Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Being There

Hopefully you all have movies that are important to you, that speak to your being or are like comfort food for you. I have many films like this and they tend to be "vintage" themselves or set in the past.

The first of these films that I want to share with all of you is "Being There" with Peter Sellers from 1979.  I'm kicking myself that I first saw this gem last year but I think I've made up for it by watching it millions of times (I'm not exaggerating that much) .

Peter Sellers spent most of the 1970s trying to get the novel  "Being There" made into a movie, Chance the Gardner was the role he wanted to play more than anything else. He said in a Rolling Stone interview ; “ …I just read the book every six months. I knew Chauncey Gardiner…”(The Strange World of Peter Sellers Glazer,Mitchell, Rolling Stone April 17, 1980).

From reading numerous biographies and interviews I really empathize with many of the thoughts and feelings Peter Sellers conveyed in interviews and the ones that came across in the biographies. He was a complex person whose personal life unfortunately sometimes gets a bad rap. 

Anyway, back to "Being There".  It's about Chance the Gardner, a man that is a complete blank slate, he mimics everything he sees on the television. He is forced out of the home that he's lived and gardened in since he was born and by chance is taken in by a wealthy family, able to appear on television and consult with the president. 

Since Chance is so fond of television there are a lot of clips of commercials, television shows and cartoons in "Being There". It's interesting to think about why they were put there. 

I don't want to give too many details away for those that haven't seen "Being There". If you have seen it and want to discuss it in the comments feel free to do so, I love a good film discussion.


  1. My hubby and I are BIG Sellers fans! We are trying to watch all his films and already own a few including "Being There" All I can say are two things-Sellers was a genius and that ending...that xox

    1. Yes he was and it really does bother me that sometimes he is written about in a negative light. There are a lot of ways to take the ending. Was Chance able to walk on water because he never knew he couldn't? I think I have subjected Jeremy, my husband, to this movie so many times haha but he also enjoys Peter Sellers. We really need to get "The Party" on DVD though.

    2. I agree-me too! Actually we just scored a docu on him called the Unknown Peter Sellers-I will let you know if its good. Thats a good point. I just thought he was Jesus after he did that haha The Party! We have it on dvd too! Birdie Num Num anyone? hehee

    3. Haha I have the "birdie num num" line as an alert for text messages on my phone, it's hilarious but most of the time I don't expect it and it shocks me.

    4. Its good to know I can frighten you with the birdie num nums. I will also like to add a link to my portrait of Chance Gardner:

      Being There is a wonderful/inspirational movie. Which is most likely why I made that piece along with my other Peter Sellers piece... Mr Sellers was definitely an enigma of sorts. Probably why I have such an interest in his work.

      "Do you know Raphael? "