Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

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hearthesilence
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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#76 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Feb 25, 2023 4:30 pm

Fell down a web-browsing rabbit hole related to this movie - I was under the impression the whole film was shot in Illinois when it turned out Ferris's home was shot in Long Beach, CA, and at the time, Judge Thad Balkman (only 14 when the movie came out) was still living there with his family. Balkman would later preside over Oklahoma's state opioid case against Johnson & Johnson - he found the company responsible for creating a "public nuisance" under state law, saying that the company's "misleading marketing and promotion of opioids...compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahomans." He then ordered the company to pay a fine of $572 million, the first such judgment against Johnson & Johnson in any state. (Unfortunately, his decision was overturned by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 2021.) Now I've got this image of an older Ferris Bueller in Oklahoma's judiciary.

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yoloswegmaster
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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#77 Post by yoloswegmaster » Sun Mar 19, 2023 3:00 pm

Fred Holywell wrote:
Wed Mar 15, 2023 4:41 pm
"CBS Sunday Morning" correspondent Ben Tracy talks with Martin Scorsese, and with film archivists, about the ongoing fight to restore and preserve a fragile and endangered art form.

Film restoration: Saving our cinema heritage
This interviews shows Paramount doing restoration work for 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. I wonder if Criterion will finally be releasing this or if Paramount will be releasing it themselves.

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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#78 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Mar 19, 2023 3:23 pm

Feels like too big a title for them to let go, especially as they’ve been more active in updating their own back catalog for release.

Makes sense they shot the house in California, as I presume that big chase scene would be trickier to shoot in a Chicago suburb.

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Finch
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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#79 Post by Finch » Sun Mar 19, 2023 5:18 pm

Paramount appear to be not as hands off with the grain with their more famous and popular titles for some reason so I'm not selling the most recent BD until we have confirmation that any UHD or a new 4k based BD hasn't been grain managed and DNR'd.

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colinr0380
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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#80 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Mar 20, 2023 3:30 pm

I presume they will have to add the 2012 Superbowl commercial to the extras if they're doing this.

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yoloswegmaster
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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#81 Post by yoloswegmaster » Sun May 21, 2023 10:25 am

Looks like the Criterion release won't be happening anytime soon as a listing has been found for a UHD release coming from Paramount.

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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#82 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun May 21, 2023 11:36 am

I never bought into the original scant idea that this was coming from the Criterion Collection.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#83 Post by hearthesilence » Sun May 21, 2023 12:02 pm

I was skeptical too, and I'm glad it didn't. It's got funny moments, usually the more bizarre jokes, but it's also a smug film centered around a privileged douchebag.

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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#84 Post by SeizureMilk » Sun May 21, 2023 12:41 pm

Agreed, based off memory, Ferris Bueller certainly was fun and it’s one of the better films during his prime, but I’ve always preferred the more character driven, laid back edge of The Breakfast Club which seemed more fitting for a Criterion. But if there would any rumors on a boutique label release, surprised very few if anyone brought up Arrow Video, considering their track record of releasing 80s Hughes classics I.E. Weird Science and Sixteen Candles, plus they are working with Paramount who are the licensors of Bueller which is probably how we got Hugo and The Wolf of Wall Street for example.

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Re: Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#85 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun May 21, 2023 1:46 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Sun May 21, 2023 12:02 pm
I was skeptical too, and I'm glad it didn't. It's got funny moments, usually the more bizarre jokes, but it's also a smug film centered around a privileged douchebag.
I don’t agree that it’s a smug film, which seems to be an unfairly shallow interpretation that ignores a central character in Cameron who is also essentially the audience surrogate, but even beyond that and just focusing on Ferris, film captures the inherent egocentricity of youth pretty well. Sure, the narrative gets taken to its logical extreme, but whether or not one externalized their self-obsession with Look-At-Me theatrics or internalized it with an inferiority complex (Cameron serves as this alternative manifestation), it’s still the same developmentally-appropriate psyches in motion. Ferris Bueller is the kind of kid many of us hated and judged that way, partially because he boasts and manipulates to get what he wants, but also partially because we wanted to actualize our same egocentricity in a more fun way and were frustrated at the barriers to doing that.

This film is an interesting one because Hughes knows the majority of the audience is in Cameron’s shoes rather than Ferris’, which is why we’re going to the movies to see this story at all (if that’s how we operate, what’s the experience?) - So we’re seeing this ‘fantasy’ play out from his point of view, while also acknowledging the problems and lack of catharsis present when we’re included in that narrative and cannot overcome our self-consciousness. It’s pretty brilliant reflexive engagement with the material, and while the message is certainly about getting out of your own way and find ways for healthy self-expression so as not to psychologically implode, I don’t think it’s endorsing Ferris’ polarized extreme either. A middle ground is forged through a road movie documenting these opposing personalities in conflict, whether we get to see that in action or not. The elision of that conversation Cam will have with his dad is the cathartic, if banal outcome that is only possibly through the highs and lows we’ve been included in. It’s a film about growth - for Ferris that means inhibiting selfish actions to think more about other people, whereas for Cam it means acting more for himself.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#86 Post by hearthesilence » Sun May 21, 2023 5:58 pm

It’s a real stretch to say Ferris experienced much growth, or more specifically has learned to think more about other people than himself. The movie’s big emotional climax even diminishes the fact that Ferris pushed and manipulated Cameron in a way that seems like a consistent pattern in their relationship - it’s almost like he prefers having Cameron around because he’s a pushover. And it just looks unconvincing to interpret Cameron as the average viewer being graced by this guy who’s supposed to be the ideal he and we all dream to be - but I can see Hughes believing Ferris is what everyone supposedly wants to be and that’s partly why it feels enormously smug.

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#87 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun May 21, 2023 6:40 pm

Well the film follows a portion of the ride, not the growth in motion. We don't see Cam actually have a confrontation with his father, or Ferris internalize any of the feedback he gets beyond that climactic moment. In child psychology settings, there's a saying that 'it's a kid's job to get power where they can' (in reference to relationships with adults, the limit-setters and rule-pushers), and if you couple that with the inherent egocentricity of being that age, you can see Ferris as being the zenith of these natural impulses actualized. It would be disingenuous to give us a film that 'fixed' Ferris with an adult humility, but I think we leave the film with some faith that Cam will be more in touch with an assertive part of him while still not 'fully overcoming' his timid conditioned personality; just as we can have some faith that Ferris will check himself with his manipulation of certain friends, even if he'll still gravitate towards that alpha narcissism. The Breakfast Club successfully fast-tracks this humility because kids tend to internalize and grow faster when receiving feedback from, or witnessing behavior modeled by their peers rather than adults - so it's entirely fair for Ferris to still want to pull one over on his principal, but it's significant that he humbles himself before his friend and vice versa, rather than the "oppressive adults" as they see them. You're absolutely right that Ferris has been engaging Cam in a pattern where he forces him along for the ride, but what the film has to say about this being simultaneously a selfish act (preying upon his friend's submissive nature to ensure a private audience for his theatrics) and a genuinely selfless one (trying to help Cam get out of his shell and 'live a little') abolishes any reductive reading of smug endorsement.

It's not a stretch to say that Hughes is incredibly humanistic towards youth, but he also clearly does not validate any specific method of engagement of others. The group of kids in the Breakfast Club all brought something to the table and aided the development of one another with their own issues and strengths. Rather, Hughes can empathize with and understand why they would behave that way. So Ferris is doing the best that a normal kid with his profile would do to help his friend: Use his own egocentric worldview of what 'freedom' is to try to get his friend to 'live', rather than pause to wonder what Cam might really need deep down. And it works, because often we need to be pulled out of our comfort zone in order to access skills, but Hughes also recognizes openly that this is selfish and solipsistic and narcissistic (Cam's speech clearly sobers us and Ferris to your very point here). That doesn't mean it's Grade A endorsement, or excusable, but it also doesn't mean it has to be horrible either. These are kids doing the best they can, and the film (to me) so obviously sees them as flawed. I just can't imagine someone could see this film and come away thinking it doesn't address Ferris' flaws and the fantastical nature of his Dream Day, since that bubble is burst on so many social levels - whether or not he receives a consequence from the school is besides the point, and social consequences don't need to be big fights resulting in lost relationships to be felt or internalized. But it's also allowed to be cool, because it kinda is, even if Ferris' actual personality unchecked is irritating and problematic in the social casualties he takes. That's precisely why Hughes checks it, and I think he does so through Cam.

To hopefully provide some validation to your subjective response to the film, I find it somewhat interesting that I'm coming down on it how I am, since when I remove the objectivity of my understanding of adolescent behavior, my subjective experiences of spending time with a kid like Ferris were grueling and ultimately borderline-traumatic (albeit still thrilling if only gleaning isolated memories). I think that person was potentially sociopathic, while Ferris is not, but it's not lost on me that in reality the kind of person who manipulates people into going along on their grand adventures, and holds those social power differentials in tow, may fit a more troubling profile. But within the world of this film, I think Hughes is giving us a cushier set of characters to safely work their shit out with, while still getting distance from a completely romanticized sheen in either direction. He is both critiquing and validating aspects of each character, per usual. It is certainly a "stretch" to assume specific context to growth elided in the next chapter of these characters' developmental journeys, but it's also clearly an intention; and so it's just as much of a reduction (anti-stretch?) in the other direction to assume a one-note celebration of face value behavior from an auteur who has always engaged in the complexity of youth before and since

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#88 Post by hearthesilence » Mon May 22, 2023 12:07 am

I wish I can say that about Ferris, and it does make logical sense that any kind of change on that level would happen over time rather than within a day (especially during his adolescence), but I don't think the film ever creates a convincing picture where I can see that future as a likelihood.

I don't deny that Ferris captures all the negative aspects of adolescence, but within the context of the movie, they feel like they're supposed to be Ferris's charm. The movie gets played a lot around Illinois for obvious reasons, so I've had many chances to revisit it in pieces over a long period of time, and it came off worse and worse in comparison to other films or filmmakers in the way they depict youth or friendships. Richard Linklater comes to mind, and I always felt he did a far better job with douchebag types - he knew how to put across why they seemed very liked among their peers (at least among their circle of friends or acquaintances) while being honest about what was awful about them. And that brings up another thing that I suppose is notable about Ferris Bueller but also makes it a weaker film to me - he's enormously popular but in a very abstract way. Granted some of this is by design to play up the intentionally bizarre humor - like the collection one student takes up, the "nurse," the joke with Charlie Sheen - but that means the only tangible relationships or friendships we really see are with Cameron and Sloane and there's something about them that always felt bloodless and joyless to me even when you take all the comedic bits into account. ("Heybatterbatter..." is probably the only moment I can think of where a genuinely convincing and unforced warmth between the two gets put across.) It's usually more interesting in life or in a good film when someone who's extremely popular has a close friendship with someone who travels in different social circles - there's something there that binds them that has real substance. But Ferris constantly talks down to Cameron, he even does it in his private asides to the audience, and in hindsight he seems to just lead Sloane and Cameron to wherever he wants - I wish it did feel like Ferris was saying "WE are having fun today," but it's more like Ferris wants an outing and he needs you people to be his entourage, and it never shakes off the feeling that it's only to feed his ego. When he's exasperated that Cameron claims they haven't done anything fun, he goes out and does something for himself - he gets on a float and sings a [crappy] Wayne Newton song, and they can watch from a distance. That's his idea of convincing his friend otherwise? I'm sure at one point he told Cameron "you need to live a little" but it probably registered as more bullshit to get Cameron to go along so he can use one of his family's cars. He even berates him at one point with something like "this is bullshit making me wait for you" when he's trying to talk him into going. And again, the film never feels all that critical about any of this.

To be honest, I've never liked Hughes much as a filmmaker. He can be enjoyable, he's done plenty of comedy that's genuinely funny, but when he tackles something more serious or dramatic, even when he's trying to be empathetic or sensitive, more often than not, it comes off as schmaltz. (Cameron's big climactic scene falls into that category - IIRC the scene essentially ends with "I'll be fine and everything's going to be okay," with smiles all around and finally the big close-up on Cameron accompanied by the shiny, happy synth cue. In memory, it feels like paint-by-numbers primetime TV directing.)

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#89 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon May 22, 2023 1:02 am

I agree with almost everything in your middle, main paragraph, until the very end. Linklater is an interesting point of comparison because, while both are interested in youth, Linklater is way more interested in a Rohmeresque authenticity of seeing the pronounced juice of life within banal exchanges. His films demand we understand that his characters existed before and after the film starts and ends, and that we are just getting a slice of life. Linklater's work seems more influenced by world cinema and 70s American cinema of complex people in-between states, so they breathe differently than Hughes', who crams a lot of classic Hollywood evolution into his escapades. They feel like opposite filmmakers with opposing approaches, so that critique comes off a bit like you'd rather be watching a Richard Linklater movie than meeting Hughes in his artificial space of old Hollywood dramedies.

So I largely agree with you regarding your diagnostics on Ferris' narcissistic tendencies, and the film's unironic interest in him as a catalyst of fun. But I think this is partially because - as opposed to reality (or the half-artifice of a Linklater film) where Ferris' behavior would alienate his friends in a vacuum - Ferris' willingness to shock and surprise and unhinge himself from the barriers the rest of his peers are inhibited by actually does serve as a catalyst of fun. Alongside his problematic long-term behavior that stings, that is. How many times do we see Ferris provoke a smile out of Cameron, only for its impermanent high to subside and leave Cam in the same state as before? I think the film is critiquing Ferris' erratic, loud behavior as being anything more valuably enduring than a way to pass the time with a bit more stimulation than you'd get in class or alone under the covers of your own bed, but it also leans into the value of those small moments. After all, the film's most famous tagline speaks an ethos of capitalizing on the fleeting nature of life, and yet it also speaks to our obsession with 'fixing' our maladies with tangible action. Ferris' desire to offer Cameron a fix for his depression, and his frustration when it doesn't 'work', isn't much different than the mentality of the country during this period of time. And I think the film is aware of this irony - that Ferris' behavior (whether his fearless extroverted persona, able to be concealed with strong impulse control whenever he perceives he's under threat of consequence; or his worldview that one should pull themselves up by their bootstraps to take their own happiness and achieve greatness within and against established systems; or that a grand gesture should impress and sustain joy to others) emulates the adults he has learned from... this is a kid who is a 'rebel' against rules and institutions, yet embodies traits that fit right into the culture of success than the counterculture of anarchism. We don't get the sense that Ferris is failing out of school, we get the clear impression that he's smart, savvy, is confident that he will do well and get by, and will - so much so that people like his sister and principal who had to work for their success without bending rules to 'get power when they can' resent him and vie to stop him.

So yes, the film asks us to root for him, but also critiques him. I think it's plainly obvious that Ferris' treatment of others is in service of himself, that he is looking for an audience for his acts. Perhaps one could argue that Hughes giving him that audience at all endorses it, but I don't think that's fair. Otherwise, how many movies centered around narcissistic characters would we discredit? The film shows us a fantasy of the possibilities of enjoyment if we just let loose a little and engage with that part of us that wants a bit more power than we have, but it also demonstrates the limits of this fantasy, and reveals the ways in which it is a fantasy. The Breakfast Club might be absurd in exhibiting how rapidly youth, who have spend their lives building defenses protecting them from vulnerability, can let others in and access and share deep parts of themselves towards confident change. But it's aware of that - and is using classical conventions of multicharacter screwy comedy and melodrama to earn the larger theme that if we open ourselves up from the rigid parameters of our narratives, we can receive bountiful rewards. Ferris' worldview is similar, but made a year later, I think Hughes is critiquing that very worldview when it's subtly Reagan-ized with coercion and pitched as a concrete solution. The organic democratic process of the Breakfast Club members worked, but Ferris imposing his wants on others only half-works. It's fun to watch, but before and after this movie starts and stops, life is more or less populated with degradation of the euphoria into banalities of dry consequences that don't allow Ferris' worldview to stick. Hughes allows his film to be fun, because it is fun to go on rule-breaking adventures as a kid when you can have your cake and eat it too, and he allows it to be meaningful because acute experiences prompt change - Cameron reaching his breaking point will yield more change than if he had laid in bed all day overthinking himself into inaction. Yet Ferris' ME-attitude always rings as tone-deaf and false within the world of the film by Hughes grammar when he calls Cameron out aggressively. It's clear that it's not Cameron's job to follow Ferris when he says 'move'. Though Hughes is able to keep that problematic attitude as mutually exclusive from the benefits Cameron will experience from having a friend like Ferris who - toxic dynamic or not - does provide him the push he needs to prompt positive change. But yes, Ferris is doing this for himself first and foremost, and the film is keenly aware of that. It's also appreciating that willingness to take power when he can alongside the casualties of others being exposed to his narcissistic domination. It's all played out as a simple light time at the movies, but there's a lot of complex, antithetical truths being held together here along with most of his work. At least I think so.

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#90 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon May 22, 2023 8:04 am

If the film really critiqued Ferris, it would undermine at least some of the maxims or lessons he delivers right to the audience. But from what I remember, the movie reinforces all of them. It's a mistake to think that any conflict or character growth is a critique of those characters. It might show the limits of this or that person, but not necessarily of what they stand for or what they believe in. And what Ferris stands for and believes in is what the film's about, and the film believes in itself as much as it believes in the bundle of energy driving it, Ferris.

By the by, I never knew why I hated Ferris so much as a high schooler. I couldn't put my finger on it. It wasn't that he was a narcissist, or smug, or pushy, or anything like that. And then I figured it out years later: it was that everyone else cared about him so intensely. That he had to come up with elaborate ruses to get out of school, people cared so utterly whether he did even that small thing, to the point that the principal of his school not only knew his name but would risk his career and freedom just to ensure his attendance. You know how I skipped school? I walked out the door in the morning and went somewhere else, and no one noticed. No one cared. No one ever noticed the kids who skipped school. The kids regularly skipping were not charismatic local celebrities around whom everything seemed to hinge. No, they were considered losers, drops outs, or worse, and the system was only nominally paying them any mind. Ferris Bueller is a perfectly 80s fantasy, the fantasy of someone who is used to being the centre of other people's worlds, and that's present in every aspect of their social reality. But I never recognized the reality of it, and always found the movie and its main character fake and annoying. I recognized the reality of Cameron more, but only as an adult type, and anyway his problems seemed safe and in his control. The movie is the fantasy of a responsible, hard-working, conforming person who wishes they could skip out on their responsibilities for a day and have interesting life problems.

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#91 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon May 22, 2023 10:29 am

I didn't mean to suggest that the film is critiquing its own 'live in the moment' ethos, but affirming this (as well as the fantastical and real behaviors of kids who are trying to gain some power while feeling oppressed) while also demonstrating social consequences - of narcissism, and of introverted disengagement. That's not the 'point' of the film, but it's there, even if the film overwhelmingly rests on the float with Ferris. I don't think Hughes needs to undermine his lessons by showing how even the 'best' philosophies have holes in them, or can produce problems when put into action, and I think he does this in a relatively honest, understated way (much like a dilution of The Breakfast Club's overstatedness, where characters spill a variety of 'truths' he clearly believes in from their hearts and souls, only to immediately conflict with one another in the eyes of respective characters receiving them; which undermines them in a pure form as a blanket solipsistically-delivered 'answer' but not the value in incorporating parts of them into one's way of life, or the value of them to the character uttering their internal logic based on their earnest experience). I realize I'm giving this film a bit more rope, and this is a harder argument to make when dealing with less characters and one very dominant one sucking up the air. But I do think the complexity is being seen by the writer, though not expressed to nearly its fullest potential (and certainly not building a movie around it!) I always recognized Cameron as a kid whose problems are definitely not safe or in control, but of course the film doesn't dive into the reality of his depression just as it doesn't investigate the depths of Ferris' problematic behavior. I do still think it's aware of them.
Last edited by therewillbeblus on Mon May 22, 2023 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#92 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon May 22, 2023 10:43 am

Cameron's depressed catatonia just represents how his problem, ultimately, is his passivity, that he won't take control of things and assert himself. He snaps out of it when he decides to do something destructive and own the moment. Finally be seen by his aloof father. His problems are safe and ultimately in his control. Not that equivalent, real-world problems are; that his are. The film ultimately is about having the right attitude. That's the whole point of Ferris, right, his attitude and the everyday bullshit it allows him to transcend? I don't think the social consequences of Ferris' behaviour are either important or meaningful. They just add a bit of drama.

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#93 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon May 22, 2023 11:42 am

You're right, the film is more about that, though I think to add it into context with The Breakfast Club again (sorry), it's about how we need others and their alternative perspectives to evolve. Or, at least, that's Hughes primary interest in his work - of social beings emerging from introverted solipsism by interacting with one another. Even Home Alone is like this - Kevin uses his own Ferris-like rebellious wit to best the criminals, but he also needs to be humbled and engage in perspective-taking to grow. Cameron definitely gets that from Ferris thrusting him from his inert state, but I actually think he gets the most confidence from Sloane boosting his ego - a girl engaging with him in a compassionate, sensitive way, when he feels undeserving and outcasted as a submissive male. Ferris' sister lives in resentment when she just sticks to the It's Not Fair attitude of comparison, but becomes more compassionate when she engages with Sheen's objective party challenging her perspective. And Ferris is at least momentarily humbled when he's 'caught' but his sister saves him, which doesn't yield a dramatic consequence or learning experience, but does show him afraid and vulnerable for a moment, and demonstrates how even he needs other people - just like he needed an audience to have fun the whole movie - to have a shot at changing. But yes, I can see how most of the other characters growing around Ferris, without as much attention on Ferris' change, supports a reading that everyone needs to just ascribe to Ferris' lifestyle to win. I just think that there's a strong undercurrent that channels this theme of socialized humility and adaptation across Hughes' work that's deeper than a smug endorsement of Ferris' worldview in a vacuum

It's certainly apparent that this film doesn't venture into this area nearly as obviously or extensively as Hughes' other work, but it's fun to examine where it does and doesn't function in that mold. And for all the analyzing I'm doing in favor of the film, I also don't really care for it all that much!

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#94 Post by hearthesilence » Mon May 22, 2023 2:32 pm

Sausage, a long time ago, I remember thinking how much more I'd enjoy the movie if you took out every scene that had Ferris in it. Then you'd be left with this bizarre short where this unknown, unseen, mysterious kid had this weird, dominating presence over an entire town. Like, who is this kid that everyone likes, to the point where they delude themselves into thinking he's dying and send over flowers, balloons and prostitutes?

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#95 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 22, 2023 4:27 pm

He’s Billy Mumy in that Twilight Zone episode!

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Re: Not Forthcoming: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

#96 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon May 22, 2023 5:27 pm

"It's a Good Life"
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