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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Hughes Film Screens August 16 and 19 at Birch Theater

Above: Matthew Broderick stars in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

When films were being programmed for the Lyric Opera San Diego's Classics of Comedy at the Birch North Park Theater, no one could have anticipated that the selection of John Hughes' "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" would end up being a memorial tribute to the director who passed away earlier this month. The film screens today at 2:30pm and Wednesday at 7pm.

Writer-director John Hughes gained fame in the 1980s for chronicling teen life in films such as "Sixteen Candles," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and "The Breakfast Club." He died unexpectedly of a heart attack earlier this month while taking a walk in Manhattan. He was 59 but hadn't directed a movie in more than a decade. A friend of mine and I had a heated argument over Hughes. My friend called him the "Preston Sturges of the 80s," while I could never forgive him for turning Ally Sheedy's Goth-before-there-was-Goth chick into a WonderBread cutie in "The Breakfast Club." So I have to confess to never being a fan of Hughes yet I can't deny the amazing and long-lasting impact he had on pop culture. So to have "Ferris Bueller" screen just weeks after Hughes' untimely death is a fitting tribute and an opportunity for fans to revisit the film and doubters like myself to maybe reconsider Hughes's place in cinema history.

For anyone who doesn't remember the the 1986 film, Matthew Broderick is a smart-ass teen who plays hooky from school in epic fashion. For more information, call 619-239-8836 or go to the box office at 2891 University Avenue, Suite 1 (Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4pm).

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