Favorite Scene Theatre: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
I’ve always had mixed feelings about John Hughes’ films, though I have no mixed feelings about his writing and directing skills. He was the first filmmaker to really “get” 80’s youth and their culture, especially the music and he was always on the pop cutting edge. His National Lampoon stories — vicious and hilarious — revealed much of his inner rage at suburbia, although his films seemed to reflect a more privileged POV. Which is why I alternately loved and hated FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF upon release. I didn’t like the Reagan-era tone, that rich kid Bueller could buy or bully his way through situations, but Matthew Broderick is so charming you can forgive his White Plight. What I did love about the film was the wonderful snapshot of how it feels to cut school on a Friday to savor the tapestry of life. In this case, downtown Chicago. This is my favorite moment of FBDO, the point where I settled in and felt as one with Ferris and his crew as they raced into the steel and brick canyons of Chicago, the infectious tune “Beat City” by the Flowerpot Men propelling them on their journey with John Hughes joyous cinematic abandon taking us along.