Anyone one who was anyone (what a cliché…) and was a teenager during the 1980s and early 1990s is familiar with John Hughes and his collection of movies that spoke to an entire generation of teenagers. His movies encompassed the masses of teenage cliques and social barriers, so his movies became legend for a group of youth who are now in their 30s and 40s. The most important factor regarding this selection of movies is how timeless they remain; the concepts and themes that are prevalent in Hughes’ movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s are still pertinent today. Teenagers today still deal with peer pressure, substance use/abuse, frustrations at school, misunderstanding adults, self-esteem issues, and the list goes on and on… Many adults do not pay attention to the problems or issues teenagers face or do not take them seriously, but this is not only a huge mistake, but also one of the prominent themes that runs through the majority of Hughes’ teenage films. These issues are real and relevant! Filmmaker, John Hughes maaged to address these issues throughout his films, and KCPL is spending August highlighting them. I cannot think of a better way to begin an upcoming school year.
Inventing the American Teenager: The Films of John Hughes
Films are showing Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m., at the Central Library, 14 W. 10thSt.
John Hughes did not invent the teen flick, but as a director and screenwriter, he adapted the genre for its audience, evolving teenagers from sensationalized subject matter into sympathetic (and comedic) characters. In so doing, Hughes created a film template that is still copied—and parodied—to this day” (KCPL August Newsletter 3).
Here is the schedule for the John Hughes films being shown by KCPL:
MONDAYS at 6:30 p.m.:
August 1: Sixteen Candles (1985) Rated R*
August 8: Weird Science (1985) Rated PG-13
August 15: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) Rated PG-13
August 22: Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) Rated PG-13
August 29: Career Opportunities (1991) Rated PG-13
SATURDAYS at 1:30 p.m.
August 6: The Breakfast Club (1985) Rated R*
August 13: Pretty in Pink (1986) Rated PG-13
August 20: She’s Having a Baby (1988) Rated PG-13
August 27: New Port South (2001) Rated PG-13
All of these films are free and open to the public. I highly recommend anyone who works with teens to view these movies, even if it’s not through the KCPL. However, I also commend the Kansas City Public Library for recognizing the genius of John Hughes and the vital contribution he made to cinema regarding adolescent life.
*Writer’s Note: The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) did not create the rating of “PG-13” until after 1984, well after these two films were “in the can” and ready for release; therefore, the “PG-13” rating was not available for rating these two movies (Breznican 1).
Breznican, Anthony. “PG-13 Remade Hollywood Ratings System.” www.seattlepi.comAugust 23, 2004: 1.