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Ghost World (2001) Poster

(2001)

Trivia

This was the first film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay based on a Graphic Novel or Comic Book.
According to director Terry Zwigoff, Steve Buscemi was so uncomfortable playing the role of Seymour that whenever shooting was finished for the day, he would immediately change his clothes so he could look completely different.
Enid's notebook drawings were done by Sophie Crumb, Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky's daughter (mentioned in closing credits). The production team reached out to Sophie Crumb after Daniel Clowes insisted to Terry Zwigoff that Enid's work had to be created by a female artist (Clowes insisted he should not do the drawings).
The Coon Chicken Inn was a real restaurant chain, founded in 1925 in Salt Lake City. However it folded in the late '50s and never changed its name to Cook Chicken, as in the film.
The character of Seymour appears only as the victim of the girls' prank in the comic and was made significant at Terry Zwigoff's suggestion. Another change includes Rebecca having a rather diminished role compared to her role in the comic, which gave a more balanced amount of attention to both girls.
Interested in directing Ghost World as a feature film for some time, Terry Zwigoff sat in on an acting class in San Francisco. Zwigoff said that after the class had wrapped up, he had approached the instructor and asked if she could hold a crash course for him in how to direct actors.
Enid Coleslaw, the main character's name, is an anagram of the film and comic book's author, Daniel Clowes.
Seymour's room was modeled after director Terry Zwigoff's own - particularly the shelved record collection, pinup art and historical memorabilia.
When inside "Zine-O-Phobia", visible is "Pussey" a comic by Daniel Clowes, who wrote the graphic novel "Ghost World" and co-wrote the screenplay. There is also visible "Eightball" and "David Boring", also by Daniel Clowes. The unicorn painting shown in Enid's summer art class was also done by Daniel Clowes.
The male Satanist is played, uncredited, by production designer Edward T. McAvoy. He got the part at the last minute, based largely on his resemblance to Anton LaVey, the director's first choice, who died in 1997. McAvoy had to shave his head completely bald for the scene.
The vintage photograph of Coon Chicken Inn shown in Seymour's scrapbook was an actual restaurant in Portland, Oregon located at 5474 Sandy Blvd. The building is still there, although it has since been renovated.
There are several references to other comic strips written and drawn by Daniel Clowes. Most notably, the coffee shop patron in the wheelchair is from Clowes' strip "Feldman" and the "tampon in a teacup" gag is from a strip called "Art School Confidential". Both strips appeared in a comic book called "Eightball" which also contained "Ghost World".
The 'Coon Chicken Inn' poster that Enid submits as her final piece for art class was painted by Robert Crumb.
The film was not an easy sell to mainstream audiences, which got studios thinking of the strangest ways to make it more accessible. According to Terry Zwigoff, one executive suggested we have a bus at the end with the destination 'Art School' spelled out on it. Another suggested a double wedding where Enid marries Seymour and Rebecca marries Josh
Terry Zwigoff unintentionally cast the actor who played the high school principal as a customer in the porn shop.
When Enid first talks to Seymour at his garage sale, while flipping through records she holds one up and asks if it's any good. Seymour says, not really. The record she holds up is one of the R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders records, the same R. Crumb who was the subject of Terry Zwigoff's previous documentary, Crumb (1994). On the cover of the record, the slouched character on the far left that looks a little like Albert Einstein playing a cello, is Zwigoff, who was a member of the Serenaders and a good friend of Crumb's.
The colorful Mexican movie posters in Seymour's room are authentic, and are by artist Ernesto Cabral.
Christina Ricci was originally tapped to play Enid, but by the time the movie was produced, it was decided she was too old to play the part, and so Thora Birch got the role instead.
The two original movie posters on Enid's wall are Pufnstuf (1970) and The World of Henry Orient (1964), a film about two teenage girls with similarities to this film.
Both Teri Garr and Bob Balaban starred in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Also, both played the biological parents of Phoebe Buffay in the TV series Friends (1994).
Thora Birch gained 20 pounds for the role of Enid.
Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff presented Affonso Beato with the task of making a comic book look to the movie. They asked for a fresh technique: earlier examples of the form such as X-Men (2000) and Dick Tracy (1990) were dismissed as literal-minded and "insulting" to the art form. According to Clowes, cameraman Beato "really took it to heart", carefully studying the style and color of the original comics. The final cut is just slightly oversaturated, purposefully redolent of "the way the modern world looks where everything is trying to get your attention at once."
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One of the record covers in Enid's bedroom has a picture of a man flanked by two elephants. One elephant is holding an electric guitar, the other is behind a drum kit and both of them are wearing Beatle wigs. This is an actual record, "What's Next?" by Foster Edwards' Orchestra.
The credits for Roberta Allworth's short film "Mirror, Father, Mirror" read "This film was made possible by generous donations from: The Foundation For the Advancement of Mature Women in the Arts, The Struggling Artist Foundation, the Why Not Me Project and Dr. and Mrs. Theodore Allsworth".
According to Daniel Clowes, one executive suggested Jennifer Love Hewitt for the role of Enid. Claire Danes and Alicia Silverstone were also suggested. Nathan Lane was suggested for the role of Seymour.
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The cashier at Zine-O-Phobia who is talking about how to remove flesh from a corpse is also leafing through a supplemental catalog from Loompanics Unlimited, a company that sells controversial and unusual books. The book with the reddish cover on the counter in front of the cashier is "Secrets of a Super Hacker" (it's about computers, not machetes) which is available from Loompanics.
The shirt that Enid wears with the smile and tongue is a PBLoco shirt.
The art school brochure shows a picture of the University of Washington Campus. The gothic library and the Red Square towers are clearly visible in the picture.
This is the second film released in 2001 that features the two stars at the Quality Cafe sitting at the same booth, the other one was Training Day (2001).
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In the scene where Enid and Rebecca have their major argument while looking for apartments, there is a pregnant woman drinking a beer and smoking walking behind Rebecca.
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