Thursday, 12 September 2013

Ghost World

To generalise life is shite!!! This is wonderfully demonstrated by the character of Enid in Terry Zwigoff’s ‘teenage’ comedy Ghost World (2001). She does not really fit and has chosen to live just outside what is deemed normal; I suppose someone has to decide what is classified as normal so people like Enid can live outside of it? It must be wonderful to dye your hair green on a whim just to suit the clothes you decide to wear when you get up in the morning. Maybe that’s why I felt an affinity with this character, not because I have green hair but because I just loved the way she sent out vibes which said “I don’t give a f**k” but just like most of us she really did care or as the Scottish author William Mcllivanney put it ‘the price you pay for arriving at a personnel vision is the loneliness of having to live with it’[1]. I’ve realised that one of the reasons for writing this blog is to prove to my self that I actual exist!
The wonderful Thora Birch.
Based on a comic book of the same name written by Daniel Clowes, who co wrote the films screenplay with Zwigoff, it gives an insight into the afore mentioned Enid (the outstanding Thora Birch) and her life long friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) who have both just graduated from High School and are about to set out on life’s twisted highway but nether really know what turnings to take.  They live in a nondescript town, are more like sisters and are really comfortable with each other that is until Enid meets Seymour (Steve Buscemi) a social outsider twice her age, who collects rare 78’s. This meeting has repercussions on both the girls.

This film is full of wonderful moments and so different from the normal coming of age teenage drama. It’s populated with ‘real life characters’ like Norman waiting at a deactivated bus stop every day for a bus that never arrives, Enid’s father, a rather ineffectual parent, Josh who works in a convenience store, Enid’s art teacher and Normans overweight flat mate all written with great precision and meaning. The title came from some graffiti that Clowes saw written on a garage door in Chicago, which has no real meaning, but just could be the name of the neighbourhood in the nondescript town?  It’s a film that proves sometimes a simple story with an uncomplicated narrative can be a truly engrossing watch.

Seymour as played by Steve Buscemi.

[1] William Mcllvanney. Strange Loyalties 1991

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