Tag Archives: Thora Birch

This Town is Coming Like a Ghost Town

31 Dec

ghost-world

[[[[OR- I’m Obsessed with Ghost World]]]]

A dye-stained towel sits limp on Thora Birch’s shoulders as, for a moment, she admires her fresh, dark locks in Enid’s mirror on the reverse side of her medicine cabinet. Devil Got My Woman plays as an overture.

I feel bit like Enid when I get dressed– not to up my street cred or make myself out to be full of adolescent angst– but I’m flooded with a sense of satisfaction and empowerment when I see my own freshly dyed hair for the first time in the haven that is my bedroom, bopping around in my socks to a Patti Smith record, my wooden floor heated by chunks of sunlight settling in.  (Actually, my mornings are more reminiscent of the scene where Enid shakes loose a full head of post-shower green hair while listening to the Buzzcocks.)

Changing her appearance is one of the few thrills left for Enid post-high school, besides chasing after lonely Seymour (Steve Buscemi) or finding a Cat Woman mask at a sex shop and wearing it around town. It’s the 1990’s in an unnamed town, and Enid Coleslaw is a punk-rocker-college-reject looking to shed the stagnancy of suburbia.

In the comic book, writer Daniel Clowes (who also wrote the screenplay for the movie) makes a cameo as a creepy, pervy artist that Enid is attracted to, much like the Steve Buscemi character that movie-Enid befriends, shares music with and sleeps with only to be hurt when he finds true, age-appropriate romance in the end.

Seymour is first introduced in the movie when Enid and her best friend Rebecca (played by ScarJo) answer a personals ad that Seymour put in the paper. They arrange to meet him in a diner, then snicker in the corner while he gets stood up by his imaginary date. The two meet again at a garage sale where Seymour is selling records. He recommends one with Skip James’ Devil Got My Woman, which Enid will eventually listen to on repeat.  Once you hear the song you’re apt to do the same.

Another iconic song from the Ghost World movie is “What do I Get” by the Buzzcocks. It seems to sum up Enid’s inner turmoil and it’s just generally a great song. Oddly enough, it’s not included on the movie’s soundtrack.

Even more iconic than the music are Enid’s signature and varied outfits. She’s always wearing something outrageous and inventive, usually with a different pair of glasses that probably aren’t prescription.

I’ve always wanted an excuse to use Polyvore, so below I’ve re-created some of Enid’s outfits. I also found out that these girls re-created her Raptor t-shirt, (they drew the Raptor by hand) and are selling it on Etsy. Alas, they sold out of ’em, but the shirt is featured below. The interpretations of these outfits are a little loose, but they capture Enid pretty well.

enid 1 enid 2 enid 3

I could stand to be a little better at Polyvore.

RR

Kim Kelly is my friend. (I wish)

17 Dec

(Or, I’m OBSESSED with Busy Philipps .)

In looks, demeanor and circumstance, I am worlds away from Kim Kelly, the tomboyish bottle-blonde played by Busy Philipps on  Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000). Still, I marvel at her character. What’s most impressive is the attention to detail writer Paul Feig possessed when he brought Kim Kelly to life.

Or maybe it’s her jacket. I love how the characters on Freaks and Geeks are shown in the same outerwear week to week. They don’t have  a closet full of one outfit like Rocko, but Lindsay wears an over-sized army jacket in almost every episode, just as Kim wears that blue ski jacket, and it feels true to life.

Kim Kelly reminds me of a girl I knew growing up. She, too wore a ski jacket and bleached her hair irregularly so the roots would grow to thick blocks of dark brown on top. Her mother smoked in the house and she grew out her training bra before I had to start wearing one. Pink was her favorite artist and she referred to me as her “smart friend” to boys on the telephone, who would only ask to speak to me so that they could challenge my intelligence by asking the square roots of random high numbers. Needless to say, I didn’t pass these tests.

I was never as brainy as Lindsey Weir, but I did share her purported identity conundrum: how can you fit in with the burnouts when you come from a healthy, loving home?

Perhaps by association. Maybe that’s why I idolize Busy Phillips and the characters she plays.

Up until some unofficial polling (aka browsing Tumblr), I thought I was the only person that remembered, The Smokers (2000). Not the case! Although this movie has only garnered a mere 39% on Rotten Tomatoes and the plot is pretty bleak, it has the patience of Sofia Coppola movie and drama likened to that of  American Beauty.  The movie also features a quick montage in which Busy Philipps, Dominique Swain and Keri Lynn Pratt gallivant through town wearing (respectively) a face shield, a bunny mask and mouse ears while eating garish lollipops; sorta reminds me of “Ghost World” with more blissful naivete. Philipps plays a badass, (albeit a little misguided), who shoots guns and smokes a lot of pot and cigarettes.

images

Oh yeah, Thora Birch is in this movie, too. Source:http://consumatumest.tumblr.com/

Oh yeah, Thora Birch is in this movie, too. Source:http://consumatumest.tumblr.com/

Philipps was more recently in Cougar Town, where she played Laurie, the fun-loving, promiscuous assistant at Courtney Cox’s real estate agency. Laurie has good intentions, but still walks the walk of shame most mornings of her adult life. You can sort of think of her as Kim Kelly all grown up, although I think Kim would’ve grown up to be a lot smarter and more self-assured than Laurie.

I wouldn’t admit that I’ve even heard of Cougar Town outside of this post, but lame as it sounds, it had some redeeming qualities. For one, the lifestyle of the cast is enviable. Everyone is filthy rich and they find time to drink inordinate quantities of wine in each episode. The stakes are all-around pretty low, but if you watch it when you’re bed-ridden or in place of being productive, it manages to cut the bitterness of life. Busy Philipps laughs a lot during the show, and I can’t tell if it’s written into the script or if she’s “breaking.” Her laugh is deep, a little horse and hands-down the most genuine thing I’ve heard on television ever. If nothing else, watch the show for that.