Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ghost World

We watched Ghost World last night, thanks again to the always surprising San Carlos Library DVD collection. It's been five years since we saw it in the theater, which is depressing. (I just noticed that I say we "watched" GW on DVD but "saw" it in the theater. Is one verb more active than the other? Does "watched" imply the smaller screen? "Saw" perhaps implies more of a spectacle, a shrinking before the awesome sight...or more of a chance happening.) Anyway. I liked it even better this time. I hate to say this, given the way I'm trying to get past this very statement in my research on character, but: the characters were so real. Scarlett Johansson's character was a little flatter this time around, more minor--but Thora Birch's character, Enid, was spectacular. And so was Steve Buscemi as Seymour. They didn't seem to be acting at all, but inhabiting...being. Perhaps it's easy even for successful actors to portray clinical depression. Or maybe it's because the characters are already acting, clearly putting on a front--at least Enid does--so any artificiality in the portrayal works for the character. There are one or two outsize characters, like Doug, the guy with the nunchucks in the convenience store.

Actually it's a textbook case for Alex Woloch's theories on major and minor characters, which I'm reading about now. And maybe for Stanislavsky. Maybe I should teach it...

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