CRÈME DE MENTHE
Directed by Philippe David Gagné & Jean-Marc E.Roy
REVIEW BY CLAIRE ELAINE
Can we know someone’s heart by what they leave behind? This is the question begged of us through Philippe David Gagné & Jean-Marc E.Roy’s short film CRÈME DE MENTHE. Following a despondent Renée, we quickly understand that she feels she was missing parts of who her dad was - and when she arrives at his house, tasked with the enormous mission of cleaning it out in just a week - she realizes just how true this is. Discovering that her father had been compulsively collecting things in his home - VHS stacked to the ceiling and even the bathroom not safe from his collection of various items - she starts to question her importance in the overall scheme of his life. How could she fit in among so much stuff? And so many other stories that her father had captured throughout his career as a videographer?
She proceeds to dig, quite literally, through her father’s life, becoming more and more uncertain as to where she fit, looking to the physical remnants and almost missing some of the more important clues into his heart. Namely, Jason, Renée’s old babysitter, seems to be an unused source of potential perspective. However perspective is not what she looks for in him - instead, she invites him over to assist her with some of the “bigger” items in the house, finds herself inebriated and coming onto him. Perhaps if she had had the courage to address him to learn more of his intention, she would have truly found herself closer to her father than connecting physically with this man could have provided.
“Bye Honey” - old words we hear from Renée’s father to her after she hung up prematurely; another remnant in the home on his message machine. It’s yet another sign of her positioning in his life, but one that is perhaps too difficult to let herself see; a sign of the natural unrequited love of a youth for their parent that feels tragic when it’s a moment that can never be redeemed. Eventually, Renée finds physical evidence of her existence within this world she is dismantling - allowing her to access some of the sweet pain of knowing she’s been loved.