August 7, 2009
R.I.P. John Hughes
John Hughes passed away yesterday at the far too early age of 59 from a heart attack. His films were staples of our youth (I may hold the record for the most Ferris Bueller viewings) and more than any other cultural artifact defined the 80s decade. Hughes was incredibly influential in his use of music in film from the Psychedelic Furs song that inspired Pretty in Pink (with one of the most brilliant soundtracks overall) to Ferris Bueller leading all of Chicago through "Twist and Shout" (my personal favorite). So much of what is going on in current music scene is influenced by the 80s music and 80s spirit embodied in his films. Many acts I have written about here from Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Phoenix, The Big Pink to Passion Pit have clear influences.
Then there is M83, the brilliant French electronic music producer, who raves about Hughes and his influence specifically on his latest album, the exceptional Saturdays=Youth, which Anthony Gonzalez (M83) credits a big debt to Hughes' Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club. Saturdays=Youth is a Hughes film soundtrack for our current time. The video below is for M83's "Kim & Jessie" - it has all the teen awkwardness, angst, simplicity and beauty that embodied Hughes' work.
Below is another video that surfaced a few months ago mashing up Phoenix's "Lisztomania" with the brat pack. This was user-generated, but it created so much buzz that the band has been talking about it in interviews. Love this -
And just for fun I have to include this: