Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sad Day in Shermer, Ill. (and Hiroshima, Japan)

I read somewhere on this wondrous series of tubes that the flash that occurred this day sixty four year ago over/in/through Hiroshima had the brightness of 200 one-million candlepower lights. I don't know if that figure is accurate. Probably not. But it does convey the inexplicability of what is must have been like in that city at the moment of the atomic blast on Aug. 6 1945. The decimating brilliance of the explosion changed the world. It was an awesome display of might. And light. Unlike anything previously seen.

A few decades later, John Hughes changed, or at least illuminated, his world with a different sort of, more benevolent, brilliance. And it took him just 16 candles. Hughes died today in Manhattan. On Hiroshima Day. Is that fitting? Poetic? Ironic? Nope. It's just a coincidence. But look what I did with it. Impressed? I know.

Although Hughes wrote National Lampoon's Vacation, which was released in 1983 it wasn't until his directorial debut, Sixteen Candles that he really began to carve out his very popular niche in the popular culture. As either writer or director (or both), Hughes gave us Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Mr. Mom, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors and a whole bunch of other movies. He also introduced us all to Molly Ringwald, which likely began my attraction to redheads.

(That's Hughes on the right.)

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