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John Hughes

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Krista Jones

on 29 May 2014

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Transcript of John Hughes

John Hughes
Filmography
Directed:
Curly Sue (1991)
Uncle Buck (1989)
She's Having a Baby (1988)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Weird Science (1985)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Sixteen Candles (1984)

He is also credited to writing 46 films and producing 23 films.

Hughes As An Auteur
John Hughes is an auteur for the following reasons:
-He wrote all the films he directed
-"Hughes turned down a chance to direct "Mr. Mom" because he didn’t want to work in Hollywood "and get all chewed up." His contract with Universal gives him the right to make all of his movies in Chicago" (Ebert).
-He refused to work in Hollywood because, ""In Hollywood you spend all of your time having lunch and making deals. Everybody is trying to shoot you down. I like to get my actors out here where we can make our movies in privacy"" (Ebert).
- His films contain recurring themes such as growing up, individuality, fitting in, being an outsider, parent-child relationships, and young romance
-He has a very specific style that includes: a realistic atmosphere and the use of young actors such as Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Andrew Michael Hall (Scott).
Biography
Born:
February 18, 1950 in Lansing, Michigan
Died:
August 6, 2009 in New York, New York
Education:
Graduated from Glenbrook North
High School & Studied at Arizona State
University but dropped out in his junior year
Occupation:
Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Early Life:
Moved from Detroit to Chicago, Illinois at the age of 13. He resided on the outskirts of a rich neighbourhood which made him detest the upper class. He began his career as an ad copywriter and part time comedy writer. He often wrote stories inspired by his childhood memories. His story "Vacation '58" earned him a job at National Lampoon Magazine which later inspired his film National Lampoon's Vacation. Following this film, he directed many high school based films.
Later Life:
Hughes went on to direct and produce films of other genres. In 1994, he removed himself from the public eye until his death of a heart attack in 2009.
(Biography.com)
Scene Analysis #1:
Opening Scene
-Introduces Sam as a relatable 16 year old girl, she is insecure and has high hopes for her birthday, she is show standing in front of a mirror analyzing herself which presents the idea of self-confidence, something many teenage girls struggle with
-Cuts to the family rushing around getting ready, this shows the separation between her and her family as they forgot her birthday, it also introduces the theme of family dynamics
-Samantha even asks her mother, "Is there anything you have to say to me?", this introduces the concept that teens often face of feeling misunderstood or like people may not care when in reality, they are not purposely hurting her feelings

Scene Analysis #2:
Car Scene
-This scene deals with stereotypes, as "the geek" admits hes never "bagged a babe", but he only speaks like this to try and sound cool in front of Sam
-The way he speaks also creates an uncomfortable atmosphere
-Shows a more realistic perspective of a high school dance as instead of dancing and having the night of their life (like in other teen movies), they are removed from everyone, talking in a car in the auto-shop
-This scene is important as it is when Sam and the geek develop a friendship
-They are framed together sitting in the car, and are also filmed at eye level which shows they are equals
-Although this is a rather serious scene as Sam unloads about her terrible day, Hughes keeps a light atmosphere with the geek's comment about always having fresh breath
The Breakfast Club (1985)
-Written and directed by John Hughes
-Starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, and Judd Nelson
-"No high school dance. No chase scene. No naked shower scene. No beer blast. No rumble. It’s about kids who are learning about themselves. It’s like doing a play. It’s an actor’s dream. And it’s an ambitious picture. With a lot of teenage movies, you get the feeling the filmmakers are remembering their own youth. This movie is about right now." - Ally Sheedy
Hughes' Unique Style
Hughes' films have a very unique style that contain the following:
-
Recurring use of actors/ actresses such as Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald
-Themes involving parent-child relationships, misunderstood teens, stereotypes, and trying to find one's identity
-Setting located somewhere in Illinois
-A filming location outside of Hollywood, most of his films were actually filmed in Chicago where they are set
-Comedy
-Ordinary characters with ordinary lives
-Stories that connect with a teenage audience

His ability to connect with a teen audience derives from his understanding of them: "People forget that when you’re 16, you’re probably more serious than you’ll ever be again. You think seriously about the big questions."

Two films that exemplify his particular style are Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club
Sixteen Candles (1984)
-Directed and written by John Hughes
-Starring Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, and Justin Henry
-Hughes' debut film as a director
-"They’ll respond to a film about teenagers as people. Both of these movies are about the beauty of just growing up. I think teenage girls are especially ready for this kind of movie, after being grossed out by all the sex and violence in most teenage movies." - Anthony Michael Hall
"What I like is that the lives of the kids in this movie are not based on sex, but on romance. I think that’s accurate for most teenagers – girls, especially. My character has a crush on this senior named Jake, but I don’t think the first idea in her mind is hopping in bed with him. Most of my friends don’t want to get laid, but to have crushes and stuff. You know." -Molly Ringwald

Scene Analysis #1:
Lunch Scene

-In this scene, the stereotypes of each character are at first enforced and then contrasted
-Each character's lunch reflects their stereotype: Claire is labelled the "princess" and she has a sophisticated lunch, Andy is labelled the "athlete" and he has an endless amount of food, Allison is considered the "basket-case" and she mixes her lunch together in an odd, socially-awkward manner, Brian is considered the "brain" and he has a typical lunch that a mother would pack, Bender is the criminal and he doesn't have a lunch, just rude comments for Claire
-Bender indirectly admits to the abuse he endures at home through mocking Brian, when he is imitating Brian's home life, the camera is at a low angle which shows that in this scenario, Bender feels the dominance and power which he lacks at home
-While Bender is acting out Brian's home life, the camera cuts to the faces of the other characters to show their reactions as their smiles slowly drop
-When Bender acts out his own home life, it is more truth than mockery and it also gives insight to the reasons behind his behaviour and his treatment of Claire (his father treats his mother with complete disrespect)
-The music acts to the shock of how he is treated and almost has an uplifting beat as this is the first time Bender opens up to them
-The fact that Brian asks if he is "for real?" and Andy doesn't believe him shows the theme that we see people how we want to see them, especially because Andy claims "its just part of your image"
Scene Analysis #2:
Concluding Scene
-The music is the same as the beginning, "Don't you forget about me", but now they all know each other and they wonder what Monday will bring, whether or not they will still be friends
-They all defy their stereotype and learn to see past them, the "athlete" ends up with the "basket-case" and the "princess" ends up with the "criminal"
-They write one essay which shows how they are unified, the essay contains the truth, and their true opinions which they did not share with one another at the beginning of the film
-Bender throws his fist in the air in victory, this is shot from a low angle which shows how they have overcome their stereotypes
-In contrast, when the teacher is reading the essay, it is a high angle shot which shows how he is no longer superior to them because he still views them as stereotypes

Hughes' Style in Sixteen Candles
-The entire film was shot in Illinois, for example school dance scene was filmed at Niles East High School, Stokie, Illinois
-The film uses comedy to keep it light although it also deals with serious themes
-Recurring themes in Hughes' films are present in Sixteen Candles, examples include family dynamics, romance, and
stereotypes
-The film connects with a teenage audience, especially girls as it is not over sexualized but instead focuses on romance and "crushes"
-The concluding scene ends with the screen freezing as does many of his other movies including The Breakfast Club
Hughes' Style In The Breakfast Club
-The movie was filmed in Illinois, the library was a set built in the gymnasium of a closed secondary school called Main North High School
-Contains comedy, for example the lunch scene when Allison makes her Captain Crunch sandwich
-The film has the ability to connect with a young audience, as everyone struggles with their identity and not conforming to stereotypes
-The lunch scene deals with themes Hughes' uses in multiple films, he explores family dynamics through Bender's family life and also looks at the theme of judgement as they all judge one another based on the conclusions they have personally drawn instead of listening to what they have to say about themselves
-The ending scene concludes with the screen freezing and fading to dark, which is an effect often used in Hughes' films
To Conclude
-John Hughes is an exemplary director and auteur with a very specific style of film.
-He made an impact on the film industry through his ability to connect with an understand teens.
-Before the release of films such as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, films involving teens were condescending towards adolescents. "Teenagers in those movies had fairly limited options: They could look through peepholes into the girls’ shower room, or they could get disemboweled by a faceless monster" (Ebert).
-His films Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club show his unique style and also how he further developed his style in the year between the movies, especially because Sixteen Candles was the first film he directed
-Hughes' style is more prominent in The Breakfast Club although Sixteen Candles also encompasses many aspects of his style such as his use of theme, certain actors/actresses, a story line located and filmed in Illinois, and the focus on teens and teen issues


Biography.com,. 'John Wilden Hughes Jr.'. N. p., 2014. Web. 28 May. 2014.

Ebert, Roger. 'John Hughes: When You’Re 16, You’Re More Serious Than You’Ll Ever Be Again | Roger Ebert's Journal | Roger Ebert'. Rogerebert.com. N. p., 1984. Web. 26 May. 2014.

Scott, A.O. 'The John Hughes Touch'. Nytimes.com. N. p., 2009. Web. 25 May. 2014.
Works Cited
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