The Cannes Film Festival honored veteran filmmaker John Carpenter with the Golden Coach award for his contribution to cinema May 15. The director-screenwriter-composer’s first feature film, Dark Star, was released all the way back in 1974, setting in motion a career that includes such classics as 1976’s Assault on Precinct 13, 1982’s The Thing and 1986’s Big Trouble in Little China.
But his best-known film might be Halloween, the 1978 horror phenomenon that brought Jamie Lee Curtis into the spotlight and was considered instrumental in popularizing the slasher genre. The franchise it spawned contains 11 films, novels, comic books and even a videogame.
The 71-year-old spoke fondly on the power of film in his acceptance speech:
I still experience the deep mystery of the persistence of vision that allows me to create a universe and tell a story shared by a room full of people in the dark. Whether it’s a zoetrope, an ArcLight projector or a digital matrix, people are still living in the light. 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.
Carpenter’s last film, The Ward, was released in 2010, but based on comments the filmmaker made after accepting his honors, we may have more to look forward to from him. “I’m working on some TV stuff and a couple of feature ideas,” Carpenter said, per THR. “It’s a different time now, so it takes a long time for them to get set up. You’ll know it when you know it. I don’t know it [yet].”