My top 20 Comic Book films-2-Ghost World

I did my top 20 horror and SF films last year, and found doing the lists to be more fun than expected, so in a massive bit of logic here’s my top 20 films adapted or inspired from comics. I need to point out I mean comics, not ‘superhero comics’ which is a lazy, and incorrect way to describe a wonderfully varied medium and it’d also cut out some bloody good films!

Previously, in this list at #20, X Men19The Crow18Heavy Metal, 17, Spider Man ,16The Avengers, 15Danger: Diabolik, 14The Dark Knight Trilogy , 13A History of Violence12Kick Ass , 11,Spider Man 2 , 10, Barbarella9, Batman Returns 8, X Men 2, 7, Dredd, 6Batman5Akira , 4American Splendor and 3, Batman: The Movie.

At number two on my list is the quite wonderful film version of Dan Clowes wonderful comic, Ghost World.

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The director of Ghost World, Terry Zwigoff, made the fantastic documentary Crumb about Robert Crumb, possibly one of the most brutally honest biographical documentaries about a living subject you’ll possibly see. When Zwigoff was named as the director of the film version of Dan Clowes wonderful comic about two teenage outcasts in an American city in the 1990’s is seemed a weird choice to have a documentary maker tackle a work like Ghost World but he directs a fantastic version of Clowes comic which is faithful without sacrificing the film to a pedantic retelling of the comic.

It’s helped that in the central roles of Enid and Rebecca he casts Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson respectfully in these roles. At this point in that wonderful pre-911 world, Birch was a star in the making not to mention a splendid actor, while Johansson was a newcomer who hit the ground running in this film. Of course it also helps having a fantastic supporting cast including Steve Buscemi who can make any old shite look good, or make the very good into something excellent.

I love Ghost World. I first saw it at the time when I was living through a relationship like Sydney and Enid so it’s partly for that reason I’m drawn to it, though the fact it’s funny, sad, touching and just generally quite, quite perfect as a film, let alone an adaptation of a comic helps as well. There’s too many perfect scenes in this film to mention. It’s a film I can’t recommend enough because there’s so much in it every time I watch it.

Sadly the fact that it took virtually no money in the US means anymore adaptations of Clowes work that isn’t plagiarised by Shia LaBeouf isn’t likely. Even the fact it was a success outside the US won’t help as all film producers want from comics now are superheroes. I’d adore Zwigoff and Clowes to do a film version of Pussey!. That would be bloody genius…

So, go watch Ghost World again, or for the first time. This came very, very close to being my top comic book film but one massive bit of nostalgia and genius beat it to the top spot……

Find out what is in my top position next time…

 

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