Being There (1979)


Being there is an absolutely profound film, and it is the last film starring Peter Sellers in his first non-comic performance [arguable]. Rumored to be shadow-directed by Stanley Kubrick, which to me means relatively nothing.

I decided to watch the film after Mark Christopher’s Must Watch List, and after realizing i’ve been stumbling on the cover picture there and again every few years, but never heard really much about it.
The thing is, MC’s introduction to the film is crucial, as it actually shapes our perception of this film’s message, as you will see.

Chance the gardener, the main character of the movie Being There,
is a person with no EGO.

Now, i’ve watched some video trying to explain the esoteric meaning of BEING THERE, as well as trying to figure out the last bit of the film- the credits/bloopers.

P.S. – By the way, “A Bug’s Life” did a very similar thing and it was brilliant.


Chance’s character isn’t about simple-mindedness, stupidity, lack of intellect or being brainwashed by television from childhood.
This is reflected by the character of his nanny who knows him all his life:
She does think he is mentally a child, yet according to her there would be no traumatic experience that could make him an autist.

That way of dealing with the story leads to the true Message of the film:

Chances’ being a gardener by vocation

 In that sense he is a mason. And that is the reason he is presented to us as a gardener, besides any other profession. We are all masons who collectively morph our shared reality.

That’s the part where any kind of theorists got lost:
The elitist dark conspirators we see at the funeral scene are plotting to use the gardener to their own gain. the next scene is the logical following that contradicts and proves any such speculations wrong:

It is easier to such a man to walk around on the surface of water, and break physical reality than the possibility of him changing way and submitting to authority.

P.S. The umbrella he holds in this scene is a mirror image ofis rake in the beginning.

That is the source to all mystery apparently surrounding the layers of this truly magnificent moving film.

One of the film’s proposed ideas is the phrase

The “after” credits start quite the same way as the movie began-
with a noisy zapping of a channel switch on a TV screen;
The whole film being a metaphor for the viewers’ own conditioning and the narrow minded view on reality; While the same judgement some pass on Chance the gardener, who is revealed to have godly potential nonetheless.

this scene reverses the spell on its’ head:
You now snap from a movie, like a short life, and you die.
But you, unlike Chance, lose your ego identity. He has nothing to lose about him.
All you will have left are some funny moments, and the ridiculous teachings you still have to learn and admit to your self about the journey you now completed.

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