Directed By: Hal Ashby
Written By: Jerzy Kosinski (novel and Script)
Starring: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine and Melvyn Douglas
Watching copious amounts television increases the likelihood that you’ll become rich and famous.
My reason for watching this was completely superficial. Wilco’s second album was named after this film and it was about time that I give it a chance.
Hal Ashby’s Being There, reminded me a lot of Forrest Gump but without the Hollywood veneer. Memorable lines aren’t seared into your brain and it definitely didn’t have a “Lt. Daaaaan”. What it did have, were the songs “Basketball Jones” and Deodato’s version of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” and that is all right by me.
This peculiar film has an equally peculiar performance by Peter Sellers. Mostly known for his comedy, he delves deep into a role that required a quiet subtlety and child like charm. It makes the viewing experience interesting as your emotions are thrown into a revolving roulette wheel. Do you laugh or do you feel pity for Sellers’ character?
Being There is simply an instigator. It will goad you into questions that you may have about the state of society and the importance of interpreting subtext in speech. Did I mention you get to listen to “Basketball Jones”?
Problem: A touch slow on the slow side
Mood for watching: Inquisitive
What to eat and drink: Gobstoppers and lime slurpee
If I made it: Miscommunication would be more plausible
Why watch: To see how the 1% networks