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Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Art Institute of Chicago scene

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Uploaded on Nov 20, 2011

According to John Hughes, the scene at the Art Institute of Chicago was "a self-indulgent scene of mine—which was a place of refuge for me, I went there quite a bit, I loved it. I knew all the paintings, the building. This was a chance for me to go back into this building and show the paintings that were my favorite." The museum had not been shot in, until the producers of the film approached them. "I remember Hughes saying, 'There are going to be more works of art in this movie than there have ever been before,'" recalled Jennifer Grey

"And then this picture (Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte), which I always thought this painting was sort of like making a movie," explained Hughes. A pointillist style, which at very very close to it, you don't have any idea what you've made until you step back from it. I used it in this context to see that he's (Cameron) looking at that little girl. Again, it's a mother and child. The closer he looks at the child, the less he sees. Of course, with this style of painting. Or any style of painting really. But the more he looks at, there's nothing there. I think he fears that the more you look at him the less you see. There isn't anything there. That's him." According to editor Paul Hirsch, in the original cut, the museum scene fared poorly at test screenings until he switched sequences around and Hughes changed the soundtrack.

"The piece of music I originally chose was a classical guitar solo played on acoustic guitar. It was nonmetrical with a lot of rubato. I cut the sequence to that music and it also became nonmetrical and irregular. I thought it was great and so did Hughes. He loved it so much that he showed it to the studio but they just went "Ehhh." Then after many screenings where the audience said "The museum scene is the scene we like least," he decided to replace the music. We had all loved it, but the audience hated it. I said, 'I think I know why they hate the museum scene. It's in the wrong place.' Originally, the parade sequence came before the museum sequence, but I realized that the parade was the highlight of the day, there was no way we could top it, so it had to be the last thing before the three kids go home. So that was agreed upon, we reshuffled the events of the day, and moved the museum sequence before the parade. Then we screened it and everybody loved the museum scene! My feeling was that they loved it because it came in at the right point in the sequence of events. John felt they loved it because of the music. Basically, the bottom line is, it worked."

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