Tag Archives: John Hughes

Black Grrrl Joy on the 30th Anniversary of Ferris Bueller : LaSloane Peterson’s Snow Day Off

Black Grrrl Joy on the 30th Anniversary of Ferris Bueller


I always saw myself in John Hughes’ films, even if he couldn’t see me in them.

I don’t say this lightly. Hughes’ body of work is consistently characterized as the pithy zenith of coming-of-age movies, enduring due to his representation of real teenagers with typical problems. Yet people of color were either absent or horrifically stereotypically represented in his films. How American. In Hughes’ iconic film about the joy of young white mischief,  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the only POC are:

1) Two garage hands who take the Ferrari for a joy ride, which is exactly what Ferris & co. have done but somehow the narrative holds them as more criminal.

2) The Asian chief of police (legit a rare and brief non-pejorative caricature—and he’s a COP which is like “oh hey assimilate and enforce the police state and you’re cleared for representation kthxbye”).

3) An entire cadre of black people who magically appear and do a “Thriller”-esque choreographed scene during the parade sequence. Continue reading

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A Mix of a Sassy Teenager and a Crotchety Old Lady: An Interview with Hadley Freeman

One of the most enjoyable, personal, and feminist books I’ve read this summer had to be Hadley Freeman’s 80s film exploration Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them From Movies Any More). Not only is this a book that examines in detail some of the greatest films of (dare I say?) all-time such as The Princess Bride, Coming to America, Pretty in Pink, and Ghostbusters; the real draw of the collection is Freeman herself. Reading this book is like having a way cooler older sister watching the film right alongside you, pointing out the lessons you would have overlooked while simply laughing at the classic John Hughes wit. It’s hard to finish the book without feeling like Freeman is that cool upperclassmen in school that for some inexplicable reason, has taken you under her wing as friend, and a girl like me couldn’t waste the chance to extend that feeling into an interview. Read on to see some of the questions I couldn’t help but ask her about the book, feminists in film, and of course, Ghostbusters:

Kati Heng: As I read the book, I kept thinking that the subtitle very easily could have been “What 80s Movies Taught Us About Feminism and Why We Don’t Learn That Stuff from Movies Anymore,” or something catchier. Did you ever consider releasing this book in a more upfront feminist version?
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