Music is an idiotic way to express cultural themes, but its perfect for the masses I suppose.
Enid is a serious version of what you describe.[/quote]
You’re both missing something. At several (I think), or at least one point in the movie, Enid talks about her desire to simply go somewhere new, where she’s never been and where no one knows her, and just start over. When she gets on the bus at the end of the movie, she’s starting over. Maybe that makes her a lunchbox/Bauhaus/45-year-old death rocker, maybe it doesn’t. In any event, she’s fulfilling a desire that most people have had at one point or another in their life.
Come on, Ghost World DOES have a plot, and the final “bus scene” exemplifies the whole thing. The story is really about Enid’s mental state and her inability to move beyond the “Ghost World” of her after high-school, pre-adulthood existance. Rebecca’s character starts at the same place, but shows the path of someone who will make the transition.
The final “Bus Scene” simply shows that Enid will always be one of those people who never really grows up. Like those 45 year-old death rockers who still carry their lunch boxes and wear “Bauhaus” t-shirts.
I know tons of people that are Enid, and I’ve never seen that character protrayed better in a movie. For what it was, I think Ghost World was magnificent.[/quote]
There’s an awful lot of disapproval of Enid in your post that I really didn’t see present in the movie.
The ending of Ghost World reinforces what Enid already knows is true: She’s traveling through an unreal world, searching for a reality that exists only in her imagination. I say it reinforces this view because as Enid travels, she’ll learn what we, the audience, already know: Wherever you go, there you are. She haunts this world, this reality she refuses to acknowledge.
Brian implies that Enid perceives reality as an unreal world – a ghost world. He has some excellent points in his observations, but I would disagree in that Enid moves within her own unreality; she exists almost entirely in her own imagination. She’s the ghost: alone, outside, arrogantly perched on her ego, beyond what all of us typical folk can possibly understand.
Enid is wrong, even beyond the end of the film. She’s blinded by her own arrogance and it’s that bus ride out of town that makes it so depressing. She’s moving on to haunt another city, never finding happiness because she understands little of what “real people” perceive, just as they don’t understand her. She may find other ghosts, like Buscemi’s character, but it will end in ruin. These ghosts haunt their own minds, trapped in their own imaginings of reality.
You’re being a little silly here. She’s an extreme version of an Artist. Artists manufacture their own reality from the reality around them. To every artist, the art is more real than the “reality” that helps shape it.
Lets take Richard Garriott, for example. He’s obviously inspired by a lot of what we call “reality”, but he has his own artistic vision which is more real to him than that reality. Ultima is HIS world.
What makes Enid a bit different from a standard artist is that she not only sees her ambitions as more real, but the world around her is seen as pathetic. Its kind of like the artist on steroids or the self-righteous artist. Or a perverse kind of artist… a true artist always focuses on his art. Enid focuses more on the Ghost World, the thing that opposes even while producing her art, than she does on her art.
These kinds of people eventually become true artists, if for no other reason than to fill their own loneliness with a world that they can tolerate.
What Enid will eventually have to accept is that the world will never become her world. That doesn’t mean that she herself can’t live in her world.
I think some of my impressions are based on the word “live,” as you stated above in these two paragraphs. She will tolerate, but not live. She won’t just be lonely, but miserable.
You do have a point about the art. The old restaurant poster was literally a spectre she conjured from the town’s past. You could argue that she was conjuring reality to rouse the town, but I would argue that she was simply shocking people with haunts of the past. The discomfort people felt was lost on Enid. It was a reaction she didn’t anticipate because she had little understand of how such a thing would impact real people. It didn’t affect her in that way because she’s merely a ghost.
The ability to propogate misery or provoke dark thoughts doesn’t necessarily equal great art. Are terrorists artists? I’m not saying that great art is only happiness and butterflies; I’m saying a self-centered, brooding person does not equal a great artist. Artists, like all people, come in all personality types.
Enid is not a great artist and it’s possible she may never be. Her chicken restaurant poster was aptly named “Found Art.” She stumbled on it, thought it was curious relic, and then shared it with others. But they weren’t curious, only offended… and she may never understand why.
She probably will be, for a while. She’ll adjust in some way however. Either sell out a bit, or funnel her spirit inward where she has more control over the results.
I don’t see it that way.
One of Enid’s goals in life is to humiliate those around her. She holds others in disdain, and the idea is to remake them into something that is no longer disdainful.
Enid is unhappy that the past is hidden… so she makes the past public. Its not so much that she doesn’t understand how it will affect living people as she wants the past to destroy people… destroy what makes people want to forget the past.
This scene also works on a personal level with the Buscemi character. She wants to enable him to be public… to be normal. So she takes a part of him and displays him… the extent to which the painting destroys humans is Buscemi destroying humans… she has become Buscemi’s champion. This is her revenge against Buscemi’s marginalization.
The reason the painting doesn’t affect her is that she only cares about its effect on others… she is focused on its effect on others. She is focused on eliminating her disdain of them. She has no interest in the painting affecting her. Notice her delight when the teacher appreciates the painting… to Enid that is the teacher falling into her trap (Enid is not conscious of all of this of course).
Enid’s goal of eliminating her despising of people by means of destroying what makes her despise them is not artistic in itself, true.
She got what she wanted there. Revenge for Buscemi, and offense.
The Ghost World offends her and Buscemi… she is just turning the tables.
The difference between her and Buscemi is that Buscemi is not a fighter. He’s content to carve out his own little world within a world that he despises.
Enid, through her every action is attacking the Ghost World… certainly not effectively in most cases.
Enid’s goal is nothing other than this…
To render the Ghost World real.
Every success she has will bring her pleasure, and every failure will bring her pain.