The All Staff Listicle: If Spring Were a Movie

The Cinematheque
April 19, 2023

It’s been a sad spring season here in Vancouver with frosty mornings and rainy afternoons that have begun to feel interminable. To remedy this malaise we present to you The Cinematheque’s staff picks for movies that usher in spring. Even if we’re not currently experiencing the glory of the end of winter, there’s some hope that the sun’s warmth and the softness of sakura petals will be raining down on us soon.

Maybe an obvious choice but, Eric Rohmer’s A Tale Of Springtime. Both this and Full Moon in Paris (also by Rohmer) have themes of love, renewal, and changing seasons. They capture the spirit of spring and the sense of possibility that it brings. L’Avventura feels like the dark side of spring, the transitional unknown. Beauty that gives you an untrustworthy feeling. Chungking Express, a film about change, willing and unwilling, just fits with springtime. —Emma

Everest (Baltasar Kormákur, 2015). Did you know that May is Everest season? Late spring provides the best chances for a weather window that will allow climbers to summit safely. But there are no guarantees on the world’s tallest mountain, as recounted in this bone-chilling survival movie about the infamous 1996 disaster. Make a tradition of ushering in the warm weather by watching snow-crusted climbers shiver in the dark as they exhaustedly trudge towards the ceiling of the world. Pair the movie with Jon Kracauer’s first-person nonfiction account Into Thin Air for a truly unforgettable experience! —Chelsea

Gentle Hum of Spring is a 10 minute short film by Simon Garez, currently on the film festival circuit. The film was chosen for Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent Program at the Clermont-Ferrand 2023 Short Film Market. The simple concept of this film is both a beautiful and personal reflection of the filmmaker’s experience returning home in the wintertime. This film was edited by Cameron Mackenzie, a former Cinematheque Learning & Outreach program coordinator. —Thea

Alien (1979). It’s really more of an Easter film, but I think the themes of the life cycle and rebirth are applicable to the whole season. Plus it kicks off with the crew coming out of hibernation. —Al

Sweetgrass (2009)—a film about enjoying the great outdoors and sheep. —Linton

Spring is reserved for college co-eds and the fantasy of spending spring break at the beach. Where the Boys Are is a 1960 coming-of-age film starring Dolores Hart, Paula Prentiss, Yvette Mimieux, and Connie Francis as midwestern students vacationing in Fort Lauderdale during spring break (oh, and the changing sexual morals of the American teen). The outfits! The dancing! The music! Girl Happy is a 1965 Elvis Presley musical comedy about a band heading down to Fort Lauderdale for their annual spring break trip. The outfits! The dancing! The music! —Gerilee

Mary Poppins (1964). Cherry blossoms in full bloom down Cherry Tree Lane, changing winds, talking umbrellas and rainstorms, flying kites in the park! A joyful way to usher in the spring and bid farewell to a dreary winter. —Kate

In spring 2020, when a globetrotting virus finally penetrated our shores and cultural experiences became, overnight, solitary activities, I returned to Ozu, wellspring eternal. His cinema had long been a tonic for me—a way to slow things down, to acknowledge meaningfulness in the simple, domestic rituals of life. As a grad student intoxicated by film aesthetics, I marvelled at how Ozu could enact such formal discipline, such severity of style, without diminishing or, conversely, sanctifying the plain-spoken humanism found in his work. Isn’t life disappointing?” Yes, it is.” When our cinema was forced to close on the eve of the spring equinox, I rewatched Late Spring, the start of a months-long sojourn through Ozu’s oeuvre. (Thank you, Criterion Channel.) The film, already a favourite of mine, struck me anew in those disquieting, early days of lockdown. Its tender portrait of a parent and adult child, clutching the final moments of their shared life together, served as a reminder of the suddenly untraversable distance between me and my family, despite our being only a short ferry-ride apart. Ozu’s enigmatic pillow shot of a vase, nothing if not a container for a viewer’s emotions, meant something different to me then, as though the vase had been replaced with another. Come spring, I think of this film. —Shaun

Past Posts

Date Title Author
2024-Jun West Coast Film Archive Presentation Liam Schell
2024-Jun Michèle Smith The Cinematheque
2024-Apr Intermissions The Cinematheque
2024-Apr Tales from the Silo: National Film Week ​’86 Gerilee McBride
2024-Mar Ongoing Series at The Cinematheque The Cinematheque
2024-Mar Presenting: Godzilla Stop-Motion Contest Films Learning & Outreach
2024-Feb Volunteer Spotlight: Marlon Wiebe The Cinematheque
2024-Feb AGM Notice: February 13 (Tuesday) 5:00 pm The Cinematheque
2023-Dec Merry Movies! The Cinematheque
2023-Dec Film Career Event: Watch Online! Learning & Outreach
2023-Nov Cinema Thinks the World Presents Learning & Outreach
2023-Nov The All Staff Listicle: Fall Film Festival Edition The Cinematheque
2023-Oct Ask Al: Digital Films and DCPs Al Reid
2023-Sep Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Ayers The Cinematheque
2023-Aug Owen Kydd Interviews Bruno Dumont The Cinematheque
2023-Jul Presenting: Early Cinema Filmmaking Workshop Films Learning & Outreach
2023-Jul Tales from the Silo Gerilee McBride
2023-Jun Opening Night: Lee Changdong The Cinematheque
2023-Apr Volunteer Spotlight: Jonathan Wells The Cinematheque
2023-Apr The All Staff Listicle: If Spring Were a Movie The Cinematheque
2023-Mar Volunteer Spotlight: Fiona Hu The Cinematheque
2023-Mar Ask Al: Adventures of a Projectionist Al Reid
2023-Mar Trailers, Tips & Tools: Editing with Music Emma Pollard
2023-Mar What is Learning & Outreach? Learning & Outreach
2023-Mar News from the Executive Director Kate Ladyshewsky
2023-Mar Welcome to Intertitles The Cinematheque