Thursday, August 6th, 2009

John Hughes Dead at 59

Director John Hughes died today at the age of 59 of a heart attack (on the same day Ben Stein was fired from the New York Times). Hughes had not directed a movie in 18 years, and spent most of that time writing and sometimes producing commercial film products for young people. There is a particularly gross/wonderful "Where are they now" slideshow at the LA Times, which includes an entry on Mia Sara: "She replaced Sherilyn Fenn on the WB's 'Birds of Prey' in '02-'03; otherwise, it's been an episode of 'CSI: NY' here, a stint on 'Chicago Hope' there." Meouch? But if you can find Michael Schoeffling, let us know!

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HiredGoons (#603)

Pretty in Black.

Abe Sauer (#148)

As somebody who is not near 50s but is nearer 50s than he ever thought he might get (typical), this is SCARY. To date this summer, you got Jackson, Mays and Hughs, all of whom one would assume would have access to the best health care, kicking it on account of heart issues. Ever drank/smoked too much and then tried to self-diagnose a heart attack/heartburn (?!?!) via WedMD? Yeah, then you understand this is terrifying (and sad).

Also: Fuck Ben Stein. If not for the love we have for him thanks to Hughes' Ferris Bueller, he would be another smug, God's-the-answer right-wing asshole relegated to a fighting with G. Gordon Liddy over a slow-witted fanship instead of hosting cable TV gameshows and gettig Visene endorsements.

(For the record, "Dutch" was my fav Hughes film.)

HiredGoons (#603)

I hate hate hate Ben Stein.

I do too! Also yes: it's been scary for us over 29 this year!

HiredGoons (#603)

His affability masked his hostility too well for my comfort.

There has always been something insidious about both John Hughes and Ben Stein – maybe it's a crusty sentimentalism that can make people overlook the commercial exploitation underneath?

But then, John Hughes made me feel like a prissy teen virgin giving it all up for the bad boy – I couldn't help but want more, even if I knew he never had my best interests wholly in mind. I won't follow the analogy with Ben Stein, 'cause it would only get really ugly.

BoHan (#29)

"Bring on the Dancing Horses" and "Round and Round" are still in heavy rotation on my Ipod. Plus Mr. Hughes, you caused the PsyFurs' then-overlooked "Pretty in Pink" to be re-discovered, and thus get the momentum to completely smother "At 17" as a teenage "Black Betty" anthem. EVERY HUMAN owes you for that. Thanks Mr. Hughes for everything, especially the "Pretty in Pink" soundtrack.

katiebakes (#32)

I can't even bring myself to click on this video because the last time I saw it I was probably a mere child contemplating first degree murder by way of incurable jealousy.

NatashaVC (#464)

Double fucking yes. Pretty sure I bought suspenders cause of this. NO LIE.

NatashaVC (#464)

Fun Hughes Fact: Ready for this? The song that plays during their trip to the art museum? An instrumental version of Morrissey's song 'Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want."

2nd Fact: The Great Outdoors is a dope movie!!

Whatever though, Empire Records is on.

Wow. You know, I was feeling ambivalent. Trapped between my younger-self's affection for the Breakfast Club and my more learn-ed disdain for his utter bourgeois-itude. And then swinging violently to a perverse glee in his lumpen-boozhiness. Then coming down hard for his provincial midwesternisme.

This Curly Sue trailer has, I believe, swung the pendulum firmly to Meh. This trailer was an offense to eye, ear, spirit, and soul. God, I want it out of my head.

zidaane (#373)

He was supposed to take Andrew McCarthy with him.
That was the deal.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I remember seeing Mr. Hughes' films as they began to come out, and thinking, "There was never anything like this, to serve my nearly-sentient adolescence." Then I remember thinking, "But we had The Monkees. And then [cf., post infra] the Mansons."

But then I also remember thinking, he gave me Ally Sheedy. And–er–Molly Ringwald. Until Warren Beatty stole her away from me. And Mr. Hughes conflicted my soul so terribly about Emilio Estevez, by cleaning him up, when I'd loved him desperately in Repo Man. Who was this Estevez, really? I recall struggling with.

It wasn't until D2: The Mighty Ducks that I had my answer.

And people? Ben Stein will never die. He is the rot in every heart, that festers and slithers, that grows and endures beyond every one of your graves. Plus, he has no money to win.

Alex Balk (#4)

Holy crap, this NYT Magazine story is almost 20 years old. Anyway:

"Gabler says that Hughes will benefit from the passage of time because his films are so tied in to current culture that they may need some distance to be judged fairly. 'So many popular film makers are discredited in their time,' Gabler says. 'When he has established his body of work — which he seems to be doing at breakneck speed — people will talk about how he synthesized the culture, how he spoke for the society in the middle of the country, while everyone else was talking about New York and Los Angeles.'"

Abe Sauer (#148)

Seriously. Look at this run. What other director during this period was covering the American family anywhere near as comprehensively?

# Curly Sue (1991)
# Dutch (1991)
# Home Alone (1990)
# Christmas Vacation (1989)
# Uncle Buck (1989)
# The Great Outdoors (1988)
# She's Having a Baby (1988)
# Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
# Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
# Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
# Pretty in Pink (1986)
# Weird Science (1985)
# European Vacation (1985)
# The Breakfast Club (1985)
# Sixteen Candles (1984)

Back to Future and Big are the only ones not on that list.

sunnyciegos (#551)

In middle school in the early-mid 1990s, my friends sometimes had Pretty in Pink/Sixteen Candles sleepovers. So I never really watched those movies in earnest, just heard them buzzing in the background. I just remember thinking that neither one of them actually reflected my adolescence at all, and that I sort of hated Molly Ringwald.

If John Hughes introduced a new youthful perspective into filmmaking, by the time the 1990s rolled around I think it had already become outdated. Or we had taken it for granted. And Ferris Bueller. An enjoyable movie that didn’t reflect the teenaged years of anyone I knew. It was perhaps the teenaged years you wished you’d had.

Dan Kois (#646)

Apparently Michael Schoeffling's a carpenter near Wilkes-Barre, PA. Or "the Salinger of male model/actors."

MollyBloomberg (#1,169)

My daughter was born in 1988. "She's Having a Baby" came out same year. Kate Bush. "This Woman's Work" scene. I never cried so hard in a theater.

Yep. Just watched it again on YouTube. Crying now.

Thanks, John. RIP.

Ferris Bueller was the first movie I ever saw twice, in the theater, within 24 hours.

The other?

Raising Arizona.

atipofthehat (#797)

This is a whole new side of you, brother.

Hope you snuck in for the repeats, at least!

Hez (#147)

I saw either an advance screening of Ferris Bueller or the premiere of it in my small Western Canadian town, and I remember they gave out cute little FBDO buttons, which I loved but promptly lost.

(Insert "this is why we can't have nice things" comment here.)

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