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Capsule Review: "Ghost World"

by Eric Melin on July 20, 2001

in Print Reviews

I think this may be my favorite movie of the year so far, inching barely ahead of “Memento.” It’s almost as if director Terry Zwigoff tailor-made this film for me.

It’s based on a great comic book by Daniel Clowes, one of my favorite comic writers. It stars Steve Buscemi, and its his best work since “Fargo,” for sure. “Ghost World” a cynical ball of hate wrapped up in some painfully real situations and lots of funny stuff.

Many people have been comparing this flick to “The Graduate” in that it seems to represent the alienation of its generation much like that classic did in 1967. But “generation” is the wrong word. I think this movie represents a certain type of person that feels out of place with the world, regardless of age.

I can relate. A scene where Buscemi tries to find something to talk about with a girl at a bar is particularly poignant and hilarious. He, fuming over a classic elder bluesman having to open up for a bad white-boy electric boogie band, suddenly realizes his worst horrors are confirmed as she starts gyrating to their heinously taste-free song (about picking cotton in the fields, no less!). He gets up to excuse himself from the table when another twentysomething racing to the dance floor knocks his drink out of his hands and on to his pants.

I laughed so hard I almost peed myself. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I could relate. It was funny because I know exactly how he feels. There is, in this wonderful movie, scene after scene like that. It’s a subtly moving drama as well, and there wasn’t a false note in the whole film. I adore this film. If you go see it, and don’t like it, you should never listen to anything I have to say about movies again.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of and writes for The Pitch. He’s former President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls, Ultimate Fakebook, and Truck Stop Love . He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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