RIP John Hughes

No one mixed the sentimental and the comic better than John Hughes.  Before there was Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen movies there was John Hughes, the king of teen comedies which treated like teens like human beings.  Many of his films are part of the firmament of my film imagination.  I cannot imagine a world wherein there had never been a Ferris Bueller or a Clark Griswald or a Kevin McCallister.   And what would have HBO have played ad nauseum during my youth if there were no Pretty In Pink, Breakfast Club, Somet Kind of Wonderful, or Planes, Trains, and Automobiles?  I shudder to think.

Ben Stein:

His understanding of the mindset of the rich pre-teen child — total paranoia combined with almost Hitlerian fantasies of power and sadism — was made funny in his Home Alone movies. His thought that family is far more of a combined prison and circus than a heaven was brought to hilarious life by his National Lampoon’s Vacation series.But the insight that will make him immortal came in his teen movies, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and my favorite, the one that changed my life, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This insight was that the modern American white middle class teen combines a Saudi Arabia-sized reservoir of self-obsession and self-pity with a startling gift for exultation and enjoyment of life. No one had ever thought to note that along with James Dean’s sulky self-obsession might also come a shriek of happiness at just being alive. John Hughes — Republican — saw that potential, saw that the individual still had the ability to transcend whatever was weighing him or her down and come out leading a parade down Michigan Avenue.

Matthew Broderick:

I am truly shocked and saddened by the news about my old friend John Hughes. He was a wonderful, very talented guy and my heart goes out to his family.

Molly Ringwald:

I was stunned and incredibly sad to hear about the death of John Hughes. He was and will always be such an important part of my life. He will be missed — by me and by everyone that he has touched. My heart and all my thoughts are with his family now.”

Bill Paxton:

He took a tremendous chance on me. Like Orson Welles, he was a boy wonder, a director’s director, a writer’s writer, a filmmaker’s filmmaker. He was one of the giants.

Macaulay Culkin:

I was a fan of both his work and a fan of him as a person.  The world has lost not only a quintessential filmmaker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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