Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dear John Hughes

I'm still unable to update Twitter from the main web page. Apparently there's a problem for some Firefox users, so I guess I'm one of them. I could use the Safari browser I suppose, but I've decided I quite like the idea of being prompted by the tweets of people I follow on Twitter to reflect in more depth (or perhaps just at greater length) about life, the universe, and everything.

The tweet that prompted my line of thought today:

Well, I have to admit that it made me tear up rather a lot and it got me thinking about my own experience of John Hughes. I didn't have any direct correspondence with him the way Alison did, but at least three of his films were very important to me in my senior years of high school. In 1985 I began Grade 11 and that was the year The Breakfast Club was released. I remember going to the cinema with my friends and we all identified with those characters, their insecurities and their dreams, their desire to be different.

The next year we went to see Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Watching Ferris Bueller, I suppose I just wished I'd had his chutzpah, his ingenuity, not only to wrangle a day off school, but to go all out and celebrate that day, dragging his girlfriend and his genuinely sick friend along for the adventure, and infuriating his sister along the way.

It was joyful celebration of youth, and just writing about it now, I've got a such a grin on my face that it's crinkling my eyes. The lengths Ferris goes to, to fool his teachers, prefigure Hughes's later Home Alone series, but I think the best moment is when Ferris suddenly appears atop a float in a street parade, writhing and lip-syncing to Twist and Shout. Ha! LOL!

Now I probably identify more with the teacher at the school: 'Anyone. Anyone'.

I wasn't as enamoured with Pretty in Pink as a film as I was with its soundtrack. I still think it's one of the best film soundtracks ever.

Not that I've had an ongoing knowledge of film soundtracks, but what's a blog for if not to indulge in a bit of hyperbole?

Anyway, I wanted to include a clip of Echo and the Bunnymen's Bring on the Dancing Horses, which was amongst my favourite songs on the soundtrack but I could only find a live version from years later where the lead singer was smoking while singing, which no doubt accounts for his completely shot voice.

There is a clip of the original video but in their continued fear of and confusion about YouTube, WMG has ordered the sound to be muted. (Is there any point in railing against this short-sighted practice? Is there any point in suggesting that no-one would make any money off the clip if the audio was available, and nor would it prevent WMG making money from the song? Who knows, perhaps by not infuriating people with corporate standover tactics and being generous enough to allow people to indulge in their nostalgia for the song, well, people might come over all warm and fuzzy and even go out and buy it again? Bah!)

Here's the closest I could get to it: a mashup of Bring on the Dancing Horses and Snow Patrol's Chocolate.

RIP John Hughes.

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