*** Official "GHOST WORLD" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Todorov, Aug 23, 2001.

  1. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    A few days ago I saw Ghost World which I absolutely loved. I was very surprised that no one here mentioned that Steve Buscemi’s character in the movie, who is an obsessive 78 collector, is the very picture of a HTF member.
    In fact his character was modeled after the movie’s director, Terry Zwigoff, an obsessive 78 collector himself. How long before Steve Buscemi plays a DVD maniac? The tag line: “Give me OAR or give me death!”
    Anyway – go see Ghost World and then look at yourself in the mirror. (There was even a great J6P scene – this woman in a blues bar who wouldn’t know from blues if her life depended on it). In any case Ghost World is worth seeing just for Thora Birch giving the ultimate dead pan performance – you’ll have a blast.
    Ted
     
  2. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    Ted,
    I just don't think many people have had the opportunity to see the film yet. I caught it August 8 in Philadelphia. Finally got word that it's opening here on the 31st. Distribution has been slow.
    Of course Zwigoff has nailed the obsessiveness of the hardcore collector, particularly with the discussion about the record's condition and such. Pretty funny stuff if you're able to laugh at yourself.
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    Read my reviews at www.dvdmon.com
    Most recent reviews: Diary of a Chambermaid: The Criterion Collection, Another Woman, September, Shadows and Fog, Alice, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Gray's Anatomy
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  3. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

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    I suspect most of us will have to wait for the DVD to see this since it's not likely to receive a wide theatrical release. Zwigoff's Crumb is quite a gem, and I'm quite looking forward to Ghost World; I haven't seen anyone yet express disappointment with it.
     
  4. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Finally got to see this today in Austin...this is why I hate to read about people whining 'cause they have to drive 10 miles to a film. The Arbor Theater is a 160 mile round trip from my house.
    I know nothing about Ghost World as a comic, but I do know Zwigoff's films. Louie Bluie (1985) and Crumb (1994) are in my collection. It is helpful to see the recurring themes in Terry's work. BTW...it will spoil nothing for you to know upfront that Thora's characters notebook was drawn by Sophie Crumb.
    In 1998 Susan Skoog wrote and directed an indie film, Whatever, that also covered some of the themes addressed in Ghost World.
    When this DVD is released, I'll be in line.
    Jim
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Ghost World". Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of "Ghost World" should be posted to this thread .
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
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    [Edited last by Robert Crawford on August 29, 2001 at 02:47 AM]
     
  6. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  7. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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  8. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the info, I'll try and go tonight. Do you remember if they were up or downstairs -- they seem to have books sprinkled around the store.
    Ted
     
  9. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

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    You should be able to find it in the better comic book stores. There used to be one on Bleeker St. called Village Comics (I think), but it's been a while since I've been to the city. Another place that might have it is See Hear, which I think is on St. Mark's. Also try Kim's Underground.
    [Edited last by DonaldB on August 30, 2001 at 10:32 AM]
     
  10. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    I saw it at the lower level, which is where the comics section is located.
     
  11. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    I screened this movie last week and I absolutely loved it! It was somewhat of a different coming of age story because it didn't have the neat and tidy ending that one would come to expect in big-budget Hollywood fare. Even though the ending was left open I still want to believe that the protagonist, Enid, will come to find her place in the world. The character had enough growth in the film that led me to believe that.
    There are probably times where we have all felt like we didn't fit in with certain cliques, whether it be in school, or other social gatherings. That fact alone made me sympathetic to Enid and also to Seymour. Seymour was pretty much the atypical male. He didn't like sports (!) and didn't think that he would ever find anyone that he could really ever have a relationship that most other "normal" men seem to have.
    The performances in the movie were outstanding, especially Thora Birch who seemed to play a character pretty similar to the one in American Beauty with the same type of isolation. She displayed a teen angst and eschewed the "in-crowd." Steve Buscemi was very effective as the timid Seymour.
    This is probably the best film I've seen this year. That's not saying much given the slate of less-than-stellar films, but none the less, it is very well made all the way around.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
    [Edited last by Tom_G on September 26, 2001 at 08:53 PM]
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Some of my favorite scenes in Ghost World feature the art class teacher (played by Ileana Douglas) and their art projects. That was just really funny, subtle stuff. Enid is a trip (Thora was the right actress for this role).
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  13. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    I finally did get and read Daniel Clowes' graphic novel. I couldn't recommend it any more highly. I can't say I'm very familiar with the genre, but I was completely amazed at how well the characters were developed. As much as I loved the movie, the book is even better (it is also quite different, so don't worry about having to put up with the same story twice).
    Anyway, as you can tell, I think that you should all run out and buy this book RIGHT NOW [​IMG]
    I'm in the middle of Clowes' David Boring and that too is first rate. All in all, for me at least, a major discovery.
    Ted
     
  14. Shane Gralaw

    Shane Gralaw Second Unit

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    Hmmm, am I the only one who was disappointed? It wasn't a bad film, but with the heaps of praise I was expecting more. It wasn't appreciably better than a lot of other indie character-driven pieces. There was no plot to speak of, which I've been down on recently- why can't there be more movies where the scenes actually lead to something? The end seemed disjointed as Enid jumps from one situation to the next, then that ambiguous closer. I mean I get it, she is a flighty 18 year old so she can't settle on anything. But it still doesn't add up to a coherent or compelling movie. Funny- almost everyone I've talked to who've seen the picture had much the same reaction, but most online posters have been in line with the critics. Any other dissenters out there?
    I also saw this in Austin and liked the short film that played before the feature more than the feature itself.
     
  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I loved this movie...however, my friend thought it was very depressing, and I had the feeling he wasn't too positive about it.
    My belief is that people who expect all movies to follow the usual structure, of beginning, climax, happy ending, will be disappointed with this movie. I also believe life-experiences (and the ability to recall them!) are a major factor in the enjoyment of this movie. Every character in this movie, I have known from my own life experiences!
    ********** SPOILERS BELOW ***********
    ********** SPOILERS BELOW ***********
    ********** SPOILERS BELOW ***********
    Enid: The girl who puts everyone (and everything) down, in a sad attempt to make herself feel superior. She fears failure in herself so much, that she will avoid commitment...better to not do anything at all, than to risk failure. She quits her job ("Because it doesn't feel right"), misses the art gallery to defend her work ("Nobody would like it anyways"), and when she finally decides to on art school, it is too late. Her future is ruined. And in a final act of self-destruction, drags Seymour down with her. Is she aware of her condition? Can she break the cycle?
    Moral of the story: Do not enter into a relationship with flighty women (or men) with self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors. And don't try to change them. Talk all you want: she will nod her head and say, "yes, you're right", but nothing will change...it's almost as if the concept doesn't reach their inner core. As if she was addicted to her current predicament. She'll drive you crazy, and sooner or later you'll be seeking therapy...
     
  16. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Finally got to see this movie... it took an eternity to get here in Tampa, Florida. I immediately headed out to buy the screenplay, which has a bonus of some nice notes and artwork on the film from Zwigof and Clowes.
    I'm interested in some opinions on the ending... In reading many reviews on the film, I noticed one which indicated:
    Spoiler:Seymour was given the courage to rebuild his life and learn to reconnect after his experience with Enid.
    However, I read it differently:
    Spoiler:The last scene with Seymour seemed to indicate to me that he had gotten WORSE. Whereas he used to at least be independent and secure in his own lonely existence, now he's become so distraught that he has (apparently) moved back in with his mother and gotten a therapist that can't even stand him.
    I was haunted by this movie in good and bad ways. Ebert said he wanted to give this movie a hug, which I can agree with. There's a lot in this that hits close to home with me, but I can accept and appreciate it for that. The worst thing I can say is that the film does more to reinforce some of my negative emotions than help deal with them. But at least misery loves company, and this movie is splendid company.
    = Derek =
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I don't really mind a lack of "plot" when the film is a character-driven piece. If the film does a good job of peeling back the layers of the onion, so to speak, and I find myself enjoying the self-discovery phase, I don't really get fixated on a lack of "plot" because it's not essential to the story that the film is trying to tell.
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  18. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Alot of funny scens in the movie.
    I like it how the High School Graduation was sponsered by Hostess Twinkies(and other companies)
    The convient store customer(with a tan and no shirt)
    "I"m so hungry, I can knaw a crotch off a rag doll!"
    And like mentioned above, the art teacher and the students projects.
    I thought I was going to hate this movie. But ended up loving every bit of it!
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  19. BrianKM

    BrianKM Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm with you there Shane, I just couldn't get into this movie. It tries to be biting and funny at times (like the often mentioned Daria), but devolves into a tragic loner melodrama most of the time. The material just seems tired, quite frankly - the outsiders making snide remarks about the mainstream, the teenager misunderstood by everyone including her friends, and especially the artistic contest where the entry with the least amount of thought or effort is infused with avant-garde meaning by an overeager authority figure. It has been done before and has been done better, IMO. Subplots seem to pop up and are left dangling, never to be touched again. I understand that Enid ultimately chooses her own path (well, her and the old man's), but it seems like a copout nevertheless - an existential riding off into the sunset. I am also perturbed when a film very grounded in reality suddenly throws out a completely surreal, bordering on supernatural, plot point (as opposed to Magnolia, where an internal logic had been created where an extraordinary event was acceptable and was even integral from a thematic point of view). There is a plot in Ghost World, granted, but it is not a very good one - I'm all for character-driven dramas, but have the characters do something remotely interesting or at least show their general malaise in a unique light.
    The two parts of the movie that I did enjoy however, were the fact Enid's best friend and part-time outsider was an attractive and relatively well-adjusted girl, and the white-trash loiterer with nunchucks - that guy ROCKS.
    I just feel like this film aspired to be so much more than what I saw on the screen, and coupled with the rave critical reviews, it ultimately left me cold.
     
  20. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

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