With close-ups of waist-hugging jeans and Brylcreemed mullets, cut to the tune of a synth-pop melody, the opening montage of John Hughes’s 1982 directorial debut, Sixteen Candles, distils the fashion and music of the era almost to the point of cliché. It’s so painfully and beautifully ’80s that it hurts like a noogie to the head.
So, all aboard the Vintage Sundays time machine, as we celebrate the late, great filmmaker with a season of 1980s classics. We include five of his so-called “Brat Pack” movies – all of which showcase his uncanny ability to tap into teen emotion.
Join teen icon Molly Ringwald for misanthropic misfit Sam’s not-so-sweet 16th birthday in Sixteen Candles – a perceptive coming-of-age comedy that celebrates complex adolescent characters, setting the trend for all intelligent teen comedies to follow. Ringwald returns for Hughes’s most romantic and joyously sentimental film, Pretty In Pink, and geeks rule the roost in the outrageous sci-fi fantasy romp, Weird Science.
We also get sent to detention in Hughes’s high-school opus, The Breakfast Club. Whichever character you relate to, whether it’s the loner, nerd, athlete, delinquent or princess, the seminal 1985 comedy – with all its innately American trimmings – cuts through the pain, suffering and excitement of going through those pubescent years. Teen angst simply crosses cultures, which is why Hughes’s films are always a popular choice among cult film fans at our cinemas.
Of course, there’s time to twist and shout with everyone’s favourite charismatic rascal, who’s off on an impulsive adventure in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Planes, Trains and Automobiles sits adrift in the season, but the riot, starring Steven Martin and John Candy, is perhaps the funniest of all – and there’s so much fun to be had. Remember: life moves pretty fast, so don’t miss out on this brilliant season.
Tickets for all Vintage Sundays shows are just £5 for Picturehouse Members and £8 general admission. The John Hughes season starts on Sunday 1 October, with The Breakfast Club.