Ghost World (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Special Edition, Criterion Collection
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Terry Zwigoff’s first fiction film, adapted from a cult-classic comic by Daniel Clowes, is an idiosyncratic portrait of adolescent alienation that's at once bleakly comic and wholly endearing. Set during the malaise-filled months following high-school graduation, Ghost World follows the proud misfit Enid (Thora Birch), who confronts an uncertain future amid the cultural wasteland of consumerist suburbia. As her cynicism becomes too much to bear even for her best friend, Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson), Enid finds herself drawn to an unlikely kindred spirit: a sad-sack record collector many years her senior (Steve Buscemi). With its parade of oddball characters, quotable, Oscar-nominated script, and eclectic soundtrack of vintage obscurities, Ghost World is one of the twenty-first century’s most fiercely beloved comedies.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by writer-director Terry Zwigoff, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
- Audio commentary featuring Zwigoff, comic-book creator and screenwriter Daniel Clowes, and producer Lianne Halfon
- New interviews with and actors Thora Birch and Illeana Douglas
- Extended excerpt from Gumnaam (1965) featuring the Bollywood musical number that appears in Ghost World’s opening title sequence
- Deleted scenes
- PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton
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Top Customer Reviews
Bottom line: No matter what age you are, this movie is worth watching. You may find yourself wondering about some of those feelings and dreams you had way back when. Whatever happened to that person? Is she or he still in there somewhere? Maybe it's time to get in touch with that "you" again.
A wonderful film and the end is debated as to whether it is allegorical or literal.
The German release was digitally remastered, and Ghost World now looks much better than a typical DVD from a decade ago. The extras or bonus/special features are limited to a running conglomeration of some random behind-the-scenes footage with Daniel Clowes, Zwigoff, Buscemi, and the two young starlets. It's a haphazardly thrown together pile of scraps, but I found it enjoyable (as should most fans of these individuals or the movie), especially seeing the now big time Scarlett Johansson (aka Black Widow) as a youth goofing around between scenes, e.g., telling Buscemi that they are laughing with him, not at him. Ghost World was Johansson's breakout role, whereas the career of Thora Birch conversely seems to have lost steam after this.
👻 About the movie:
As of today, over half of the reviews here are 5 stars (57%), with 4-star reviews comprising 19% and 3-stars 10%; the haters are a relatively sparse crowd (7% for both 1- and 2-star reviews). What does this tell us? Well, that maybe this is a cult film, because it certainly isn't broadly viewed (less than 500 reviews after more than a decade).
👻 Here's the thing: I liked Ghost World lots more when it came out. Rewatching now (more than a decade later) gives me the distinct impression that like Johansson, I've changed. When I saw it on the silver screen in 2001, I was in the tail end of my "hanging at Goth night clubs" phase, so Enid was appealing (probably due to her dyed black hair and colorless skin, her curves, and her taste in music). Watching it today, I see a girl who is struggling to understand the world and her place in it. No, she doesn't volunteer at soup kitchens, but being self-centered and "cruel" is not uncommon for teenagers (or humans); as unlikable as many will find her, there is more truth in Ghost World than folks are likely willing to admit. The other characters (Seymour, Roberta Allsworth, Sidewinder Boss, Doug, etc.) make it clear that Clowes & Zwigoff wanted to make a statement beyond Enid and Rebecca, but the movie is as much a critique of Enid as it is of the people she seems to hate. Does one ever fully outgrow the Ghost World? Perhaps not.
At its heart the film is misanthropic, and that's primarily what I appreciated about Ghost World in 2001. Now, however, I find myself more appreciating the performing skills of Buscemi, the vision of Clowes, and the oddness of a young Johansson.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Titles and menus are in German but that should not be an issue for English speakers due to the fact that there are very few menu items and it's...Read more