Monday, January 25, 2010

01-25-10: Don't You Forget About Me...Who are you?

D: Matt Austin.

Clearly this is not the documentary that is meant to mark the legacy of a filmmaker who spoke to an entire generation and generations to follow.

A group of filmmakers set out on a quest to get an interview with the reclusive John Hughes, the renowned filmmaker of such classics as "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."   Over a two year period they are able to get on-camera interviews with countless luminaries from the Hughes cannon of films.   It's a damn shame that all this material is put to waste.

What the filmmakers fail to realize is that they shouldn't be the focus of the documentary, which they are.  It should be about Hughes and the impact he had on countless generations of teenagers.  They speak to film critcis, producers, directors, actors, teenagers and so forth to understand the impact Hughes had.  Instead of delving deeper into the subject they go back to the uninteresting adventures of the film crew as they search for John Hughes.

Their actions come off as unprofessional, irresponsible and disrespectful.  One of the crew says that if Hughes says "No" to the interview then that says a lot about the guy.  Get over yourself.  The crew even resorts to a plead of desperation by saying that if he grants the interview they can finish their film.

Well they finished their film and it doesn't work.

Sadly, John Hughes passed last summer.  The filmmakers missed a golden opportunity to change the direction of the documentary and edit it into a love letter to Hughes.  They don't get the interview so the purpose of the film's existence failed.    They should have dropped all of that and concentrated on the interviews and what people thought of Hughes.  You can get an idea of what a man's like by what his peers have to say.  We don't get enough of that and are left with self-indulgent dribble.

This is not the way to commemorate the man, watch his films instead.

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