Don't You Forget About Me: A Tribute to John Hughes

Directed by Matt Austin (Alliance)

Surprisingly, the new documentary Don't You Forget About Me isn't a crass cash-in on tragedy, but a well-meaning love letter, filmed before John Hughes' unexpected death. In 2006, four Canadian filmmakers embarked on a two-year quest to explore how the writer-director managed to "capture the growing pains of adolescence so perfectly" in films like The Breakfast Club, and why he spent the last 15-plus years as a relative hermit. As it turns out, countless current and former teenagers, Hughes collaborators and famous fans were curious about the same things. Sure, DYFAM's central premise is slightly flawed---the filmmakers apparently believe that studio-produced movies are the only kind, and that the often schlocky himself Hughes was the sole truth-telling filmmaker in a world of hacks. Then again, it's pretty impressive that Hughes established a distinctive voice and captivated a mass audience. It's hard not to be moved by the added poignancy the film takes in the wake of Hughes' passing, and by one filmmaker's offhand comment that "You don't usually get a tribute like this until you're dead."

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