Thursday, August 27, 2009

far away films

On another film weekend, i loved every minute of these 2 movies. Both are 2 hours, right at my limit, but oh so worth it. Being There in 1979 and The Misfits 1961. And both are strong, bold, acclaimed and successful on lots of levels.Being There with Peter Sellers and Shirley McClain is so thoughtful, sweet and inspiring - and funny. It was Sellers last film released before he died. Here is the wonderful sequence of scenes (with a wonderful version of very familiar movie music.) It's Sellers leaving the only home he's ever known. He has never seen the front yard, been to school or a doctor, or ridden in a car.

It was filmed in color even thought this picture of Sellers in the wing back chair is black and white. I like this of him just resting. is it Sellers or Chance?I think it's Chance, or Chauncy reflecting on the fate of the world or just being dumb and simple. Was he Jesus Christ, a pre-Forrest Gump, or a figment of our collective imagination? Maybe he was just in the right place at the right time. This is fun to watch also because the mansion they filmed in is Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC, made to seem like is located near Washington DC. I've been to Biltmore and a tour is worth the time and moola.

Clark Gable and Marylin Monroe's last film, before their deaths was The Misfits, written by Arthur Miller. He was married to Monroe at the time but the marriage was ending. I like this film but i was struck by just how truly misfitted the gang of characters were - more so than other times i have watched it. i mean everyone was just pathetic, and yet very sincere and trying really hard. At one point i decided it was Miller that was trying too hard. But then what he had Gay (Gable) tell Roslyn (Monroe), as he tucked her into a sleeping bag on the back of the truck, was just perfect...down right Buddhist.

I have to use this photo of Marilyn because she looks so natural and sort of happy. I think she is just Marilyn here, and not Roslyn. The world didn't see this side of her much.


  1. The Gable connection was her mother, before she was locked up, used to tell her that he was her father. Another interesting tidbit is that JFK walked out of this movie (way before anybody knew about the two of them) which pretty much killed it at the box office. And she took that heat when Gable died right after the movie wrapped because everybody blamed it on her being late all the time. Not a happy time for anybody involved. Except Arthur Miller met his next wife, Inge Morath, who, I believe, took this photo of Marilyn since she was on set to shoot the stills, and their daughter is married to Daniel Day-Lewis.

  2. Am not familiar with Being There. Did a little reading. Sounds like a combination of humor and social commentary, right? I might have to check it out. Speaking of Marilyn, have you seen Niagara? Wondering if that one's any good?