February 4 - BEING THERE (1979, 130 minutes, Rated PG)
TFF Cinematheque Director Retrospective ~ The Great Hal Ashby

For more info contact Erika@telluridefilmfestival.org 970-708-4009 

A free series for the cinephile at heart, The Telluride Film Festival and the Wilkinson Public Library continue the popular Cinematheque on the first Monday night in February. The Hal Ashby series winds up on February 4th with the magical and critically-acclaimed, BEING THERE, featuring the absolutely brilliant Peter Sellers.

This Academy Award-winning film made Roger Ebert’s list of “Great Movies.”  Ebert wrote, “There's an exhilaration in seeing artists at the very top of their form: It almost doesn't matter what the art form is, if they're pushing their limits and going for broke and it's working. We can sense their joy of achievement - and even more so if the project in question is a risky, off-the-wall idea that could just as easily have ended disastrously.  Hal Ashby's Being There is a movie that inspires those feelings.” 

Based on the novel by Jerzy Kosiński, the film follows the middle-aged and simple-minded Chance (the great Peter Sellers) who lives in the townhouse of an old, wealthy man in Washington, D.C., where he spent his entire life gardening and watching television and has never left the property.  After a chance encounter with Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), wealthy wife of a D.C business mogul and an unexpected turn of events, this simple, humble man finds himself advising the President of the United States, attending important dinners and consorting with the Soviet ambassador. The New York Times wrote, “Hal Ashby directs Being There at an unruffled, elegant pace, the better to let Mr. Sellers's double-edged mannerisms make their full impression upon the audience. Mr. Sellers never strikes a false note.”

“Director Hal Ashby conceptualized, helped write, directed and edited the deepest filmography of the 1970s. His seven films, including HAROLD AND MAUDE, COMING HOME and BEING THERE, demonstrate a soulfulness, emotional sophistication, social awareness and sense of humor.” – Jason Silverman.