Fools by Martin Walker

Friday, August 07, 2009

My 16 candles for John Hughes, R.I.P Friend

Three films that inspired Love Song
1. Some Kind of Wonderful (written by John Hughes)
2. Singles (written & directed by Cameron Crow)
3. Love Actually (written & directed by Richard Curtis)

Of the three films, Some Kind of Wonderful had the bigger influence on Love Song;
The love triangle, the girl musician, the clueless best friend and of course the happy ending.

John Hughes has had an even bigger impact on my life than I thought. His passing has affected me deeply. How could the death of a person I did not personally know leave me feeling so empty? And then it hit me, I did know him or rather he knew me and he knew me well. David Edelstein on his blog, The Projectionist said it best, “John Hughes, captured for a generation of kids (largely white, middle- and upper- middle class) how it felt to be marginalized, misjudged, alienated from parents, and alone in a crowd of so-called peers”. That was me and most of my generation growing up.

It bothers me that almost every article I’ve read describes his audience as largely white, middle- and upper- middle class. My girlfriends and I dreamed of Jake Ryan and Ferris Bueller driving across the George Washington Bridge and taking us on the dream date of a life time. We did not let socioeconomics get in the way of our celluloid fantasies.

That’s not to say that some of my friends have not chastised or questioned my love for this man’s films over the years. “There are no brown people in his movies” or “the characters are affluent” or “they live in Chicago” and my favorite “how can you relate to any of it”. My answer was, “I like his work, his movies make me feel good”. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Watching his films as an adult, I realize what drew me to his work, what makes stop channel surfing if I stumble onto one of his gems; in the end, the outcast gets his/her happy ending and I love that. Those are my favorite kinds of movies, commercial or independent, the story of the outcast/outsider/underdog has always appealed to me especially if the outcast/outsider/underdog gets a happy ending.

My least favorite of his films is Pretty in Pink (he wrote and produced). Why? Because she ends up with Blaine when she should have ended up with Ducky. The 16 year old in me was rooting for Blaine but that’s my point, the movie sends a bad message. However, I think this one has my favorite soundtrack, music from Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, The Psychedelic Furs, New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths, it’s heaven.

Mr. Hughes’ films rarely got the respect he deserved. Perhaps posthumously his critics will come to understand and appreciate his work and what it meant to people like me.

We are almost done with the film - Coming to a festival near you in 2010.



About The Three Shorts

Christine Le wrote and directed the 1st story Love 10 to 1.
The first story explores the life of a 29-year-old virgin, Jenny, who desperately wants to lose her virginity before her 30th birthday. As she encounters one loser after another on dates, Jenny pines after her boss, Dustin. While at her grandmother’s retirement home, Jenny learns a powerful lesson from her grandmother about sex and the meaning of life.

Christine Le (right) directs Shireen Nomura Mui (Jenny) & Justin Klosky (Jim).

Lucy Rodriguez wrote and directed Love Song.
The second story revolves around Shane, the lead singer of the L.A. rock band, Dirty Virgin. Shane has her pick of admirers but it’s her roommate Dustin she wants to be with. Shane confesses her feelings on Jackie and Jared’s show but when Dustin meets Cali, Shane’s shot at love starts to dwindle. With Dirty Virgin about to embark on a world tour, will Dustin realize that he’s the object of Shane’s affections? Will they risk their friendship to give this Love Song a chance?

Lucy Rodriguez & David Villar (Dustin)

Laura Somers wrote and directed Diving Lessons.
The final story picks up where Love 10 to 1 left off, but from the perspective of Jim, the guitarist of Dirty Virgin. Jim sees Jenny at a swimming pool, trying desperately to overcome her fear of diving. In fact, he finds out that she’s making a list of everything that she’s afraid of and trying to overcome them, one by one. He is instantly smitten and tries to convince her that he’s not just a rock star who ‘loves ‘em and leaves ‘em’. Can a rock star find love with a virgin?

Shireen Nomura-Mui, Laura Somers & Justin Klosky

Leah Anova is the Director of Photography for Love 10 to 1 & Diving Lessons.

Additional Cinematography on Diving Lessons by Erik Forsell

Matthew Boyd is the Director of Photography for Love Song.