Movie Review: “Being There” (1979)

What a strange movie. I just finished watching it and I feel like so many cultural references are based on this movie that I am a bit surprised. The movie tells the story of Chance, the gardener, who is turned out of his house when the man who owns the house dies. Washington, DC ca. 1979 was not a nice place to be homeless. Luckily Shirley McClain’s driver backs into Chance giving him a new chance at life if you will.

Chance is rather simple minded. Forrest Gump’s character is most likely based upon him. Chance seems to be in the right place at the right time all of the time. At the end of the movie, a man is placed into a large pyramid burial tomb. This tomb looks just like the tomb described in that book I reviewed a few months ago, Eros, by the German author. I would love to call that guy up and just ask if he has seen the movie…

The movie is based on a book by Jerzy Kosinski. (Read more about him and his other books by clicking this sentence.)

The most interesting piece of the film, has Chance walking away from the funeral on water. The most typical association with someone walking on water is Jesus. I am not sure what to make of the connection. Chance seems surprised to be walking on water too.

What is most appealing about Chance to both the people in the movie and the view is his presences. When he is talking to you, he is listening. He is there.

Good viewing for a Sunday afternoon organizing files.

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