‘I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.’

typed for your pleasure on 7 August 2009, at 2.41 am

Sdtrk: ‘You’re not the only one I know’ by The Sundays

So upon getting home from work this eve, I learned that John Hughes, director of two of my favourite films, ‘Ferris Bueller’s day off’ and ‘The Breakfast club’, passed away today at the age of 59.

Comedy director John Hughes dies
BBC News | Published Friday, 7 August 2009

The US film director and writer, John Hughes, who created some of the most famous comedies of the 1980s and 1990s, has died at the age of 59.

The director died after a heart attack in New York, his spokeswoman said.

Hughes was the director of such successful films as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

He was also a leading script writer, penning films such as Pretty in Pink and Home Alone.

Over the past decade, Hughes withdrew from Hollywood and became a farmer in the Midwestern state of Illinois.

Hughes had been in Manhattan on a family visit when he died.

1980s zeitgeist

The BBC’s Vincent Dowd says Hughes had not directed a film since Curly Sue in 1991, but it did not matter – his early movies had become part of the 1980s zeitgeist.

If, in 1986, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off owed something to the on-screen energy of the young Matthew Broderick, it also benefited from Hughes’ sharp script and direction, our correspondent says.

He worked well with young talent, as he had already shown the year before in The Breakfast Club starring Emilio Estevez and Mollie Ringwald, he adds.

In the high-school story, our correspondent says, Hughes cleverly portrayed teen America to itself – and the box office was enormous.

“Many filmmakers portray teenagers as immoral and ignorant, with pursuits that are pretty base,” Hughes told the Chicago Tribune newspaper in 1985.

“They seem to think that teenagers aren’t very bright. But I haven’t found that to be the case. I listen to kids. I respect them. I don’t discount anything they have to say just because they’re only 16 years old,” he added.
the rest of the article is here

What he’d said above completely fits in with the way that ‘The Breakfast club’ starts — at the end of the opening credits, on the screen is an excerpt from David Bowie’s ‘Changes’:

…And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consolations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through…

The films of John Hughes will always evoke an acute fondness for the Eighties, my formative years, as I’ll always see parallels between his characters and the friends that I grew up with. I’m sure countless others will as well, no matter what decade they grew up in

EDIT (10.11am): You’ll definitely want to read the witty, heartfelt, and, well, John Hughes-esque post over at ‘We’ll Know When We Get There‘, concerning one person’s pen-pal relationship with the man

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

18 May 1980 on May 18th, 2005

'Gee, my life's a funny thing / Am I still too young?' on January 11th, 2016

5 have spoken to “‘I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.’”

  1. Anonymous Realdoll Owner writes:

    I was upset to hear the news of John Hughes. I too am a big fan. I own almost every movie the man made.

    I was sad. Icons of my generation are dropping like flies, its sad, makes me feel old..and scares me.

    Nice blog post davecat! Thanks 🙂

  2. Jaems writes:

    Motivation for me to watch The Breakfast Club. Ferris Bueller bring back memories for sure.

    All of the giants are falling. Where are the new greats?

  3. SafeTinspector writes:

    I was a Hughs contrarian in the eighties. I felt that all the cool kids liked his movies, and I was not one of them, was hated by them.

    Later, I watched them as an adult in my twenties and realized I could have gotten something out of them had I tried, that perhaps I would’ve found some solace or kinship in some of the characters.

    Whatever, as a movie maker with a definite and valuable voice he’ll be missed, even if his days of essential productivity were already long over.

  4. Laura writes:

    You know, I’ve never seen either.
    I’ll have to add them to my Netflix que.

  5. Davecat writes:

    ARDO –
    As I was lamenting to a friend of mine, 2009 seems to be going out of its way, as far as a high mortality rate of people that I love and admire. I’ve no idea what’s going on, but I’m not keen on it at all.

    Jaems –
    I’m sure that some people of this era will equate Judd Apatow with John Hughes, but he doesn’t rate at all, as far as I’m concerned. John Hughes’ films crystallised growing up during the Eighties, but his characters weren’t the cardboard cutouts that you’d find in other teen films of the time (the ‘Porky’s’ series, I’m looking in your direction). Sure, the character portrayals were a wee bit stylised, but there was a definite connection between them and the audience that viewed them. For my money, in highschool, I dressed like John Bender, behaved somewhere between Brian (the nerd) and Alison (the weird girl), and aspired to be Ferris Bueller. What contemporary film characters are there now that even come close?

    It’s good that he got out while the gettin’ was good. There’s a large part of me that is glad when bands / artists / writers / directors / etc pack it in after a while, cos the longer they continue to produce, the greater the chance that their later work won’t be as good or vital compared to when they began. The Smiths produced four brilliant studio albums before they broke up, whereas New order is still around (more or less), and their last three albums were shite. Stopping at one’s peak allows your audience to remember you in a good light. We’ll forgive John for ‘Curly Sue’; you can’t hit them all out of the park.

    If you want to borrow my copy of either ‘Ferris Bueller’ or ‘The Breakfast club’ let me know…

    Laura –
    I guarantee you won’t regret either one of them. 🙂

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