John Hughes dead at 59
And in the blink of an eye, 2009 becomes even tougher on Generation X.
This afternoon, the film director John Hughes died of a heart attack while taking a walk in Manhattan. Along with the death of Michael Jackson just a few weeks ago, the summer of 2009 has seen the passing of the two major architects of the mood that defined the 1980s.
"Fuckin'-A right he owes us"-- the seminal scene from Hughes' National Lampoon's Vacation.
Gimme Noise can hardly be called completists. But bear with us as we reprint his entire filmography from the 1980s. Tell us this doesn't read, in large, like a "most beloved comedy" list, sprawling over three decades of cultural awareness:
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Nate and Hayes (1983) (with David Odell)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985; characters)
Weird Science (1985)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
She's Having a Baby (1988)
The Great Outdoors (1988)
Uncle Buck (1989)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
More than any director of his time, Hughes, in decade-defining blockbusters, embraced and analyzed the teenage experience. But Hughes was no sharp critic, and though his often barbed outlook dominated his films, Hughes' work is an ode to youth and to humanity, and two generations of modern filmmakers (we're looking at you, Wes Anderson) are in his debt.
The end of his career gets a bit dicier and hard to celebrate. But who's doesn't? With a past including Planes, Trains and Automobiles and National Lampoon's Vacation, it is no sweat to pardon Maid in Manhattan and Drillbit Taylor. His later works are chaff, which will burn into ash upon re-entry into popular awareness. His work in the 1980s? Each is a monument to our younger selves, in all their frailty and romance.
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