Sixteen birthdays, sweet sixteens and all that are an American dream. They have become an American nightmare for one unlucky young lady. Forgetting that for a second, do not forget the recent news that surrounds this film and the work of its lead, Molly Ringwald. She hates her former films, is uncomfortable with her dead director John Hughes and feels that it all needs to be sent away. Fair enough. I dont think that it is helpful to hate. Sometimes it is just better to reflect on the thing and what it means across the board.
Samantha Baker (Ringwald) is having the worst day of her life. Firstly, her parents forgot her sixteenth birthday. I mean they didn’t forget her sisters wedding or the visit from the grand parents. Secondly, a sex test quiz she filled out has gone missing and might even have fallen into the wrong hands and Third and finally, a dweeby nerd (Anthony Michael Hall) has started to hit on her on a school bus, on the way home. With the party tonight, it could all go horribly wrong. Although it could all work out just fine…
John Hughes debut film is a teen sex comedy that is equally frank, fresh and formula driven. Hughes often wrote roles for boys. Here he takes a slant or an angle toward the female of the species. What this produces is an odd mix of humour, uncomfortable teen lives colliding with soon to be adulthood and the last vestige of 70s sexual politics. In an era of #METOO it is easy to forget this. SIXTEEN CANDLES was groundbreaking. It allowed the teen to voice anger and frustration in a direct way. It was also done with cultural baggage as diegetic (yes I know fancy film terms) but without it being forced or alien to its audience. In a nutshell it is a worthy watch for those who can switch off the excessive offense meters….
4K scan corrects the over lit issues. The lens flair and soft focus of the DVD however still are there. Only as a background heat, so to speak.
Top 3 extras here. Well the best is the Extended Version (94 mins). Adding a hint of humour and some more teens uncomfortable. The New Wave Nerd, a newly filmed interview with filmmaker Adam Rifkin. Adam Rifkin has some notes to Hughes work and working style that might interest the fan. Alternate “home video” soundtrack prepared for VHS and laserdisc releases. Well done to Arrow. This is a great idea.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- New restoration by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original negative
- High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation of the Theatrical Version of the film (92 mins), plus Blu-ray™ world premiere Extended Version (94 mins), featuring the additional “cafeteria” scene newly remastered in high definition
- Original lossless mono audio, plus 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround option
- Original English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Alternate “home video” soundtrack prepared for VHS and laserdisc releases
- Option to watch additional scene from the Extended Version separately
- Casting ‘Sixteen Candles’, an all-new audio interview with casting director Jackie Burch
- When Gedde Met Deborah, a newly filmed conversation between actors Gedde Watanabe and Deborah Pollack
- Rudy the Bohunk, a newly filmed interview with supporting actor John Kapelos
- The In-Between, a newly filmed interview with camera operator Gary Kibbe
- The New Wave Nerd, a newly filmed interview with filmmaker Adam Rifkin, who shadowed John Hughes while working as an extra on set
- Music for Geeks, a newly filmed interview with composer Ira Newborn
- A Very Eighties Fairytale, an all-new video essay written and narrated by writer Soraya Roberts, looking at the film from a contemporary feminist perspective
- Celebrating Sixteen Candles, an archive documentary featuring interviews with cast, crew and admirers, including stars Anthony Michael Hall, Paul Dooley, Justin Henry, Haviland Morris and Gedde Watanabe
- Theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
- Image galleries
- BD-ROM: PDF of the original shooting script
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Nikki Baughan and Bryan Reesman