Ghost World

Friday, August 26 - Thursday, September 15, 2022

DCP Projection

Terry Zwigoff’s caustic, darkly comic look at American alienation through the eyes of two disaffected teens returns to the big screen for a special 21st birthday engagement. Screening in a 2K digital restoration, the landmark indie hits adulthood with its insights as sharp as ever.


For his first fiction film, Zwigoff (Crumb, Bad Santa) adapted Daniel Clowes’ cult hit 90s graphic novel, the story of two teenage outsiders, Enid (Thora Birch, fresh off her breakthrough in American Beauty) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson, only 15 when production began) faced with underwhelming post-high school futures. While Rebecca gets a job at the local coffee franchise to start saving for their dream apartment, Enid becomes involved with an alienated malcontent named Seymour (Steve Buscemi) and the once-best friends start to drift apart. The cast is rounded out with Illeana Douglas as a well-meaning art teacher, Bob Balaban as Enid’s father, plus standout cameos by Teri Garr and David Cross.


The film was a surprise hit with critics and audiences alike, with Zwigoff and Clowes’s script nabbing an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Buscemi taking Best Supporting Actor honors from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, and the Independent Spirit Awards, among others.

“Singular…  a dark, deadpan comedy about alienated kids that manages to be smart, surpassingly odd, extremely funny and mysteriously endearing at the same time.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall St. Journal

“Zwigoff pulls off something in Ghost World that seems a minor miracle — he creates someone with a complex inner life.” – Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly

Surely the funniest film of its era  — and perhaps the saddest. The film’s influence was seismic, its DNA can be seen in everything from HBO’s Euphoria to The Last Black Man in San FranciscoGhost World remains utterly fresh, and blisteringly funny.”  – Rick Burin, The Independent

Image courtesy of Park Circus/MGM

  • Year 2001
  • Running Time 111 minutes
  • Format DCP
  • Director Terry Zwigoff
  • Cast Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro, Bob Balaban, Illeana Douglas, Steve Buscemi
  • Accessibility Assistive Listening, T-Coil

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.