John Hughes, RIP

I collect directors. That is how I generally index my collection. It goes by writing, direction, then cover art. :) I have 'The Breakfast Club' from John Hughes. I learned today that he died.

I admired the way John worked storylines involving multiple people, into a single thread. A friend of mine told me that the way to write movies, is communication - you want to have them develop characters - John did this well.

John would paint his characters against a backdrop of conflict with Authority , but he would always build out the character - you had a clear sense of who they were. What they were about. He used the neutral grey of High School Authority figures, or distracted parents (whats the difference?) - and built his stories with characters that find a place in us - the rebel, the appealing woman, the straight laced conformist, the average guy, the average girl, and the girl from the wrong side of the street.

These films set the basis for a generation and they used them as a form of literacy. In fact, all film and television is a basis for literacy - think of a theme, or a game you can play using only song titles - and you have a shared memory and language - thats what literacy can be, at a base and crude level. John's films were focussed and meaningful. And some of them were really good. I am told there is a family who watches "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" every year for Thanksgiving. Definitely, some scenes from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" hit pretty close to home for some of us (Valerie at 50) (and no, thats not me in the window)*.

And of course, there was some seriously useful advice in at least a few of his films. For example, one that helped me out alot when I was in High School was... "People on Ludes Should Not Drive".

This is true.

I am not sure where Michael Jackson is right now, but I heard John is going to be partying with Lennon and Jimi Hendrix and then they're heading off England then they're going to Bali to catch some tasty waves.