John Hughes - Take A Bow
Ferris Bueller just took another day off.
His creator, John Hughes is resting now too.
A sad loss, as Hughes passed away of a heart attack at the age of 59 during a walk in New York City. This sudden news has rocked the entertainment world and inspired the countless actors who worked with him to pause in reflection of his enormous contribution to film, and to themselves personally. The actor who portrayed Ferris Bueller in 1986, Mathew Broderick, was quoted as saying "I am truly shocked and saddened by the news about my old friend John Hughes. He was a wonderful, very talented guy and my heart goes out to his family,"
In addition to
breathing life into Ferris Bueller, Hughes was responsible for
writing and/or directing memorable films such as Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, the Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, Curly Sue, Uncle Buck, and Vacation. There were also many others.
His specialty was teen angst, evidenced by how he cleverly and honestly depicted the life of teens in any-town, USA. A generation of former teens now bow in respect, and recall how Hughes helped them hold a mirror to themselves through the watchful eye of a camera lens.
They didn't always like what they saw, but they couldn't look away. The realism hit them right between the eyes. Each character Hughes put on paper jumped right off the page, and resonated strongly with anyone who was once 17. He had a flair for creating multi-dimensional subjects who interacted seamlessly within a plot that could have, and probably did, take place in your own high school. If you didn't identify with one of the characters personally, you knew someone just like them.
Hence, his success. Viewers saw themselves, or someone they knew, in all of his characters; for each one represented an element of who we all are. Take the quote below from a scene in The Breakfast Club. While in detention, the students are told by an out-of-touch-with-youth principal to write an essay on "who the hell they think they are."
Their reply, after spending the day together was this:
"Brian Johnson: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...
Andrew Clark: ...and an athlete...
Allison Reynolds: ...and a basket case...
Claire Standish: ...a princess...
John Bender: ...and a criminal...
Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question?... Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club."
If there was ever a course on the Uniformity of Teen Conflict and Their Voyage of Self Discovery, John Hughes would be Professor. Actually, he was. Just not in a classroom, but in a movie theater instead. In between the popcorn and the JuJuBees, a lesson was always learned, something of value was always discovered, and things worked out for the best in the end.
His death will probably result in a resurgence of his films, introducing a new generation to his extensive body of work. Timeless and ever-relevant, they are an anthem to teen adolescence and all it's experiences; the humor and heartbreak, the drama and rebellion, the insecurity and wisdom - all in 120 minutes or less. Today's teens would be well served by watching these films. Though most took place in the 1980's, the problems are still the same. So are the teens that experience them.
Hughes did not display his talent in recent years. With so many notable contributions behind him, perhaps he was content to take time off to smell the roses, just like Ferris Bueller.
......and Ferris put it best; "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and
look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Hope Mr. Hughes didn't miss a thing.
He will be missed though, and his legacy will live on.
You were some kind of wonderful, John, so take a bow.
The kids insist.