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Saturday, August 15, 2009

John Hughes Week at Mogwai

This week, we pay tribute to the late John Hughes (1950-2009), who in the 80s created a new cinematic landscape. His movies became the voice of a generation, their problems and anxieties laid bare and treated with the same gravity with which they saw them. Hughes' cinematic contribution cannot be exaggerated, his influence clearly seen in any filmmaker who would deign to show us teenagers. All this week at Mogwai, we take a look at the films he directed, taking you back to another era of filmmaking.

9 PM – Weird Science
Written and Directed by John Hughes
Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are two nerdy teenagers stuck at home on a Friday night. On a whim, they attempt to create the perfect woman with their computer, and thanks to a freak electrical storm, the perfect woman actually appears before them. Hughes turns geek fantasy into a strange coming-of-age tale that lays out the archetypes that he would later explore in his more serious work, all set to a pretty fantastic 80s soundtrack.

9 PM – Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Written and Directed by John Hughes
Uptight ad executive Neal Page (Steve Martin) wants to get home to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving, but his flight has been cancelled due to bad weather. Neal tries to get home using whatever means of transportation is available to him, but aggressively gregarious shower ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy) has decided to tag along, and disaster seems to follow him wherever he goes. Many consider Planes, Trains & Automobiles the last great film that Hughes directed, filled with his dark wit while never leaving out the heart.

9 PM – Sixteen Candles
Written and Directed by John Hughes
Samantha (Molly Ringwald) is turning sixteen, but her entire family has forgotten as they fuss over her sister's wedding. She tries to get through the day the best she can, but nothing goes right as she deals with her hunky crush, the geek that has a crush on her, and a foreign exchange student that she has to look after. Sixteen Candles was the first film directed by Hughes, and it made a star out of Molly Ringwald, who for the next few years would become the face of an entire generation of teens.

9 PM – Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Written and Directed by John Hughes
High school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) skips school one day by faking an illness and convinces his girlfriend and his best friend to on a trip with him to Chicago before they all split up for college. The plan seems to work, but the stuffy Dean of Students Ed Rooney suspects Ferris of truancy, and goes all out trying to reveal his ploy. "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Truer words have never been spoken.

9 PM – The Breakfast Club
Written and Directed by John Hughes
"Saturday, March 24,1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed. " The greatest teen movie ever made? Probably.

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