Don't You Forget About Me: A Documentary


 

This website was created to promote the 2006 documentary, Don't You Forget About Me. The film cuts insightful and entertaining interviews with the honest, humorous, and tension filled road trip the Canadian film makers go on in the hopes of not only finding John Hughes but also securing an interview with the reclusive director.
Directed by Matt Austin, the film was named after the 1985 hit song by Simple Minds, which in turn was the theme song for Hughes' film The Breakfast Club.

Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other relevant outside sources.

 



Don't You Forget About Me - Official Teaser - John Hughes Documentary
Documentary features interviews with : Kevin Smith, Jason Reitman, Roger Ebert, Judd Nelson, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Kelly LeBrock, Annie Potts, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck, Gedde Watanabe, Ilan Mitchel-Smith, Howard Deutch, Jim Kerr(Simple Minds). Music from : The Stills, Gentleman Reg, Major Maker, Small Sins, Waking Eyes, The American Analog Set, The Paper Planes, Cancel Winter, The Acorn, Young Galaxy.

 

"One of the reasons why we felt compelled to make this documentary 20 years after 'The Breakfast Club' was originally released was because we suddenly came to the realization that the majority of today's teenagers have enough trouble relating to the world than recognizing themselves on screen," explains Austin. "A film from 20 years ago portrayed them more accurately then anything made for them today.

How did John Hughs capture the growing pains of adolescence so perfectly?
Why do his films resonate with thosse that grew up with them and those that have just discovered them?
Why did he leave?

Armed with those and many other questions, a documentry was put into production. It wasn't too long before interviews with Hughs and those influenced by Hughs transpired, shedding light on Hughs and his work. However after 2 years of compolong hundreds of interviews there was still a very important one missing: John Hughs. So the neophyte documentary crew hit the road to his hometown, documenting their journey, the approach they would take, and their personal connections to the film.

 

 

Documentary About John Hughes Finds Distributor

By Dave Itzkoff
August 11, 2009

John Hughes

Associated Press John Hughes in 1984.

After weeks of searching for the filmmaker John Hughes and then trying to sell a documentary about that search, the documentary’s director finally found a distributor for his movie — one day after his elusive subject died, Variety reported. The documentary, called “Don’t You Forget About Me,” was made by Matt Austin Sadowski, a Canadian director and actor, and three filmmaking colleagues, Michael Facciolo, Kari Hollend and Lenny Panzer. It combines footage from road trips spent seeking Mr. Hughes, the writer and director of 1980s teen comedies like “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Sixteen Candles,” with interviews of stars from these films, including Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mia Sara. After Mr. Hughes died on Thursday of a heart attack, Mr. Austin Sadowski said, he started receiving interview requests from the news media the next day. And by noon on Friday, Variety said, Mr. Austin Sadowski had sold worldwide rights to Alliance Films, a Montreal-based distributor. An American release date for the film was not announced.

 



80's Teen Movie Scenes Mashup - Don't You (Forget About Me)

 



 

REVIEWS

From RottenTomatoes

 

*Ashley T
April 3, 2010
John Hughes deserves a much better tribute than this poorly researched trash. While a few of the interviews with Hughes past collaborators and contemporary fans are interesting, none of them are terribly insightful about the man, and they all feel like B-roll footage thrown together with no real goal in mind. The road trip footage is a complete waste of time. Getting lost on the way to Chicago and asking locals about Hughes current whereabouts might be comical if it weren't a bunch of clueless, spoiled, rich kids who hijacked their parents credit cards to fund the project.

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*** Timothy D
March 30, 2010
Excellent premise and fascinating interviews and analysis of John Hughes' impact on filmmaking and teen life. The filmmakers offer us tremendous insight via the cast and crew of Hughes' films. The only drawback to this documentary is the intrusiveness of the filmmakers themselves. The scenes in which they appear do little to propel the story forward, and are distracting.

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**** ½ Troy F
March 9, 2010
Don't You Forget About Me is a documentary based on John Hughes works with interviews from just about every actor and actress from almost every one of his movies, as well as teen's views and praise for his films. It shows how John Hughes made the greatest teen movies that have been admired by three generations of viewers. Four filmmakers on a journey from Canada to Illinois to search for John Hughes and attempt a possible interview or communication with him. It gives you a great perspective of John Hughes works and his great influences on teens. The documentary could've been more complete, but I honor it for how it is.

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*** Kristina G
March 9, 2010
Lovely tribute documentary to John Hughes. If you love his movies (Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, Sixteen Candles, etc) you will appreciate this.

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*** ½ Julianna S
March 9, 2010
An interesting documentary about an interesting part of movie history. It was fun to see the stars remenicing., Made me want to go rent Breakfast Club.

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*** Mike M
March 8, 2010
Filmed in 2008, this affectionate fanboy tribute to the work of John Hughes suffers from an irksome framing device - it's the journey of four Canadians (all of whom look and speak like refugees from a chewing gum commercial) making their way to interview the reclusive director at his Chicago home, an ad hoc quest that leads to far too many production meetings being held on camera. Still, the substance of the film is highly satisfying: wideranging interviews with many of the actors who made impressions in Hughes's teen movies (Nelson, LeBrock, Ruck, Sheedy, Gedde Watanabe, plus - brace yourselves, ladies - Andrew McCarthy); filmmakers who either worked with or were inspired by Hughes (Howard Deutch, Allan Moyle, Kevin Smith, Jason Reitman); and real-life teenagers who prove almost as gawkily photogenic and articulate as those Hughes's features made movie stars of. Elsewhere, the film draws legitimate comparisons between the relatively innocent first wave of modern teen movies and their slicker, more packaged contemporary siblings... the documentary made me realise how one speech given to Edie McClurg's secretary in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" effectively set in stone the tribal characterisation adhered to in "Mean Girls", "She's the Man", "Glee", etc. (It also raises a useful parallel between Molly Ringwald and Lindsay Lohan, the two pre-eminent redheads of two very different - and differently mediated - eras; for more than one reason, you conclude, Miss Lohan might do well to follow her predecessor in marrying a doctor and moving to France.) It's a bit of a jumble, there are absentees (Ringwald, Matthew Broderick) and you might want at least one critical voice to address these films' essential conservatism, their comforting squareness, and how easily they sat within the mainstream: Hughes did, after all, give us Chris Columbus and "Pretty In Pink" rather than "Savage" Steve Holland and "Better Off Dead". Still, that may just be the grown-up in me talking; as Sheedy's Allison puts it in "The Breakfast Club", "When you grow up, your heart dies", and "Don't You Forget About Me" bears out Hughes's reminders to hold on to your youth, because it's all downhill from there. In the two years since the documentary's production, not only have we lost Hughes to a heart attack, but one of the doc's star witnesses, Roger Ebert - who describes Hughes as "a philosopher of adolescence" and "The Breakfast Club", rather wonderfully, as "The 'My Dinner With Andre' of teen movies" - has been left speechless by cancer, while Howard Deutch (who happily refers to himself as "the Salieri to John's Mozart") made the truly rancid "My Best Friend's Girl". That sound you can hear is Hughes spinning - or perhaps still twisting and shouting - in his grave.

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**** Aaron B
March 2, 2010
This isa documentary by four friends who just want to find out why John Hughes had disappeared from the movie making buisness. It ends up being a love letter to John. Not just frm the film makers, but all of the fans young, and middle aged both.
One of the things I thought was really interesting, was how many kids, not just young adults, but children who have seen his movies, and find them tbe better than the movies aimed at teens today.
I can recommend this to damn near every ody. For the fans, it is a love letter. For those who are not familiar with his work. It serves as an introduction. Ether way, it should be near the top of the netflix cue.

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***** Mark H
March 2, 2010
John Hughes rules - this is a great, GREAT documentary

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** Don A
February 27, 2010
Just got a chance to see this Canadian flick that deals with the great John Hughs.The problem I had with this movie was that it was a good idea but it can best be summed up as a home movie of an uninteresting road trip. My main beef with this movie was that it was a good premise and it could have been something really good, but there was no reason to care for the characters. This was supposed to be a documentry, but the characters seemed to be acting rather than being sincerce. There was even a point when one of them mentioned to one of the leads to stop acting and just be real. That being said, there were some increadibly beautiful shots that were taken [after crossing the border and standing in a field with the sun setting in the backgroud] and could have been the perfect exposition scene but was just wasted with bad dialogue. The interviews with former Hugh's stars were inciteful and for that I'm giving it a rental rating

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**** ½ Adam U
February 13, 2010
Frigging great documentary about an often forgotten film maker and writer, whose work most of us are familiar with.

Definitely a must see for people who want to be film makers or writers. I believe that it satisfactorily describes what's missing in Hollywood these days.

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***Evan G
February 10, 2010
A great tribute to John Hughes. If you loved his movies, you should see it.

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***Patrick F
February 9, 2010
An okay doc about the influence of John Hughes - there are some nice interviews, but it plays more like a "special feature" than an actual movie. And it has one hell of an anticlimax.

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*** ½ Alex M
February 7, 2010
For those who love John Hughes, which is most of us, this documentary is a pleasant reminder why wel fell in love with all his movies in the first place.

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**** Andrew P
February 5, 2010
Even if you weren't raised on the iconic director John Hughes's 80's teen movies, this documentary is still a treat. It's fun to watch the filmmakers as they reminisce about his films - one even says she doesn't remember the first time she saw Breakfast Club because she doesn't remember a time when it wasn't there. As we watch them travel to Chicago, the film is peppered with interviews of actors who starred in Hughes's movies, celebrity fans, and people on the street. The whole thing is a love letter to Hughes. The filmmakers want the director to know how much they love his films and how those films have touched them. It's a nostalgic trip to be sure, but it's one that's deserved, making the director's death last year all the more tragic.

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**** Jeff P
February 2, 2010
This was a beautiful piece of work. John Hughes certainly deserved all the success imaginable for being able to reach three generations and counting with his films. Even though his life ended so suddenly less than a year ago, this documentary still is able to keep that positive light at the end which, when you think about it, is exactly what John Hughes achieved with every film in which he was involved. Anyone who has a hard time understanding why Hollywood is not reaching its teen audience today needs to see this film.

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*****Maryann O
January 30, 2010
A fantastic documentary.

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*** Super Reviewer Martin B
January 26, 2010
Can a documentary have spoilers? If so, well then: spoiler alert.

Any documentary about John Hughes is going to be worth watching, if only to relive so many classic moments from his films. The inclusion of recent interviews with cast members, collaborators, and other filmmakers inspired by his films are a real asset as well. But what keeps this documentary from being anything special is the way the filmmakers chose to focus on themselves. What originally was just to be a doc on Hughes' films and their impact was changed into a film focusing on the documentarians' quest to get an interview with the notoriously recluse director. Perhaps if they had succeeded, it would have been worth the work and made sense to include it; but the fact that they failed to get an interview, meet him, or even get a response from him makes that whole aspect of the film anticlimactic and pointless.

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*** ½ Carolyn G
December 26, 2009
I saw my first John Hughes movie in 1983-ish on cable, back when HBO would run anything just to fill the airtime. It was a completely insane movie called "National Lampoon's Class Reunion" and it grabbed my funny-bone and would not let go. I had to know everything about this movie. Who had written something that completely "got" my stupid sense of humor? For the next several years, John Hughes continued to make me laugh, cry and even cringe. His output before his much-talked about "disappearance" wasn't his best. The things he wrote under a fake name were terrible. None of that can take away what he did from '82-'91, whether as a writer, director, producer or all of the above. This documentary isn't brilliant. It's pretty fanboy-ish and it fails in the end to produce what it set out to achieve. Still, it managed to achieve something pretty entertaining, which was a bunch of Hughes fans, friends, critics and actors talking about his movies. Those scenes and the clips from Hughes films (out of his teen canon only) were a lot of fun and where this docu was at its strongest. I think every Hughes fan should take a peek - it is currently showing on Starz/Encore over the holidays but will be released on DVD on 12/31. Cheers to John Hughes!

 

 

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