The Null Device

Ghost World

I finally went to see Ghost World. I enjoyed it; it's a good film about outsiderhood and alienation in the (post)modern world. The main character, Enid, is sort of the anti-Amélie; an over-intellectual, sarcastic (almost to the point of misanthropy) 18-year-old girl, who has just graduated from high school, and hides her existential insecurity beneath an armour of defensive irony and sarcasm. Like Audrey Tautou's character, she is also a misfit, an outsider, not belonging with the people around her; though she's not particularly nice. The film had a subtly cartoonish air about it, populated with caricatures; the main characters, however, are quite realistic and complex; the portrayal of Enid, for example, balances irony and sincerity quite well.

(Oh yes, and they have the addition of Seymour the record collector, who wasn't in the graphic novel (or at least didn't have a name); fortunately, his interaction with Enid isn't the usual cloying romantic-comedy fare about kindred spirits finding each other and love conquering all and all that Working Title/Miramax schmaltz. They didn't make a High Fidelity out of it, thankfully.)

I usually only go to see films with other people; though this time I'm glad I saw Ghost World alone; this is the sort of film whose effect would be spoiled by seeing it in a group as part of a social activity.

I'll probably get this on DVD when it comes out.

There are 8 comments on "Ghost World":

Posted by: Graham Mon Sep 9 13:25:37 2002

I actually enjoyed High Fidelity the movie more than the book. Is this wrong? Tho' the book was pretty good.

Posted by: ed Mon Sep 9 13:27:47 2002

father mirror father

Posted by: acb Mon Sep 9 13:32:35 2002

The movie was dumbed down and made superficial; the ending was completely fake; and the way they tied all those loose ends into a neat, artificial, Big Happy Ending was a tad on the nauseating side. The book was better, before Miramax got their hands on it. Still haven't seen About A Boy though.

Posted by: Graham Mon Sep 9 14:49:10 2002

Oh bollocks. The movie was great.

Posted by: alex http://jodi.org Mon Sep 9 15:46:41 2002

Imho GW was fine apart from one thing: why was robert crumb 'honored' with that 'character cameo'?

As I understand it the book was re-written, by the author's own hand, or at least with his approval, to make it more palatable, or whatever. so why did we get a re-hash of half of the documentary 'Crumb' in Ghost World? (non-'PC' poster, blues records, sketches of kooky people in cafes, etc)

Crumb was a good documentary, but I didn't need to see elements of it re-appear in an adaptation of someone else's story.

I await enlightenment.

Posted by: Erico http:// Mon Sep 9 16:34:22 2002

The DVD comes with the fantastic Bollywood musical number from the beginning in its entirety. I watch that music video more often than the film.

Posted by: kenny http:// Thu Sep 12 04:29:52 2002

> The movie was dumbed down and made superficial; the ending was completely fake; and the way they tied all those loose ends into a neat, artificial, Big Happy Ending was a tad on the nauseating side.

that's exactly why i didn't like amelie all that much! as for ghost world, the book was better, keke :) just that they hosed rebecca's and enid's relationship in favor of seymour's and enid's. blah! yeah, and high fidelity was pretty contrived as well :) which by the way labored under the same central conceit--a self-conscious soundtrack, j/k :)

sorry, no really, it's that socialization (even into a non-traditional family) is the solution to ALL LIFE'S PROBLEMS, esp for non-conformists! like the onion compared it to lilo & stitch :) altho i liked lilo & stitch better because of the alien elvis impersonator and cuz it was animated :)

Posted by: acb Thu Sep 12 05:27:02 2002

The socialisation comment is interesting. I suppose it's the more general case of "romantic love is the answer", and the importance of having a partner to one's value as a human being/the meaning of one's existence.

It's even more subtle; while it's relatively easy to deprogram oneself from associating romantic involvement with existential meaning, the socialisation thing is harder to question.

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