I have a favorite movie – Army of Darkness – which I love for a number of reasons. First off, I’ve seen too much and frankly when I come home after a bad day I don’t want to watch something deep and meaningful because I’ve experienced all of that angst, violence, bitterness, screaming, hatred, love in a past life as a news photojournalist. Other people’s lives. I know what the wail from deep within the guts of a parent who has just lost a child sounds like, thank you. With the exception of Private Ryan, war and horror movies are weak imitations…I’ve seen it all from guts and brains spread over hundreds of feet of railroad track to body parts and what folks do to each other in the real world. It should come as no suprise that I crave humor…of a somewhat skewed type. Army of Darkness is a perfect teaching tool…with the sound effects, match cuts, tons of foreshadowing, bad acting, and spoofs of a dozen other movies. And it is also funny. But I was meanering thru my local BigBuster store the other day and saw “Being There.”
What a memory trip…I recalled this Peter Sellers movie as very slow and very understated. It might not attract an audience today…the main character is slow, the plot and pacing even slower. But it’s a touching story of a man who may (or may not be) special needs…and how the world around him reacts. Sellers is a simple man who loses his home when “the old man” who owns it dies. He is thrust out in a world he only knows through televison – he has been isoloated his entire life from the real world. He speaks simply and literally. He means exactly what he says…but those around him take him figuratively (what an English lesson there is here). No one knows who he really is – not even he knows. And he doesn’t care…he just “is.” I wish I could explain the ending without giving it away…but what I expected did and didn’t happen…all I was left with was speculation.
Two very different movies…one makes me laugh…one makes me wonder. What are your favorites and why?