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Summer Indie Counter-Programming

Posted June 18, 2010 to photo album "Summer Indie Counter-Programming"

In anticipation of the release of Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, Nick Dawson looks back at summer indie hits from years past.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Kids
Slide 3: The Usual Suspects
Slide 4: Ulee's Gold
Slide 5: The Full Monty
Slide 6: The Blair Witch Project
Slide 7: Ghost World
Slide 8: Whale Rider
Slide 9: 28 Days Later
Slide 10: Swimming Pool
Slide 11: American Splendor
Slide 12: Napoleon Dynamite
Slide 13: Fahrenheit 9/11
Slide 14: Broken Flowers
Slide 15: Little Miss Sunshine
Slide 16: (500) Days of Summer
Slide 7: Ghost World

Slide 7: Ghost World

Release Date: July 20, 2001
Domestic Gross: $6,217,849 
Programmed Against: Jurassic Park 3

In summer 2001, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park 3, with its legacy of huge dinosaurs and big thrills, opened the same week as Ghost World. In some ways, the two films represented two very different comic book sensibilities. While Jurassic Park was never a graphic novel, its fantasy world and jaw-dropping action could easily have sprung from one. Conversely, Ghost World, directed by Terry Zwigoff (who previously helmed the underground comix documentary Crumb ) was actually adapted by the author from his own graphic novel of the same name. But rather than superheroes or dinosaurs, Ghost World followed the antics of two bored teenagers: Enid (Thora Birch) and her best friend Rebecca (played by Scarlett Johansson, then most famous for playing a supporting role in The Horse Whisperer.) While some summer films are about heroes winning against adversity, Ghost World, as Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman pointed out, is “a buoyant, funny, and disarmingly humane comedy of beautiful losers in revolt.” The film went on garner an Oscar nomination for Best AdaptedScreenplay, as well as do booming business at the box office.