In Between Days

Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff Ghostwrite Teen Limbo

In the original comic, Clowes has a brief cameo role: Enid turns up at his book signing having built up a romantic idea of the author as her ideal man, only to be bitterly disappointed by the fleshly reality. In the movie, though, Seymour (Zwigoff's stand-in) becomes Enid's hero. Zwigoff argues that the alienated Enid is looking for something authentic in the ghost world of disposable tat, and finds it on a blues compilation she buys off Seymour. Skip James's "Devil Got My Woman" harrows her soul. "She's trying to find her identity in the world, and then she plays this weird eerie thing, and she thinks maybe there issomething this guy has to offer."

Zwigoff, to his credit, is aware of the pungent whiff of male menopausal fantasy here. "I'd hate to have anyone who knows me psychoanalyze the film. 'Hmmmm . . . arrested case, here. Very infantile, here. And hmmm, here's a fantasy: An older record collector with a teenage girl falling in love with him, and she likes his favorite record.' It's ridiculously personal, but I don't know how else to work."

Above, from the comic Ghost World; below, director Zwigoff: "I'd hate to have anyone who knows me psychoanalyze the film."
Illustration from Ghost World courtesy of Fantagraphics, Photograph by Charlie Eckeert
Above, from the comic Ghost World; below, director Zwigoff: "I'd hate to have anyone who knows me psychoanalyze the film."

Click here to read J. Hoberman's review of Ghost World.

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