Presented as part of the daylong event, Saturday Strip: Comic Day MCA, and in association with Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes, this screening brings together two films based on comics by Daniel Clowes: Ghost World and Art School Confidential. The films are introduced by comic scholar Hillary Chute, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Chicago and author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics. This free screening starts at 6 pm and takes place in the Edlis Neeson Theater.
Saturday, July 27, at 6 pm
Written by Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff
Directed by Terry Zwigoff
2001, USA, 111 min
Terry Zwigoff (Crumb) brilliantly negotiates the shift to fiction filmmaking in a very personal adaptation of the Daniel Clowes comic book, which either captures with uncanny precision what it’s like to be a teenage girl in this country or fooled me utterly into thinking it does. Thora Birch (American Beauty) plays Enid, a comic book artist who plans to share an apartment with her best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) and befriends Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a lonely, much older collector of rare blues and jazz 78s, shortly after she almost graduates from high school. To get a diploma, she has to take an art course over the summer, and our glimpses of this add up to the funniest portrait of American “art appreciation” I’ve ever seen. Never predictable, this movie is often hilarious as well as touching, subtly adapting the mise en scene of Clowes’s original without being fancy or obtrusive about it. With Brad Renfro and Bob Balaban.
—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Art School Confidential
Saturday, July 27, at 8:30 pm
Written by Daniel Clowes and directed by Terry Zwigoff
2006, USA, 102 min
Filmmaker Terry Zwigoff and comic artist and screenwriter Daniel Clowes, who collaborated for the acclaimed 2001 comedy-drama Ghost World, team up once again for this offbeat satire. Jerome (Max Minghella) is an aspiring artist who arrives at a prestigious East Coast art institute to study. While Jerome enjoys daydreams of becoming the best-respected painter on Earth and winning the hearts of his female classmates, he soon learns the sad truth—his “cool artist” act is old hat in the big city, and as he’s surrounded by every art school cliché on Earth, practically nothing about him stands out. Determined to be recognized whatever the consequences, Jerome maps out a bizarre plan to become famous that has some unexpected consequences. Loosely adapted from a story in Clowes’ comic book Eightball, Art School Confidential also stars John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Anjelica Huston, and Sophia Myles.