The French directors’ guild at Cannes presented horror legend John Carpenter with the Golden Coach award. 71-year old Carpenter changed the world of cinema with his work in the horror and action genres, starting with 1976’s Assault on Precinct 13 and then 1978’s original Halloween, which changed the horror genre forever. In addition to changing the horror landscape visually, Carpenter created a new way of composing the score to a movie, which was mostly due to limitations at the time.
Before John Carpenter approached the stage at Cannes to accept the Golden Coach award, a live rendition of his iconic Halloween theme played to an enthusiastic crowd while fog filled the room. The director then took the stage wearing a tuxedo and revealing it was movies like The African Queen and Forbidden Planet that kicked off his desire to step behind the camera and ultimately help create a new type of movie. Carpenter says his love of movies started back when he was only three-years old. “It’s that transportation of an audience through the world of light and the shadows around it that I’m proud to be a part of,” the director said.
The Golden Coach award, or Carrosse d’or, is a prestigious honor which is given to those who brought innovative qualities to their projects. In addition to Halloween, John Carpenter was honored for his work on Escape from New York, The Thing, They Live, The Fog, and many more. Other filmmakers to receive the prestigious award include Werner Herzog, Jia Zhangke, Jane Campion, Jim Jarmusch, Clint Eastwood, and Alain Resnais. The award was first given out in 2002.
When it was announced earlier this year that John Carpenter was going to be honored at Cannes, horror fans were excited for the director. Carpenter has been getting the credit he deserves as of late, but it hasn’t always been that way for the cult director. His scores have been receiving a lot of attention lately too. Carpenter’s “great soundtracks keep inspiring the French electronic music scene,” said the Director’s Guild. The Directors’ Guild released a statement, which you can read below.
“(John Carpenter) enhances the irresistible delight of staging. In each of them, the work on space, on what is off-screen, on the visible and on the invisible, is constantly renewed and regenerated in order to redefine fear – a fear that is always prone to trigger emotions in characters and actors who have now become iconic.”
In other John Carpenter news, the director has expressed a desire to step behind the camera again. It’s been nearly a decade since he has directed a feature-length project, but he thinks he’s ready to dive back into that world again. He said, “I’d love to make a little horror film… that would be great. Or a big adventure film.” It’s a good time to be Carpenter right now and hopefully he sticks to his guns and makes another movie, along with composing a new score. This news was first reported by New York Times.