2009 saw the loss of a great deal of talent, one of which was perhaps largely over-looked is the sudden death of John Hughes. His film legacy has cultivated the teen genre and created a market once ignored or largely untapped. His contribution to cinema includes Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, Uncle Buck, Weird Science, and The Breakfast Club. The director, screenwriter and producer, is as much applauded for his director and script writing abilities and his eye for new emerging talent. Realizing that the combination of great screenplays and great on-screen persona was the key to engaging adolescent audiences without patronizing them.
His first film ‘Sixteen Candles’ was to set the tone for the signature John Hughes teen world of 1980’s angst and high school humour. Central figures are forgiven for being self indulgent and pessimistic, because the actors would carry their characters with such genuine charisma and vulnerability.
“I listen to kids. I respect them. I don’t discount anything they have to say just because they’re only 16 years old”. – John Hughes
Making ordinary middle American high school proms seem idealistic and giving birth to the teen film and intense teen celebrity culture as we know it today. Without Hughes there may never have been a ‘Clueless’, ‘Mean Girls’ or even ‘American Pie’. Whether this is film legacy to be desired is open to debate but his influence on the film youth market is undoubtedly significant.
It is key whilst underlining his attributes to not ignore that his films often centred around an unrealistic day in a suburban middle class white kids experience of high school, and while his latter day sins such as ‘Flubber’ and ‘Beethoven’ failed to impress. He did in his proudest moments have a natural way of portraying true, awkward, bittersweet teenage youth, in all its self-important but sincere forms.
Von Von Lamunu
Published Here: http://thecollectivereview.com/uprising/teenage-love-affair.html