In Praise of John Hughes, Patron Saint of Teenagers
Rachel Yoder Guests on the Open Form Podcast
Welcome to Open Form, a weekly film podcast hosted by award-winning writer Mychal Denzel Smith. Each week, a different author chooses a movie: a movie they love, a movie they hate, a movie they hate to love. Something nostalgic from their childhood. A brand-new obsession. Something they’ve been dying to talk about for ages and their friends are constantly annoyed by them bringing it up.
In this episode of Open Form, Mychal talks to Rachel Yoder (Nightbitch) about the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, directed by John Hughes and starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, and Mia Sara.
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From the episode:
Rachel Yoder: That is something teenagers are gifted with, this clarity of sight that we lose as we age. They can see the way that adults are functioning and how messed up it is with utter clarity. And the adults have grown out of touch with it. I think that’s the genius of John Hughes, and I consider this to be his most genius movie.
But that’s something with which he’s engaged in so many of his movies, with Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. He gives teenagers a humanity. Which I think since the John Hughes era, we’ve sort of lost. Who is making sophisticated teenage movies now?
Mychal Denzel Smith: I think the closest thing that we have now is Euphoria, and that’s just scary to me.
Rachel Yoder is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process. She holds M.F.A’s from the University of Arizona (fiction) and the University of Iowa (nonfiction), where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her stories and essays have been published in literary journals such as The Kenyon Review and The Missouri Review, as well as national outlets such as The New York Times, The Sun, and Lit Hub. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and son.