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.