Thursday, August 6, 2009

R.I.P. John Hughes


As I was making dinner last night, a great scene from Some Kind of Wonderful(1987) popped into my head. It was the scene when Eric Stoltz's character, Keith, crashes the house of the rich snotnose with whom he was competing for the affections of Amanda Jones, played by Leigh Thompson. Just when Keith was about to get his ass whupped, he gets saved by his friends from detention, a bunch of 'punks', who had earlier in the film, been his enemies. They scare the snotnose into submission in front of the whole school, humiliating him. It was a beautiful moment which I wished had replicated itself many times in my youth, when I was made to feel 'lesser' than a person or group. As I toasted my bread, I relished the looks on my opponents faces if I had a bunch of punks to 'have my back'.

The de facto leader of this bunch, Duncan, played by Elias Koteas, bonded with Keith over their mutually appreciated drawing skills (another great moment in the film), enabling their alliance. Koteas played one of the most memorable punk slackers in teen movie history, a perfect comedic compliment to the earnestness of Keith and Amanda.

Who's responsible for these awesome characters existing, not to mention many others, including Ferris Bueller? John Hughes. I hope I didn't kill him last night because I do find it odd that he should die the day after I remember that scene. But then again, maybe he had always permeated my mind. I almost brought Ferris Bueller's Day Off to show my young students in art class last week. Even though John Hughes left filmmaking over 15 years ago, his presence is still in my mind, way more often than I thought.

"We're gonna bring this party up to a nice respectable level. Don't worry, we're not gonna hurt anyone. We're not even gonna touch 'em. We're just gonna make 'em cry a little, just by lookin' at 'em." ——Duncan

No comments: