour flight home from Cannes to ask her for five favourite films, in no particular order:
Harold and Maude (1971, Hal Ashby)
"A beautiful movie, emotionally and aesthetically, and based on a ludicrous premise. This one is such an incredible example of character development. It's also full of sweetness, vulnerability and (probably most important) complexity.
Ruth Gordon stars as a free-spirited old lady who steals cars and Bud Cort is a socially awkward teen struggling to resist his mother's expectations of who he should be. And then they fall in love... Harold and Maude also features an unapologetic Cat Stevens soundtrack tying it all together."
A Serious Man (2009, Joel & Ethan Coen)
"I could easily fill this list with Coen Brothers movies (Fargo, Barton Fink, Burn After Reading) but this one rises to the top for me. The critics panned it but there are so many lines from this movie that I think about at least weekly ("passing grade!").
"The whole movie is made up of exaggerated stereotypes — every character is a stereotype and most are despicable humans. The only character worth cheering for is the one who gets screwed in the end. I find this movie so clever."
Lost in Translation (2003, Sofia Coppula)
"Cliché, I know, but I just love it so much. The understated aesthetic to portray the most complicated, crazy technicolour backdrop (Japan) is brilliant and has greatly influenced how I shoot my own films.
"Having traveled a lot for work I understand what it's like to befriend people you might otherwise never connect with if left within your usual circle. I've had many Bill Murray-esque travel friends save me from loneliness and it is a beautiful thing. Sofia tells this story so sensitively and patiently and I also think anyone who has been to Japan can't not love this movie."
City of God (2002, Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund)
"One of my favourite opening sequences ever, and the movie only gets better from there. The cinematography in this film is so beautifully raw and complimentary to the story. And that story is tragically unforgettable — even more poignant because it's based (loosely) on actual happenings. The characters in this become your own.
"City of God gets better every time I watch it. It evokes sadness, rage, misunderstanding, and a feeling of helplessness, yet all while making me love each second of the movie. Not for the faint of heart, but should be required watching for everyone, everywhere."
Amelie (2001, Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
"The most delightful, fantastical, surrealist visual treat for this 16-year-old girl stuck in a 30-something body. First of all, Yann Tiersen does the soundtrack and I own every album he's ever made so this one literally had me at the first note.
"But everything else in Amelie is just as good. The strict adherence to colour themes, the complex camera moves elevated the story or mood at just the exact right time (rather than simply showing off how good the filmmakers are at doing camera moves, cough cough Birdman).
"This one has the perfect amount of fantasy and normalcy, it's part fairy tale, part music video, part drama and all taking place in a picture perfect French neighbourhood. For me this film is the ultimate escape."