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REDeye
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Fri Jul-20-01 06:40 AM

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"GHOST WORLD"


          

Okay, here is something everyone here should be able to relate to: nerds are cool.

Sure, few people here (I hope) would gladly admit to seeing themselves in the characters of GHOST WORLD, the movie from the Daniel Clowes comic series. But we are there, all of us. The hating. The negativity. The anonymous pot-shot taking at the true losers, avoiding the issue of our own patheticness. This is the ultimate Okayplayer movie.

GHOST WORLD stars plumped-up Thora Birch (American Beauty) and the little-seen Scarlet Johansson as Enid and Rebecca, two graduating seniors about to venture forth into society. Up to this point, their lives have been made up of running commentary on how uncool it is to be cool, and how pathetic is where it's at. They get a kick out of watching unfunny comedians. Enid listens to Indian rock music from the 60s (I didn’t even know there was such a thing). But high school is over, and the two best friends are growing apart as Rebecca decides she is ready to join the world she's ridiculed so mercilessly, while Enid can't let it go.

The movie revolves around a practical joke they play on Seymour, played to the pathetic hilt by Steve Buscemi. He's the über-loser, such a sad sack that Enid takes a special interest in helping him turn his life around. The result is a relationship incredibly weird and creepy, yet somehow haunting and touching.

There's no surpise in that realizing the theme of the movie is the loneliness of human existence. What is suprising is how easily that loneliness of these creeps translates into something so universally recognizable. Also, what is surprising is just how easily one can laugh and hurt at the same time.

Directed by Terry Zwigoff of Crumb fame, GHOST WORLD gives a touch of humanity to the fringe players of society. While some things carry over from the source material, Zwigoff and Clowes only used the comic as a jumping off point. Steve Buscemi's character is based very much on Zwigoff, a tiny, shell of a specimen very much like Robert Crumb, the odd comic icon who somehow managed to be the sane one in his family. (If you haven't seen CRUMB, you have missed one of the true gems of documentary filmmaking.)

GHOST WORLD is dark, biting, very depressing and outright hilarious. A lot like Okayplayer.

(this review is lame. there, I said it.)

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
the comic books..
Jul 20th 2001
1
RE: GHOST WORLD
Jul 20th 2001
2
thora birch
Jul 20th 2001
3
      lol @ "in a good way"
Jul 20th 2001
7
cant wait to see this, Red
Jul 20th 2001
4
starts today
Jul 20th 2001
5
Zwigoff interview
Jul 20th 2001
6
now playing
Jul 22nd 2001
8
query
Jul 22nd 2001
9
never read it
Jul 23rd 2001
10
you get five responses?
Jul 23rd 2001
11
let's see...
Jul 23rd 2001
14
ha
Aug 23rd 2001
53
i agree with you too..
Jul 23rd 2001
12
      current scr(i)pt magazine
Jul 23rd 2001
13
           boo RED!
Jul 23rd 2001
16
                I'm looking at IMDb
Jul 23rd 2001
18
RE: query
Aug 07th 2001
31
Eightball, other comics
Aug 23rd 2001
51
DuRiNg
Jul 23rd 2001
15
kinda the point
Jul 23rd 2001
17
WhAt I mEaN iS
Jul 25th 2001
19
RE: DuRiNg
Aug 23rd 2001
52
i saw it last night
Jul 26th 2001
20
Steve Buscemi
Aug 08th 2001
41
      RE: Steve Buscemi
Aug 08th 2001
43
RE: GHOST WORLD
Jul 26th 2001
21
up
Jul 30th 2001
22
Delayed reaction
Aug 07th 2001
23
RE: Delayed reaction
Aug 07th 2001
24
RE: Delayed reaction
Aug 29th 2001
59
      that's where I saw it
Aug 29th 2001
60
The title reference (and other cultural references)?
cquiroga
Aug 07th 2001
25
thanks!
Aug 07th 2001
26
      Indian musical
Aug 07th 2001
27
           gasp
Aug 07th 2001
28
                dunderheads
Aug 07th 2001
29
                confession
Aug 07th 2001
30
                RE: confession
Aug 07th 2001
32
                RE: confession
Aug 07th 2001
35
                i cried too
Aug 07th 2001
33
                     RE: i cried too
Aug 07th 2001
34
                          well miss
Aug 07th 2001
36
                RE: gasp
cquiroga
Aug 07th 2001
37
                     this part
Aug 08th 2001
39
                     RE: this part
Aug 08th 2001
40
                          agreed
Aug 08th 2001
42
                               I like
Aug 08th 2001
44
                               RE: agreed
Aug 23rd 2001
54
                     RE: gasp
Aug 13th 2001
48
                          minor point, but...
Aug 27th 2001
57
just saw it...
Aug 08th 2001
38
uuuuuuupppppppp
Aug 12th 2001
45
will make a point to see it
Aug 12th 2001
46
that flick rocks
Aug 13th 2001
47
RE: GHOST WORLD
knicksrule
Aug 14th 2001
49
Seymour Speaks
Aug 21st 2001
50
anonymubiquity
Aug 26th 2001
55
1st Annual Nerd Film Festival
Aug 27th 2001
56
Finally saw it.
Aug 27th 2001
58

DonKnutts
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Fri Jul-20-01 06:55 AM

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1. "the comic books.."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

are cool as hell. my old college roommate collected them, and i used to read the cover-to-cover... i think the title was "Eightball" and "Ghost World" was the name of a running story in each issue... he also did some serial characters. check his work out if you liked the flick (which i haven't seen). that dude Clowes is ill.

  

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Vudu
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1785 posts
Fri Jul-20-01 07:11 AM

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2. "RE: GHOST WORLD"
In response to Reply # 0


          

i saw thora birch on one of those late night talk shows (who's the other guy that's on at the same time as conan o'brien?) and she completely shot down every question asked by her with evil condescension(sp?). although i would say she's a stuck up bitch, it was quite entertaining considering she's only nineteen and was clearly far more intelligent then the interviewer. from the description you gave her character, i'd say she just played herself for that role. the movie sounds interesting. i'll have to check it out. peace, love, and soul!!!
-b

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vudu Theme Song (set to Super Mario Brother's underground song):

Vudu-dudududu, Vudu-dudududu
Vudu-dudududu, Vudu-dudududu
Vudu-du-du-du-du-du-du-dudududududu

Noga-Tosha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! c) me

  

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DonKnutts
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27064 posts
Fri Jul-20-01 07:21 AM

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3. "thora birch"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

... i still can't believe she showed her breasts in american beauty. kind of surprising. in a good way.

  

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Vudu
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1785 posts
Fri Jul-20-01 11:14 AM

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7. "lol @ "in a good way""
In response to Reply # 3


          

agreed!
-b

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vudu Theme Song (set to Super Mario Brother's underground song):

Vudu-dudududu, Vudu-dudududu
Vudu-dudududu, Vudu-dudududu
Vudu-du-du-du-du-du-du-dudududududu

Noga-Tosha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! c) me

  

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SankofaII
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30751 posts
Fri Jul-20-01 08:31 AM

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4. "cant wait to see this, Red"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

so i shall be in line to get my ticket when this comes out in august..
RC





Words To Think About And Live By:


"...and when we speak we are afraid our words will not
be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are
still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we
were never meant to survive." -- "A Litany for
Survival" by Audre Lorde


Get Out the Room
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/get-out-the-room/id525657893

Some of y'all need this in your life: http://www.psychology.com

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Fri Jul-20-01 09:52 AM

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5. "starts today"
In response to Reply # 4


          

in most of the free world.

I saw it at the Seattle Film Fest, and Zwigoff spoke too. He looks just like Crumb.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Fri Jul-20-01 09:55 AM

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6. "Zwigoff interview"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.indiewire.com/film/interviews/int_Zwigoff_Terry_010720.html

INTERVIEW: Comic Book Confidential; Zwigoff Returns with Clowe's "Ghost World"


by Daniel Steinhart
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Making a feature was the most stressful, tedious job I've ever had in my life," gripes Terry Zwigoff, director of the new film "Ghost World." From the sound of it, Zwigoff's move into feature fiction filmmaking after his intelligent and strangely moving documentary "Crumb" (1995) was a strained progression. But in fact, "Ghost World" reveals Zwigoff's graceful transition to fiction filmmaking. The film effortlessly moves from comedic situations to cultural criticism, from uncanny interludes to moments of deep sadness.

Based on cartoonist Daniel Clowes' wry and surreal comic book, the film is a humorous and insightful portrait of teenage girlhood and the strange world the lead characters inhabit. The story follows Enid (Thora Birch) and her partner-in-crime Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson), who both graduate high school with few plans for the future outside of hanging out, scrutinizing the town's eccentric characters, and frequenting such modern day nightmares as a strip mall's "authentic" '50s diner. Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a lonely record collector and employee of Cook's Chicken Inn, comes into Enid's life under peculiar circumstances, causing a rift in the girls' friendship. Zwigoff and Clowes, who share a fascination with strange and marginalized characters out of step with the modern world, co-wrote the script and collaborated throughout the filmmaking process.

indieWIRE speaks with Zwigoff about Clowes, Crumb, culture, and the hardships of filmmaking.

indieWIRE: How did you first come across the "Ghost World" story?

Terry Zwigoff: I always had comics lying around my home because Robert Crumb would stay at my house when he came to town. He'd bring over a pile of comics from this comic book distributor about a mile away from my house called Last Gasp Publishing, where my wife used to work. I read them all. The only ones I liked were Crumb's, Dan Clowes' stuff, and a few others. I thought "Ghost World" was very strong, but I didn't find it as funny as Dan' s other stuff. I didn't think it would make a good movie, but my wife kept telling me it would. So I got Dan's phone number, went to meet him in Berkeley, and we hit it off right away. I found him to be very smart and very funny. We talked about different ideas and we eventually came to "Ghost World," which seemed the most adaptable.

iW: Was this your first attempt at writing a screenplay?

Terry Zwigoff: I had written two screenplays with Robert Crumb in the late eighties for some lunatics who commissioned us to write them. At first we were going to do it just for the money and not care about it, but Crumb is such a workaholic that he got very personally involved. We labored on this thing for like six months straight. We both loved it, but we couldn't get it made. It was too weird and noncommercial. So we did another one that was more like a WC Fields film script, if anything. People looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to pitch that. In hindsight, I think I was crazy.

iW: How was the experience of writing "Ghost World?"

Terry Zwigoff: Dan and I spent about a year and a half slaving on this thing. We met twice a week and then we worked independently. First we tried to get the story and structure down, which was the hard part. Our producer Lianne Halfon was instrumental in that process. She's an old friend of mine. She was very much a collaborator with both of us, so she deserves a lot of credit. She was a stern taskmaster. She'd give us notes, but they were always smart notes, not like you get at studios generally. But it was a really great screenplay. I thought Dan did a great job; he's a really talented writer.

iW: The film differs from the comic book in a number of ways. How did you decide what to change and what to preserve?

Terry Zwigoff: It was a very natural process; it wasn't intellectual at all. If I connected with something, then I included it in the script. If I didn't, I tried to shy away from it and lose it. And I added characters to the script. I added the Seymour character who's basically me. At first, I added him because I wanted an excuse to have a soundtrack of old music, which is what I collect: '20s blues, jazz, and country music. A lot of the stuff you see in his room is actually just dragged down from my house. The set dresser couldn't find anything that we could clear or from the prop rental house, except generic antiques. It just didn't seem right, so I had to bring my own stuff down. I had to sweat every night, worrying that somebody was going to steal it all.

iW: We're the relics of the Coon Chicken Inn in Seymour's room from your collection?

Terry Zwigoff: Yeah, I collect old Coon Chicken Inn memorabilia. I collect black memorabilia, like old minstrel posters. It was a real place. There was one in Seattle, one in Portland, and one in Salt Lake City. They started in 1925 and then they went out of business around 1958. The visuals are so strong, but it's sort of horrifying at the same time. It's just the way things were; it's history. What we did that isn't real about the Coon Chicken Inn is that it never transformed into the Cook's Chicken Inn. We added that whole plot line.

iW: What happened to your documentary about collectors?

Terry Zwigoff: I gave that up. I started shooting it years ago, but it was too difficult. Good collectors, the really interesting obsessive collectors, are such a pain in the ass. I just didn't want to deal with them. My hat's off to documentary filmmakers. I don't know if I'm ever going back to it. You're treated like a second-class citizen at most film festivals. You take the bus while everybody else is flown first-class. If you're a feature film director, you're put in a five-star hotel, and if you're a documentary director, you stay in a Motel 6. You're totally ignored by the press, nobody goes to see your films, and you don't get any money from making them. Maybe if I found something I was really passionate about, which is entirely possible, I would make another documentary, but it's not a good career choice for anybody. I don't recommend it.

iW: Do you think your documentary experience prepared you for directing this film?

Terry Zwigoff: Some of it crosses over. The acting doesn't. But I always made documentaries in such a different way than most documentary filmmakers. Saying that all documentaries are the same is like saying all foreign films are the same. I didn't make documentaries in a very cinéma vérité fashion, like Frederick Wiseman. I staged, manipulated, and controlled; I'm a very controlling person. It was very frustrating that I couldn't get the people to say the right things in the right way. It was always much more satisfying to create your own little world where everybody has to do what you tell them.

iW: Did you ever have to compromise your vision on this film?

Terry Zwigoff: My producer, Lianne Halfon, protected me and protected my final-cut of this film, which is an unbelievable accomplishment considering the battle she waged on my behalf. I had so much invested in this film personally. I was in the editing room, fighting for every cut, every frame of this film, and every note of music. I just got caught up in it personally. If they took "final cut" away from me and some businessman re-chopped the film, I don't think I would ever make another film. I would get into another line of work. I don't know how directors survive that experience. I guess a lot of them don't do work that's that personal. Maybe for my next film, I shouldn't make it so personal. I wouldn't mind just doing something that's more commercial, something I connect less with.

iW: What did you do before you became involved in filmmaking?

Terry Zwigoff: Oh God, I did a lot of things. I was a musician. I worked as a printer, printing grocery store newsletters and comic book covers. I was a shipping clerk for a while. Then I had a series of really grim jobs. I drove a forklift, stacking air-conditioners all day - -that was fun! I worked at the welfare office out of some sick sense of humor. I saw that Frederick Wiseman film "Welfare," and the next day I went down and applied for a job at the welfare office.

iW: Were you inspired by the movie?

Terry Zwigoff: I don't know what it was. I met Wiseman once at some film festival years ago. He's a real arrogant guy, really impossible to talk to. I went up to tell him that story. I said, "Hey, I got a job at the welfare." He couldn't have cared less.

iW: Is it true that "Ghost World" is expected to be a huge hit in Japan?

Terry Zwigoff: They think it's going to be huge over there. I think they're crazy. This film will never translate in Japan. It's very subtle humor. I watched it with a Czech audience and they didn't get too much out of it. They got the drama, but the humor doesn't translate.

iW: So why Japan?

Terry Zwigoff: They're teenage girls. They got this whole Lolita-san complex over there. When I was over in Japan years ago for some film festival in Yamagata, they had vending machines on the street that sold used, white cotton underpants worn by schoolgirls. They're really into that. It's a really twisted, crazy culture. But they like teenage girls, so maybe it will be a big hit. Maybe I should have put more white panty shots in the film. I actually had one written in at one point, but I didn't film it.

iW: Are you still in contact with Crumb?

Terry Zwigoff: Yeah, yeah. He was just at my house for a month and a half. I'm going to go visit him in early September.

iW: Has Crumb seen "Ghost World"?

Terry Zwigoff: He hasn't seen it yet. He just called me a couple of days ago and said, "Send me a tape!"

iW: Do you think he would like it?

Terry Zwigoff: I hope he likes it, but there's no predicating his taste in movies. I remember last time I was talking to him, he was raving about "Titanic" and saying how great it was. I said, "Oh my God! You've totally lost your mind. What was good about it?" He said, "Oh, it was so real. The boat really looked like it was sinking." I said, " You sound like a total rube just off the farm! You've spent too long in the countryside of France." Man, oh man.

iW: So what are you doing next?

Terry Zwigoff: Suddenly everybody seems to be interested in me. So maybe my agent has a bunch of people knocking on the door to sign a deal with me. Me and Dan have talked about doing another film together.

iW: Is it based on Clowes' comic "Art School Confidential?"

Terry Zwigoff: Yeah.

iW: So is that up in the air?

Terry Zwigoff: Yeah. Drew Barrymore wanted to star in it. She was a huge fan of the "Crumb" film, so she wanted to meet. We went in and pitched the idea to her. She said, "Let's go do it." Drew Barrymore has a production company and has about a hundred scripts on her desk that she could get greenlit in a second if she agreed to be in them. And John Malkovich also wanted a big part in it. So we thought, "Okay, we have Drew Barrymore, John Malkovich, and we're going to have this great script." We went to a couple of meetings together and they turned us down, two in a row. We couldn't figure it out. I don't know what the real reason was. I think they were waiting to see how "Ghost World" turns out.




RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Sun Jul-22-01 09:40 AM

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8. "now playing"
In response to Reply # 0


          

in NY, LA and Seattle.

Seattle, WHAT!


RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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janey
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123120 posts
Sun Jul-22-01 04:19 PM

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9. "query"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Is familiarity with the comic book a prerequisite? I've heard good/interesting things about the film elsewhere and these together with your review (not so lame, really, although certainly not as erudite as your usual offerings) intrigue me, but if I have to be a fan of the comic book I must bow out. This isn't an X Men or (ugh) Lara Croft situation, is it?

So I guess the second question is: Do I gather from your truncated review and the post on Okaymovies that you're losing faith in the interest level of Okayplayers in movies in general? I can certainly understand that, although now and then there are good, lengthy, meaty discussions. It's true that they are usually inspired by some mainstream film, though, and I'm starting to wonder whether I'm completely wasting my time by composing and posting reviews of most of the films that I see.

Peace.

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Mon Jul-23-01 06:00 AM

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10. "never read it"
In response to Reply # 9


          

I had little knowledge of the comic beforehand. I've flipped through it afterwards (and Zwigoff spoke at the screening) so I know there are some things from the comic, but it's more "inspired by" than "based on."

>So I guess the second question
>is: Do I gather
>from your truncated review and
>the post on Okaymovies that
>you're losing faith in the
>interest level of Okayplayers in
>movies in general? I
>can certainly understand that, although
>now and then there are
>good, lengthy, meaty discussions.
>It's true that they are
>usually inspired by some mainstream
>film, though, and I'm starting
>to wonder whether I'm completely
>wasting my time by composing
>and posting reviews of most
>of the films that I
>see.
>
>Peace.

Combination of decreased time/lack of response. OKP's like movies, just not the ones I like. I started writing them for separate reasons, and thought it'd be nice If I could get people interested in better movies. I haven't given up, but I've just been too busy to spend any time on stuff that gets 5 responses. But what did I expect posting about movies that only show in three theaters in the whole country?

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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janey
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123120 posts
Mon Jul-23-01 06:19 AM

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11. "you get five responses?"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

I'm envious. I usually get two and often only one of them relates to what I wrote. But there you go. That's why I see movies alone, too. That and the fact that I am a devotee of the bargain matinee.

Peace.

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Mon Jul-23-01 08:21 AM

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14. "let's see..."
In response to Reply # 11


          

14 responses.

4 from me.

and 4 about how no one responds to my posts.

greaaaaaat.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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thebigfunk
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Thu Aug-23-01 10:51 AM

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53. "ha"
In response to Reply # 11


          

I feel the same way... my review of Down From The Mountain is lurking at the bottom of the pool, somewhere...

-thebigfunk
Six on the Player:
Jeff Lang: Everything Is Still
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde
Public Enemy: Fear Of A Black Planet
Stevie Wonder: Fulfillingness' First Finale
Eric B & Rakim: Don't Sweat The Technique
DJ Logic: presents Project Logic

-thebigfunk

~ i could still snort you under the table ~

  

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SankofaII
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Mon Jul-23-01 07:54 AM

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12. "i agree with you too.."
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

ive kinda given up on posting about things ive seen be they indie films at the movie theater or those missed gems at the video store...

hell i was going to put separate appreciation posts for Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton...SPECIFICALLY tilda swinton who has made a career out of playing androgynous characters and RELISHES in doing so...

but what's the point when MOST FOLK who post here dont even KNOW who the fuck she is..but a fEW of us?

you know what...eff it. im going to have a tilda swinton marathon in the future..im going to watch every damn movie she's done..and have my OWN appreciation post for her!

RC




Words To Think About And Live By:


"...and when we speak we are afraid our words will not
be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are
still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we
were never meant to survive." -- "A Litany for
Survival" by Audre Lorde


Get Out the Room
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/get-out-the-room/id525657893

Some of y'all need this in your life: http://www.psychology.com

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Mon Jul-23-01 08:19 AM

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13. "current scr(i)pt magazine"
In response to Reply # 12


          

the one with the Apes on the cover.

It has an article about the adaptation of The Deep End. It's an adaptation of a book that was made into a movie in the 40s or so. The wirter talks about the different tack he had to take in adapting it, since the book (and the other movie) had war references, and it was a bit dated.

Frankly, the article didn't make me want to see the movie. I saw the trailer and was intrigued, but the article had me a little down on it.

I have another friend who's crazy about Swinton too. I really liked Orlando, but she's not really on my radar.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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SankofaII
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30751 posts
Mon Jul-23-01 09:02 AM

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16. "boo RED!"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

why isnt tilda on your radar...??? im actually going to rent Orlando today...

people arent really feeling The Deep End, but i liked an interview she did (i believe it was in interview or something) in which she explained themovie and her character...ima have togo see it.

plus, im pretty jazzed when she DOES pop up in something (i REFUSE to see THE BEACH she's in that...sorry, i can NOT give Leo my money! )

RC



Words To Think About And Live By:


"...and when we speak we are afraid our words will not
be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are
still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we
were never meant to survive." -- "A Litany for
Survival" by Audre Lorde


Get Out the Room
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/get-out-the-room/id525657893

Some of y'all need this in your life: http://www.psychology.com

  

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REDeye
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Mon Jul-23-01 09:40 AM

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18. "I'm looking at IMDb"
In response to Reply # 16


          

and I'm not seeing much of a reason why she should be of interest to me. Orlando was brilliant, and she was brilliant in it.

She is in the upcoming ADAPTATION, the odd "Orchid Theif" non-adaptation by Charlie Kaufman. THAT'S on my radar.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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Hot_Damali
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Tue Aug-07-01 10:15 AM

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31. "RE: query"
In response to Reply # 9


          

>Is familiarity with the comic book
>a prerequisite? I've heard
>good/interesting things about the film
>elsewhere and these together with
>your review (not so lame,
>really, although certainly not as
>erudite as your usual offerings)
>intrigue me, but if I
>have to be a fan
>of the comic book I
>must bow out. This
>isn't an X Men or
>(ugh) Lara Croft situation, is
>it?

double ugh...not even close. i saw it on Sunday and i loved it...i'm almost reluctant to mention to folks that its based on a comic book cuz the first thing they think of is "big budget special effects crap"...and its the farthest from that you could ever get...please go see it (tho i haven't read the rest of your responses yet so maybe you already have)


>So I guess the second question
>is: Do I gather
>from your truncated review and
>the post on Okaymovies that
>you're losing faith in the
>interest level of Okayplayers in
>movies in general? I
>can certainly understand that, although
>now and then there are
>good, lengthy, meaty discussions.
>It's true that they are
>usually inspired by some mainstream
>film, though, and I'm starting
>to wonder whether I'm completely
>wasting my time by composing
>and posting reviews of most
>of the films that I
>see.

please don't stop...i read them tho i don't always reply cuz i haven't seen the film. But i will reply with a dot or something so you know i'm reading...lol

usually as soon as i see a good indie film i come straight here to see if there's a post already then if not i post about it (i.e. Downtown 81)...i'm a HUGE indie/alternative film fan so please don't stop...REDEye too!!!

damali

Underground Railroad w/Jay Smooth
WBAI-FM 99.5 NY
Sat 12-2am
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The Dyke Chronicles...now online!!!
http://www.geocities.com/hotdamali

"i can do an interview, shower, do a show, eat a snack, play ps2, post on boards, mix common song over the phone, talk to mom, order a flick, argue with manager and iron tommorow's gear in 2 minutes." - qoolquest


FREE THE JAZZIES!! FREE AL SHARPTON!!!

  

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Gyrofrog
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Thu Aug-23-01 05:40 AM

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51. "Eightball, other comics"
In response to Reply # 9


          

>This
>isn't an X Men or
>(ugh) Lara Croft situation, is
>it?

Heavens, no! The comic book is called "Eightball." In fact he used to have a character called "Dan Pussey" which took quite a few shots at those kinds of comics (there's a separate book available with the "Dan Pussey" comics).

Go check out some "Eightball." Here's a sample:
http://www.fantagraphics.com/artist/clowes/velvetgal/vel1.html

While you're at it, maybe look at "Jim" and /or "Frank" by Jim Woodring:
http://www.jimwoodring.com/

"Acme Novelty Library" by Chris Ware:
http://quimby.gnus.org/warehouse/
http://www.theonionavclub.com/avclub3716/avfeature_3716.html

Last and certainly not least, "Love and Rockets" and various spin-offs by Los Bros. Hernandez:
http://www.fantagraphics.com/artist/lr/losbros/losbros.html


--Joe C
"Gyrofrog"
Have sax, will woodshed
-----
http://www.gyrofrog.com

  

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QuestOn4
Member since Aug 08th 2003
39 posts
Mon Jul-23-01 08:37 AM

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15. "DuRiNg"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I decided that Thora Birch could be the mother of my children.

The movie...was odd. I'd read reviews about it beforehand (big mistake) and I was surprised at how normal the Becky character was in relation to Enid. I thought they were supposed to be social outcasts...

There were some psychotically funny moments in this movie; the disabled man who got the free coffee, "You also invented homos!"...

One of the best films I've seen this year, easily.

  

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REDeye
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Mon Jul-23-01 09:29 AM

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17. "kinda the point"
In response to Reply # 15


          

>The movie...was odd. I'd read reviews
>about it beforehand (big mistake)
>and I was surprised at
>how normal the Becky character
>was in relation to Enid.
>I thought they were supposed
>to be social outcasts...

Enid is clearly the farthest out there, but did you notice the progression in Rebecca? She graduates and starts getting on with her life, while Enid refuses to change. That tension between them is classic. So recognizable and mundane, yet refreshingly touching.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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QuestOn4
Member since Aug 08th 2003
39 posts
Wed Jul-25-01 03:43 AM

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19. "WhAt I mEaN iS"
In response to Reply # 17


          

Becky never seemed out there. SHe seemed almost like a complementary character compared to Enid...

--Hey, sometimes that's how I do--and if you feel bad--maybe it's not for you--

"Sometimes you just want to bitch-slap a fool for being a fool," Harry Knowles

"U're a man...be power," morpheme

Writers * Smartasses *Funky Children
The Collective is:
Vex Bliss||Nuru||Quest
http://www.womb.cjb.net

AIM: QuestOn4

  

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Gyrofrog
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Thu Aug-23-01 05:43 AM

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52. "RE: DuRiNg"
In response to Reply # 15


          

>There were some psychotically funny moments
>in this movie; the disabled
>man who got the free
>coffee

I haven't seen the movie yet, but that sounds like "Feldman," another character from the "Eightball" comic. In the comic, he called up the coffee shop, asked what the trivia quation is, looked it up on the internet, wnet down there on his scooter and picked up his coffee.

--Joe C
"Gyrofrog"
Have sax, will woodshed
-----
http://www.gyrofrog.com

  

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DonKnutts
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27064 posts
Thu Jul-26-01 03:58 AM

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20. "i saw it last night"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and for me, it was the most consistently funny movie i've seen in a long time. consistent in that the laughs are frequent, and the timing of the jokes impeccable. actually, buscemi's facual expressions just makes me laugh anyway.

speaking of steve, we all know he's made a good career of playing the dork, but his "Ghost World" role is like a real tour-de-force... it just doesn't get better than his portrayal of seymour.

i highly recommend the flick to everybody. it's good stuff.

  

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DaFlashman
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41. "Steve Buscemi"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

Personally I enjoy the films where he plays a low-life or a villain just as much as the ones he plays a dork in. Take "Fargo" for instance. Well, you could argue he was both; but still. Anyway knowing he's in it, I'd got to see it just for his performance. He's one of those actors who is so quirky he could probably never be a vehicle for a feature film, but who is so fun to watch you'd gladly see him play supporting roles in 20 more films in the next 20 years.

Peace, Flash

--
"Besides, what is beer but steak in a glass?" -> shockzilla(OK)
"Do you get drunk off that Not2Bright whiskey often?" -> krylonwifey1979
* http://www.ohhla.com - "Lyrics to Go"
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---
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Webmaster: www.OHHLA.com and www.RapReviews.com
COMING SOON: www.NintendoArchive.com

  

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janey
Charter member
123120 posts
Wed Aug-08-01 06:49 AM

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43. "RE: Steve Buscemi"
In response to Reply # 41


  

          

Trees Lounge is a must see for all Buscemi fans. It's beautiful and thoughtful and dark and funny. And he gets some interesting performances out of people like Chloe Sevigny and Samuel L. Jackson.

Peace.

In the end the Earth just keeps on turning every day, and no one knows when it's going to stop, or why it's heading for the Sun. (c) Roy

Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity. (c) Gustave Flaubert

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars. (c) Oscar Wilde



~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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djlada
Charter member
3688 posts
Thu Jul-26-01 05:31 AM

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21. "RE: GHOST WORLD"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Damn! Hope it gets an European release soon, cause I loved the comic book AND "Crumb". How`s the soundtrack?

-He who knows how sausages and laws are made, will never again have a quiet nights sleep.(Otto von Bismarck)

-To alcohol: the solution to- and cause of- all of life`s problems! (Homer Simpson)

.............................
new shit! (link re-upped and running ...)

http://rapidshare.de/files/5982112/01_Spor_1.wma.html

"Wild & Free (Todd Terje Night Version)"
-Snuten feat. Fox N Wolf
twelve inch out (very) soonish

  

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REDeye
Charter member
6598 posts
Mon Jul-30-01 10:22 AM

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22. "up"
In response to Reply # 0


          

for all y'all bitching about seeing bad movies.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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janey
Charter member
123120 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 04:59 AM

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23. "Delayed reaction"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Ghost World finally makes it to SF. Definitely a high point of the summer. Or a low point, depending on one's perspective, for the film certainly depressed me, despite being very funny.

I don't really have anything to add except a couple of random notes and the fact that I wanted to push this thread to remind people in second tier marketplaces like SF that there are alternatives to Planet of the Apes and its ilk.

Random notes:

Visually, Ghost World is a feast -- very clean and spare backgrounds, cool pastel colors in the exteriors, in contrast with Enid's and Seymour's living spaces, which are cramped, dark, crowded, etcetera. Attention to detail is remarkable. I don't think anything was left to chance or not thought through. It's worth seeing again just to look at the perimeters. That is true with environments and it's true with actors. The people in the background are just as interesting and peculiar as those in the foreground. In the middle ground, as a side note, I think I used to know the convenience store customer when my ex-husband owned sleazy bars in the San Fernando Valley. These people are real, and that is in large part what makes this film so beautiful and so sad.

David Denby ends his review by saying that the film "even suggests that she (Enid) has a destiny, and this is an unwelcome surprise, since most of us would wish no other future for Enid the brilliant comic-book invention but to be herself, a hilariously morose teen-ager, forever and ever." Now, admittedly, Denby was contrasting the world of film with the world of comic books, and saying that the film created a "psychologically accountable" world that the comic book did not. So I see his point. But I fundamentally disagree with him that the film suggests that she has a future. To me, the film suggests that she kills herself. And I don't know how Denby would have come out on the ending if he had interpreted it as I did.

I really appreciate the fact that the emotions in the film were very complicated and not easily resolved. It's nice to see that kind of attention in a film that also includes enough overtly funny moments to entertain the dunderheads sitting behind me. But just the stuff about Enid's conflicting emotions with respect to Seymour, his own conflict between Enid and Dana, Rebecca's slow and gentle growth or perhaps numbed acceptance of what comes next, all the stuff that takes place with Enid's father and Maxine that is completely real to us despite the fact that it all takes place off screen, all of that was wonderful. I don't think we need to believe that we're losers or nerds or any derogatory term in order to identify with and appreciate some of these emotions or conflicts.

Note again the crossover with Bully: in this film, Josh is played by Brad Renfro, who plays Marty in Bully. Again, as with Michael Pitt, the more compelling performance is in Bully. But in this case, as opposed to Pitt's performance in Hedwig, it would have been inappropriate for Renfro to stand out in any way. He is certainly someone else I'll be watching for.

I love Steve Buscemi and I think that his performance in Ghost World is wonderful. It is in my opinion his deepest and most nuanced work since Trees Lounge.

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 06:14 AM

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24. "RE: Delayed reaction"
In response to Reply # 23


          

Zwigoff said the original ending they wrote was with Seymour hanging himself.

That character was based on him and did not appear in the comic. All those records were Zwigoff's. He's a creepy bastard. But funny. Just like Robert Crumb.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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PolarbearToenails
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11197 posts
Wed Aug-29-01 08:33 PM

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59. "RE: Delayed reaction"
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

I don't know what part of SF you're in, but it's been out in SF since it's national release date, playing at the Kabuki. I went and saw it the night it came out.

--
Jesse Thorn / Host
The Sound of Young America
Thursdays 8-9 AM KZSC 88.1 Santa Cruz
http://www.splangy.com

"This album is by far the greatest piece of writing, arranging, producing, and sequencing genius I've ever encountered. Anyone who has heard the first two Swamp Dogg albums will possibly say impossible, but after listening to this one will make the cross-over to incredible. The only album that may possibly compare with this one is the one that I'm contemplating doing the late future. Everything that is neccessary to make an album I have; Ego, talent, originality, humor, and I am dynamic, articulate, defiant, altruistic, considerate, warm, wonderful, & humble... I have also been a Grammy nominee for the past two years. I'm also a Cancer (July 12) and twenty nine years in the world. What you've just read is my trip, and if you can't tolerate it, that's your trip."
-- Swamp Dogg, from the liner notes to his album, "Cuffed, Collared, & Tagged"

-
Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
A public radio show about things that are awesome.
http://www.maximumfun.org
"This is the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world." - McSweeney's

  

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janey
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123120 posts
Wed Aug-29-01 08:47 PM

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60. "that's where I saw it"
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

It opened on a Friday and I saw it on the following Monday. What I meant is that this post had already been up for almost two weeks at that point, and the Seattle crew had seen it. So what are we, chopped liver? I demand equal treatment for Frisco!

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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cquiroga

Tue Aug-07-01 06:57 AM

  
25. "The title reference (and other cultural references)?"
In response to Reply # 0


          

*Mild spoilers below-- reader beware*

I saw the movie this weekend, and I hadn't read a damn thing of the comics before that. It's a good movie, but I can't help feeling like I missed a lot with the many cultural references (most of them "underground").

For example, what to make of the opening sequence, which is old footage of a choreographed dance number from what looks like a 50s or 60s film? Does anyone know what the movie is, or do you have an interpretation of how that sequence works in juxtaposition with the opening shots of Enid?

Another reference that I didn't get much out of (I'm sad to say) is Seymour's music obsession. He has an enormous collection of blues, ragtime, and jazz records, but can anyone shed some light on the specific albums, musicians, or songs highlighted in the film (like the one that Enid buys from him and obsesses over)?

Enid is shown watching some movies on television about 3/4 through the film, and other characters watch things on TV throughout-- does anyone know the specific films they were watching and how they are relevant (or not) to the movie GHOST WORLD?? In a film that obviously foregrounds artistic and cultural influence (and rebellion, shame, marginalization, etc.), these things seem like they MUST be relevant.

Finally (for now), was the Coon's Kitchen/Cook's Kitchen thing a veiled reference to any specific historical restaurant or franchise, or just a general reference to the shameful (and now hidden) past of much of American society?

Any thoughts are much appreciated. By the way, REDeye, people (like me) on these boards certainly do appreciate your posts, even if we don't always agree with your opinions or add to the din by responding to your messages. Thank you for taking the time to share your views.

Chris

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 08:51 AM

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26. "thanks!"
In response to Reply # 25


          

nice to be appreciated.

As to your questions, I think most of the stuff in it just gives layers and doesn't speak to anything specific. Like the record collection. The Seymour character is based on the director Zwigoff, and those records are all out of his own personal collection. There's an old axiom in writing that says, basically, you achieve universality through specificity. Meaning, the more specifc details you can give regarding characters, the more real you can make them and the more likely it is that people will identify with them.

However, there are other tidbits that are revealed in this interview with Daniel Clowes, the comic writer, from Film Threat, and the Zwigoff interview pasted in an earlier post (above).

http://www.filmthreat.com/Interviews.asp?File=InterviewsOne.inc&Id=186

http://www.indiewire.com/film/interviews/int_Zwigoff_Terry_010720.html

>Finally (for now), was the Coon's
>Kitchen/Cook's Kitchen thing a veiled
>reference to any specific historical
>restaurant or franchise, or just
>a general reference to the
>shameful (and now hidden) past
>of much of American society?

"iW: We're the relics of the Coon Chicken Inn in Seymour's room from your collection?

Terry Zwigoff: Yeah, I collect old Coon Chicken Inn memorabilia. I collect black memorabilia, like old minstrel posters. It was a real place. There was one in Seattle, one in Portland, and one in Salt Lake City. They started in 1925 and then they went out of business around 1958. The visuals are so strong, but it's sort of horrifying at the same time. It's just the way things were; it's history. What we did that isn't real about the Coon Chicken Inn is that it never transformed into the Cook's Chicken Inn. We added that whole plot line."


As far as the TV stuff, I don't know about the Indian rock music movie, but the comedian who wasn't funny - that's in the comic. I think they were just trying to be as obscure as possible, because that's what the characters were into. The music was all straight out of Zwigoff's personal collection, so maybe it had some special significance to him. I have a feeling there were a ton of inside jokes in this movie that we may never know.

I had never read the comic before seeing the movie. I'm not sure that would have enhanced my enjoyment of it, because I like that I went into it fresh.

Another odd think: the pants laying ont he ground, that's in the comic book, go figure.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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janey
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123120 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 09:06 AM

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27. "Indian musical"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

I read one review in which the reviewer thought that the opening sequence showed everyone in the neighborhood watching the same Indian musical. I think it's pretty clear that everyone is watching TV but Enid is watching a tape of the musical.

I guess it just illustrates that reasonable people can differ dramatically in their interpretations of art.

I read an interview with Zwigoff in one of the local free papers (he's a local boy, y'know), and he said that he really wished that he could have just filmed a real street with real people watching tv, because they all do. It's not just the movie.

I'm just as happy that Seymour didn't hang himself, frankly, I think that would have been a little much. I thought that Enid getting on the Flying Dutchman bus was sufficient. Most people lead lives of quiet desperation, after all, and don't in fact kill themselves. Seymour's despair was a little more routine than Enid's anyway, and she had suffered greater and more sudden losses than he had.

There was also a comment in another paper that MGM is showing this mostly in art houses but Zwigoff convinced them to put it in a mainstream theatre in SF. I saw this yesterday in the middle of the day and the theatre was packed. The only other times I've had to sit right next to someone at a movie this summer were at festivals or on weekends. Bodes well, I think. but is it true that this is only playing at art houses in other cities?

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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DonKnutts
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27064 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 09:27 AM

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28. "gasp"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

>I saw this yesterday in
>the middle of the day
>and the theatre was packed.
> The only other times
>I've had to sit right
>next to someone at a
>movie this summer were at
>festivals or on weekends.

so you had to sit among "dunderheads" huh? perhaps i was one of them.

as for cquiroga's post, i think what RedEye said about achieving universality through specificity is perfect. it sounds like your determination in uncovering inside jokes and pop culture references may have comprimised your overall enjoyment of the flick.

  

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janey
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123120 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 09:39 AM

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29. "dunderheads"
In response to Reply # 28


  

          

Why, were you the one talking to the screen?

No, really, the biggest problem was that it was so crowded with people who thought that everything was funny that I was a little self conscious when wiping tears from my eyes. And I wasn't crying because I was laughing so hard, I was crying because it struck a very deep chord in me.

And because I'm a dunderhead.

~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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DonKnutts
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27064 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 09:57 AM

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30. "confession"
In response to Reply # 29


  

          

near the end of the flick, when Seymour is in the hospital and Enid comes to visit him, and he pulls out her sketchbook to confront her with evidence that she thought he was just a pathetic dork, and she says "Did you look at the rest of the book?" and he flips to these intricately drawn portraits paying homage to him ... at that very moment I got choked up for a second.

And it's funny in a way that Enid thinks that those drawings would absolve her from any blame, even though they don't negate the fact that her interest in Seymour was born out of a cruel prank.... but like Seymour, I guess, I chose to overlook her self-absorption.

Did you cry during the flick? Or after? and if during, what parts struck a chord with you? or was it a more general effect?

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 10:16 AM

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32. "RE: confession"
In response to Reply # 30


          

"Also, what is surprising is just how easily one can laugh and hurt at the same time."

I quote myself all the time.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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janey
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123120 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 11:53 AM

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35. "RE: confession"
In response to Reply # 30


  

          

Yeah, I get kind of sad whenever I see movies in which someone is being really self-revelatory and really exposing themselves to potential humiliation or humbling or rejection, irrespective of what response they get. I think sometimes that the bravest thing we can do is simply to be honest.

I think it has a connection with that business with the Illeana Douglas character and what she says about not being afraid to raise difficult issues or use unpopular images. Or maybe that's a nice way to intellectualize the issue and therefore create distance. Anyway, yeah, I've become a big crybaby. Next thing you know I'll be crying at those commercials for cotton or long distance on TV.


Peace.

In the end the Earth just keeps on turning every day, and no one knows when it's going to stop, or why it's heading for the Sun. (c) Roy

Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity. (c) Gustave Flaubert

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars. (c) Oscar Wilde



~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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Hot_Damali
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8959 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 10:35 AM

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33. "i cried too"
In response to Reply # 29


          

her lonliness at the end really got to me...also cuz i was very lonely that day as well...that was a powerful moment


  

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janey
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Tue Aug-07-01 11:47 AM

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34. "RE: i cried too"
In response to Reply # 33


  

          

There were a couple of moments that really got to me. When Seymour is so caught up with Dana that he turns away from Enid, and she has to ask to be let in to his apartment or like that one moment where she says to him, "Aren't you going to ask how I'm doing?" And that really got me because, you know, what a horrible moment for her, how much of a loser do you have to be to have your friendship rejected by a loser? That poor thing. That made me rethink some stuff in my own life.

There were just a lot of real emotions and a lot of truth in that movie.

Hey, Damali, thanks, by the way, for your kind words above. I always wish that someone would read what I write and respond by saying, whoa, you are sooooo far off the mark with that, or yeah, I saw that too and I thought.... or something. I know that I have a tendency to write like I think I'm writing the Truth or something, but in reality my greatest ambition is to spark dialogue.

Peace.

In the end the Earth just keeps on turning every day, and no one knows when it's going to stop, or why it's heading for the Sun. (c) Roy

Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity. (c) Gustave Flaubert

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars. (c) Oscar Wilde



~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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Hot_Damali
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8959 posts
Tue Aug-07-01 04:41 PM

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36. "well miss"
In response to Reply # 34


          

its so hard to disagree with things that you say cuz your logic is always so on point, that even if i start out not agreeing, you convince me by the end...lol!!!

so um...maybe less initial explanation of your point would get more dialogue going

Underground Railroad w/Jay Smooth
WBAI-FM 99.5 NY
Sat 12-2am
http://www.hiphopmusic.com

The Dyke Chronicles...now online!!!
http://www.geocities.com/hotdamali

"i can do an interview, shower, do a show, eat a snack, play ps2, post on boards, mix common song over the phone, talk to mom, order a flick, argue with manager and iron tommorow's gear in 2 minutes." - qoolquest


FREE THE JAZZIES!! FREE AL SHARPTON!!!

  

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cquiroga

Tue Aug-07-01 11:56 PM

  
37. "RE: gasp"
In response to Reply # 28


          

"it sounds like your determination in uncovering inside jokes and pop culture references may have comprimised your overall enjoyment of the flick."

Is this above remark directed at me? I wasn't the one who mentioned inside jokes-- I think that was REDeye. I could believe it if there were a lot of inside jokes in the film, but I wasn't disappointed by a fruitless quest to seek them out, if that's what you're implying. As far as I'm concerned, there could be all the damn inside jokes in the world-- the movie should still stand up on its own merits and work at least on some level as a stand-alone piece. And I think it did.

The pop culture references are one small thing that I think prevented me from enjoying the movie more than I could have-- I just think that if there are references to pop culture, they should mean something within the film and not just be obvious "wallpaper" references (like in that crappy movie FINDING FORRESTER where the camera lingers on a stack of books sitting on a table and you're just supposed to read the titles and get something glorious out of it that's contained very little elsewhere in the film).

I don't think GHOST WORLD had those kinds of references, and I suppose I *did*, in fact, "get" what was going on with each of the pop culture things. Still, I would have liked to have been more familiar with the real-world connections when I saw the film, so I could have been more assured of my interpretations.

As I said before, I thought the movie was good, but if I sounded like I was disappointed in some things, that's probably because I was. This is what I didn't like:

1) The beginning of the movie is pretty weak. The first 20 minutes' worth of dialogue and scenarios just seemed so phony. After that it got better for awhile.

2) I hated how Rebecca was marginalized and all but absent for about a 20-minute stretch of the movie 2/3 of the way through. During the whole second half, she becomes progressively less and less of a character (I realize you could say "That's the point," but I think it would be a much better film if Rebecca were allowed to join in the relatively complex characterizations that Enid and Seymour benefited from).

3) Rebecca and Enid made amends too easily. Their whole relationship was grossly oversimplified at the end. Actually, EVERYTHING about the ending was too "pat", including the actions contained in the final shot, Rebecca and Enid's resolution, as well as Enid's "fix" with Seymour.

4) The characters were too archetypical for my tastes. This applies to Rebecca, Enid's father, Josh, "Doug" (the nunchuku guy), and the art teacher. Basically, the only two fully-realized characters were Enid and Seymour. It allowed for too many easy jokes (and there were A LOT of easy jokes, especially with the art teacher) and not nearly as rich an experience as it could have been.

5) The movie seems often confused about where it stands ideologically. The art class scenes in particular bothered me. At the beginning, it's a scathing (albeit very predictable, as suggested above) satire/parody of "mainstream culture" and "art," and yet somehow it seems we're supposed to sympathize with Enid's "triumph" in art class when she submits her Coon's Chicken poster as a found object piece. Sure, you could say that ultimately, her piece is rejected and taken down from the art show, and that she loses her chance at going to art college as a result, but we're obviously supposed to go along for the ride and sympathize with Enid's acceptance when everything else in the film to that point had suggested that the art teacher was such an idiot that we shouldn't really care about her phony "validation."

That's all I can remember for now. . .

And yet still, somehow, I enjoyed it. I think some of the scenes are great (like the scene when they first see Seymour and Enid makes fun of him for ordering "a big glass of milk"), and Seymour and Enid are interesting enough to keep me from missing the other characters too much-- it still just bothers me to have such superficial sketches of people. All in all, it's funny and enjoyable, likeable and rewarding to watch, but it fell far short of its potential by resorting to numerous resolution cliches and shallow characterizations.

I still think A.I. (yes, A.I.) is by far the best movie I've seen this year.

Chris

  

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Hot_Damali
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Wed Aug-08-01 04:46 AM

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39. "this part"
In response to Reply # 37


          


>5) The movie seems often confused
>about where it stands ideologically.
> The art class scenes
>in particular bothered me.
>At the beginning, it's a
>scathing (albeit very predictable, as
>suggested above) satire/parody of "mainstream
>culture" and "art," and yet
>somehow it seems we're supposed
>to sympathize with Enid's "triumph"
>in art class when she
>submits her Coon's Chicken poster
>as a found object piece.
> Sure, you could say
>that ultimately, her piece is
>rejected and taken down from
>the art show, and that
>she loses her chance at
>going to art college as
>a result, but we're obviously
>supposed to go along for
>the ride and sympathize with
>Enid's acceptance when everything else
>in the film to that
>point had suggested that the
>art teacher was such an
>idiot that we shouldn't really
>care about her phony "validation."

yes!!! man i couldn't think of how to express that but that was exactly how i felt during the film. i was confused about what the director was expecting us to feel about that whole scenario...thanks for pointing that out...

damali

  

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DonKnutts
Charter member
27064 posts
Wed Aug-08-01 05:51 AM

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40. "RE: this part"
In response to Reply # 39


  

          

>
>>5) The movie seems often confused
>>about where it stands ideologically.
>> The art class scenes
>>in particular bothered me.
>>At the beginning, it's a
>>scathing (albeit very predictable, as
>>suggested above) satire/parody of "mainstream
>>culture" and "art," and yet
>>somehow it seems we're supposed
>>to sympathize with Enid's "triumph"
>>in art class when she
>>submits her Coon's Chicken poster
>>as a found object piece.
>> Sure, you could say
>>that ultimately, her piece is
>>rejected and taken down from
>>the art show, and that
>>she loses her chance at
>>going to art college as
>>a result, but we're obviously
>>supposed to go along for
>>the ride and sympathize with
>>Enid's acceptance when everything else
>>in the film to that
>>point had suggested that the
>>art teacher was such an
>>idiot that we shouldn't really
>>care about her phony "validation."
>
>yes!!! man i couldn't think of
>how to express that but
>that was exactly how i
>felt during the film.
>i was confused about what
>the director was expecting us
>to feel about that whole
>scenario...thanks for pointing that out...
>
>
>damali

Still, remember that Enid is just a young high school girl who still needs validation from others... she is self-possessed but also insecure (note her bickering with the comic book store dude about her new "punk" hair style, then going home and immediately changing it)... although the art teacher is clearly a nut job, Enid seeks approval from her anyway. As far as the whole "Coon Chicken" thing, the teacher's glowing response was just further evidence that she was a phony... in my estimation, Enid's intention in bringing in the poster was to stir things up and shock the teacher, not win her praise. therefore, rather than symphathizing with Enid in her finally being accepted by the teacher, I felt complicit in Enid's cunning trickery in getting the teacher to like her.

  

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janey
Charter member
123120 posts
Wed Aug-08-01 06:34 AM

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42. "agreed"
In response to Reply # 40


  

          

Also don't forget that the art teacher was pandering to the one student who was using extremely trite "unpopular images" while Enid was using truly cutting edge "unpopular images" -- cartoons of Don Knotts, for example. I thought that the whole sequence about Enid's "found art" was a long commentary about superficiality -- and NOT Enid's superficiality.

Peace.

In the end the Earth just keeps on turning every day, and no one knows when it's going to stop, or why it's heading for the Sun. (c) Roy

Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity. (c) Gustave Flaubert

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars. (c) Oscar Wilde



~ ~ ~
All meetings end in separation
All acquisition ends in dispersion
All life ends in death
- The Buddha

|\_/|
='_'=

Every hundred years, all new people

  

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REDeye
Charter member
6598 posts
Wed Aug-08-01 07:53 AM

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44. "I like"
In response to Reply # 42


          

movies that don't tell you what to think.

And I thought the whole Coon's Chicken subplot was more effective social commentary than the entire 2+ hours of Bamboozled.

Oh well.

RED
Never confuse having a career with having a life.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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johnny_domino
Charter member
17027 posts
Thu Aug-23-01 06:34 PM

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54. "RE: agreed"
In response to Reply # 42


  

          

I really liked the cartoon of Don Knotts


my shoes are soaking wet, but my ankles are bone dry...everything's coming up millhouse!

  

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application
Member since Jul 10th 2002
61 posts
Mon Aug-13-01 12:00 PM

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48. "RE: gasp"
In response to Reply # 37


          

I personally loved this film and thought it was one of the most well written films I've seen in the last couple years. I think some of your criticisms are based on misconceptions in the film and I will adress them below.

>1) The beginning of the movie
>is pretty weak. The
>first 20 minutes' worth of
>dialogue and scenarios just seemed
>so phony. After that
>it got better for awhile.

Maybe because I'm from the San Fernando Valley (where this was filmed) it affected me differently, but I saw a lot of the things that Enid and Rebecca were observing as very real. It was almost as if Zigwoff was making me realize how ridiculous everyday life really was.

The purpose of the first 20 minutes of the film was to set up that Enid and Rebecca basically go around critcizing people and ignoring themselves. Even if you couldn't relate to it, I'm suprised that you didn't at least find there observations funny.


>2) I hated how Rebecca was
>marginalized and all but absent
>for about a 20-minute stretch
>of the movie 2/3 of
>the way through. During
>the whole second half, she
>becomes progressively less and less
>of a character (I realize
>you could say "That's the
>point," but I think it
>would be a much better
>film if Rebecca were allowed
>to join in the relatively
>complex characterizations that Enid and
>Seymour benefited from).


Keep in mind the film is told from Enid's point of view. So, we are to understand that as Rebecca joins "mainstream" culture she drifts out of Enid's life. This is why we don't see her for the "20 minute stretch" you described. The posters for this film showing Enid and Rebecca are misleading as his film is clearly about Enid and Seymour, Rebecca is more of a supporting character and thus not given the complex characterization that a lead character would be afforded.

>3) Rebecca and Enid made amends
>too easily.

The film sets up that Enid and Rebecca have been best friends for a very long time (remember the scene where there going through the photo album). Imagine if you had a fight with your best friend of many years and you didn't talk to each other for a while. After a couple of weeks you would see this as one bullshit fight in a long relationship, and because you knew each other so well it would be easy for you to get back together. I've seen this situation with a lot of my friends and I didn't think much of it during the actual fim.

>4) The characters were too archetypical
>for my tastes. This
>applies to Rebecca, Enid's father,
>Josh, "Doug" (the nunchuku guy),
>and the art teacher.
>Basically, the only two fully-realized
>characters were Enid and Seymour.
> It allowed for too
>many easy jokes (and there
>were A LOT of easy
>jokes, especially with the art
>teacher) and not nearly as
>rich an experience as it
>could have been.

The film was meant to (in part) show the world from Enid's point of view. Enid viewed everyone except for her and Seymour (and Rebecca) as basically one dimensional. Part of the point of the film is how she takes these EASY jokes and pot shots at them. This accounts for the shallowness of the characters.

>5) The movie seems often confused
>about where it stands ideologically.
> The art class scenes
>in particular bothered me.
>At the beginning, it's a
>scathing (albeit very predictable, as
>suggested above) satire/parody of "mainstream
>culture" and "art,"

Keep in mind this film was based on a comic book and co-written by a comic book artist. Think about what a comic book artist was saying with that scene. Enid draws these pieces (which were actually Clowes artwork) that are looked at by the art teacher as "cartoons" and yet the tampon in a tea cup reaches "that higher level of art." Clowes was (admittedly very obviously) saying "how are these tampons in teacups art and my shit not?" That was basically a big fuck you to all the art critics who view comic books as lesser.


>and yet
>somehow it seems we're supposed
>to sympathize with Enid's "triumph"
>in art class when she
>submits her Coon's Chicken poster
>as a found object piece.
> Sure, you could say
>that ultimately, her piece is
>rejected and taken down from
>the art show, and that
>she loses her chance at
>going to art college as
>a result, but we're obviously
>supposed to go along for
>the ride and sympathize with
>Enid's acceptance when everything else
>in the film to that
>point had suggested that the
>art teacher was such an
>idiot that we shouldn't really
>care about her phony "validation."

Okay, so let's establish that this film is about Enid who talks shit about everyone in the world while ignoring herself and how her negative attitude comes back to bite her in the ass. The film is never arguing that Enid's Coon picture is art. Instead she finds this piece in Seymour's room and thinks her idiotic art teacher will love it. She turns it in as a joke. She PLAYS her art teacher. Evenutally, when the whole thing with the newspaper article comes around it bites her in the ass as the art school scholarship could have been her way out. We are never supposed to sympathize with her coon picture as art. Instead we are to view it as a joke she is playing on the art teacher


-Ryan

"Police don't sweep to get the dust out
They want your name in the system,
I need to mention the death penalty is
legal lynchin
People listen, they got teenagers up in
the line up
To fill the new facility they built,
they need the crime up
Please, the war on drugs is really war
on the youth
War on the people
War on the truth
The violent crimes rise,
the silent dies as sirens cry through
the night
People fight for what's left and not
what's right"

-Talib Kweli

Peace,
Ryan

  

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murph25
Charter member
733 posts
Mon Aug-27-01 09:14 PM

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57. "minor point, but..."
In response to Reply # 48


  

          


>Keep in mind this film was
>based on a comic book
>and co-written by a comic
>book artist. Think about
>what a comic book artist
>was saying with that scene.
>Enid draws these pieces (which
>were actually Clowes artwork) that
>are looked at by the
>art teacher as "cartoons"...

I read somewhere that Enid's artwork in the film was NOT drawn by Clowes, that he actually didn't feel he could realistically draw as a teenage girl, so he went and hired somebody who could. I think the article said that the Enid's comics were in fact drawn by Robert Crumb's daughter (?). But, I do agree with your interpretation of Clowes' intent with those scenes. Comic artists have had a pretty tough time getting any acceptance from the "art" community, and he's definitely taking a shot at the critics...

peace,
murph

peace,
murph

  

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shiloh
Charter member
985 posts
Wed Aug-08-01 04:12 AM

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38. "just saw it..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

and Red and Janey, we do appreciate it... most of us just don't see the films as early in time to respond...

while i liked it, i expected so much that i was slightly disappointed... but i can't put a finger on what didn't connect w/ me... i'll be back...

* not THAT shiloh
http://www.myspace.com/13970459

  

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WaxLablTabler
Charter member
16329 posts
Sun Aug-12-01 01:29 PM

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45. "uuuuuuupppppppp"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
*please place cliched phrase or quote here*

also: put yer fingers in the swirly tub...stop typing for about a week. - illmeta. ha ha. he said swiirrrrly
Ignorance is an issue irrespective of economic class. - janey

(disheartened) back to the drawing board..... - me

(disenchanted) i quit..... - me

"Let me get this straight. We're behind the other class, so we're going to catch up to them by going SLOWER than them? That's cukoo!" - Bart Simpson quoted by REDeye




____________________

be Good.

http://i45.tinypic.com/2n8vg29.png
(by a guy named Wes Whaley http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/8779317/Light-paintings-by-Wes-Whaley.html )

  

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Brandard
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11908 posts
Sun Aug-12-01 01:44 PM

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46. "will make a point to see it"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

also want to check out "Lumumba.

I suspect a movie field trip coming shortly

Giving You True Lesson Moderation Since'03
******

Want something archived? thats what an inbox is for

  

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spirit
Charter member
21306 posts
Mon Aug-13-01 12:45 AM

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47. "that flick rocks"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

give hollywood to the comic book writers.

Thoughtfully yours,

Spirit Equality

http://www.miscflux.com - the only band on earth I would take a bullet for. support them now or face an eternal damnation of Lil Romeos.

"Shake what ya mama gave ya/and I'm gonna give ya what your dad gave ya mom that made ya" - Ras Kass

Peace,

Spirit (Alan)
http://wutangbook.com

  

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knicksrule

Tue Aug-14-01 06:20 PM

  
49. "RE: GHOST WORLD"
In response to Reply # 0


          

great,great movie. steve buscemi and birch are really great in this film. id say ghost world, AI and cure are the best films ive seen this year(missed memento)

i strongly suggest everyone goes to see this movie. i really related to these characters.

"im down to earth, at times i feel closer to mars." - common

  

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REDeye
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6598 posts
Tue Aug-21-01 12:19 PM

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50. "Seymour Speaks"
In response to Reply # 0


          

The website has some funny stuff. Check under the movies part.

http://ghostworld-themovie.com

RED
I fear change...and will keep my bush.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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misteranonymity
Charter member
1111 posts
Sun Aug-26-01 01:11 PM

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55. "anonymubiquity"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

This was one of the funniest movies I've seen this year. Zwigoff's subversive take on life after high school and coming of age was genius. I put it up there with films like _Election_, _Rushmore_, & _Welcome to the Dollhouse_ to name a few.

>Okay, here is something everyone here
>should be able to relate
>to: nerds are cool.

With this movie and Weezer's album (let's not forget The Neptunes), this must be the year of the nerd.

>Sure, few people here (I hope)
>would gladly admit to seeing
>themselves in the characters of
>GHOST WORLD, the movie from
>the Daniel Clowes comic series.
>But we are there, all
>of us. The hating. The
>negativity. The anonymous pot-shot taking
>at the true losers, avoiding
>the issue of our own
>patheticness. This is the ultimate
>Okayplayer movie.

I think we have to wait for an OKP staff member to make this official.
>
>GHOST WORLD stars plumped-up Thora Birch
>(American Beauty) and the little-seen
>Scarlet Johansson as Enid and
>Rebecca, two graduating seniors about
>to venture forth into society.
>Up to this point, their
>lives have been made up
>of running commentary on how
>uncool it is to be
>cool, and how pathetic is
>where it's at. They get
>a kick out of watching
>unfunny comedians. Enid listens to
>Indian rock music from the
>60s (I didn’t even know
>there was such a thing).
>But high school is over,
>and the two best friends
>are growing apart as Rebecca
>decides she is ready to
>join the world she's ridiculed
>so mercilessly, while Enid can't
>let it go.

I was looking at those two throughout the whole movie (like I had a choice) wondering, they don't make white girls like they used to. Enid (or more so Thora Birch) was stacked for real. Too bad she was such a fuck-up.

>The movie revolves around a practical
>joke they play on Seymour,
>played to the pathetic hilt
>by Steve Buscemi. He's the
>über-loser, such a sad sack
>that Enid takes a special
>interest in helping him turn
>his life around. The result
>is a relationship incredibly weird
>and creepy, yet somehow haunting
>and touching.

The most haunting thing was that the more Seymour and Enid connected with one another, the worse their lives became.


>There's no surpise in that realizing
>the theme of the movie
>is the loneliness of human
>existence. What is suprising is
>how easily that loneliness of
>these creeps translates into something
>so universally recognizable. Also, what
>is surprising is just how
>easily one can laugh and
>hurt at the same time.

The guy at the bus stop would best emulate this.

>
>Directed by Terry Zwigoff of Crumb
>fame, GHOST WORLD gives a
>touch of humanity to the
>fringe players of society. While
>some things carry over from
>the source material, Zwigoff and
>Clowes only used the comic
>as a jumping off point.
>Steve Buscemi's character is based
>very much on Zwigoff, a
>tiny, shell of a specimen
>very much like Robert Crumb,
>the odd comic icon who
>somehow managed to be the
>sane one in his family.
>(If you haven't seen CRUMB,
>you have missed one of
>the true gems of documentary
>filmmaking.)

Haven't seen _Crumb_ in its entirety, but I saw some references throughout the film that I assumed were connected to that film.

>GHOST WORLD is dark, biting, very
>depressing and outright hilarious. A
>lot like Okayplayer.

Except this movie didn't get on my nerves as much as OKP does every now and then.
>
>(this review is lame. there, I
>said it.)

You could've mentioned how funny Illeana Douglass was. This was the best performance I've ever seen her in. Everyone had to have that condescending art/music/film/drama instructor who played favorites like retirees play the lottery. Plus that guy who looked like Aaron Eckhart in _Nurse Betty_ was just ridiculous, especially when he gets beat up by...oops, can't give that away. You have to stay until the very end to catch that one.

It was very interesting seeing how race was dealt with in the film. I remember seeing a review of _Crumb_ on Siskel & Ebert when it first came out, and it showed how he made demeaning caricatures of Black people. That's what immediately came to mind when I saw the Coon's (Cook's) Chicken logo. It makes you wish that this film came out before Spike made _Bamboozled_, which I hate to say.

That's all I got to say for now. Check this flick out.

anonymubiquity (Au)
meudontno@hotmail.com



"Just because we're well-spoken and intelligent doesn't mean we're not human."
--?uestlove, justifying why the Roots have a stripper pole in their studio

  

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REDeye
Charter member
6598 posts
Mon Aug-27-01 04:54 AM

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56. "1st Annual Nerd Film Festival"
In response to Reply # 55


          

>This was one of the funniest
>movies I've seen this year.
> Zwigoff's subversive take on
>life after high school and
>coming of age was genius.
> I put it up
>there with films like _Election_,
>_Rushmore_, & _Welcome to the
>Dollhouse_ to name a few.

Definitely. You could have a little Nerd Film Festival.

>>GHOST WORLD is dark, biting, very
>>depressing and outright hilarious. A
>>lot like Okayplayer.
>
>Except this movie didn't get on
>my nerves as much as
>OKP does every now and
>then.

LOL! True.

>You could've mentioned how funny Illeana
>Douglass was. This was
>the best performance I've ever
>seen her in. Everyone
>had to have that condescending
>art/music/film/drama instructor who played favorites
>like retirees play the lottery.

Yep. She's good. I had one of those teachers in practically every subject. And I was rarely the favorite.

> Plus that guy who
>looked like Aaron Eckhart in
>_Nurse Betty_ was just ridiculous,
>especially when he gets beat
>up by...oops, can't give that
>away. You have to
>stay until the very end
>to catch that one.

HA! I know a lot of people left before that when I saw it. I was laughing my ass off.

>It was very interesting seeing how
>race was dealt with in
>the film. I remember
>seeing a review of _Crumb_
>on Siskel & Ebert when
>it first came out, and
>it showed how he made
>demeaning caricatures of Black people.
> That's what immediately came
>to mind when I saw
>the Coon's (Cook's) Chicken logo.
> It makes you wish
>that this film came out
>before Spike made _Bamboozled_, which
>I hate to say.

I've commented before (perhaps in this thread) that the whole Coon's Chicken subplot made a stronger point on that subject than the whole of Bamboozled. Lack of subtlety ruined that movie for me.

RED
I fear change...and will keep my bush.

RED
http://arrena.blogspot.com

  

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murph25
Charter member
733 posts
Mon Aug-27-01 09:41 PM

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58. "Finally saw it."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

The movie just opened here in Portland, and I got to see it this past weekend. I thought it was excellent. I talked with a friend of mine who was a Ghost World fanatic from the comic book, and he seemed to think they were really true to the characters in putting it onto film, which is pretty cool considering what an odd comic it was. I think everyone can identify with what Enid goes through in the movie.

peace,
murph

peace,
murph

  

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