GHOST WORLD (2001)

dir. Terry Zwigoff. Based on Daniel Clowes’s 1990s comics of the same name. Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) best friends who have just graduated high school, looking for an apartment together, find themselves involved in the private life of blues record collector, Seymour (Steve Buscemi). A wonderfully weird film. Often described as a black comedy, but more of a romantic comedy about post high school friendships, with an intelligent and subversive sense of humour. Enid and Rebecca are delightfully cynical, and genuinely funny together. The opening sequence with the clip from Bollywood film GUMNAAM (1965) has to be one of the best openings to a comedy ever. Enid’s bedroom is perfectly designed, as the sanctuary of a serous thinking, art obsessed teenage girl in the 1990s. The translation of the visual style of the comic to the screen is perfectly done, the colour palette is overly saturated when we’re with Enid and Rebecca, never feeling cartoonish. The ending is beautiful, and open to interpretation, but I do wish we had more time with Enid and Rebecca rather than checking back in on Seymour. Brilliant soundtrack, which introduced a generation of high school art nerds to American blues music.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.

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