Talk:Being There

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"Dasein" is spelled wrong in the second paragraph.[edit]

This part lists much speculation and little fact. I think that it should be condensed into "It is left up to interpretation, but X critic says X (using actual quotes from a few different expert analysts, rather than using the subjective first person plural voice that is currently in that section "We are...etc". Such is not conducive to an encyclopedia, as it adds a personal narration to what ultimately should be an objective reference guide.

I did a bit of work on this section, specifically removing all those rhetorical questions, but I've never seen the movie nor read the book so I'm not able to do much more than what I have already. This is a pretty bad article so hopefully the templates will motivate someone. Jimmy Figsworth (talk) 00:19, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
We are now left with just one person's view, which is equally unsatisfactory. This whole movie is about how our perceptions are coloured by our expectations. Chance epects to remove an unpleasant vision in the real world by switching the remote, as he has done most of his life with the television remote. Rand at first does not expect to meet a "reasonable man" because all his life he has met people who are presumable "unreasonable". Eve is so locked in her own small world that she thinks it conceivable that Chance might know two of her personal friends! So the lake scene is powerfully coloured by the biblical story of walking on the water. The honest explanation has to be that nobody can walk on water and there has to be another simple explanation, but we just don't see it. Roger Ebert is frankly wrong for not allowing his students to speculate on the real reasons for walking on water. I've seen a woman sawn in half a thousand times but I don't for one minute have to accept that that was her real fate (though its fun to be fooled!). Ashby, having watched all the characters in the movie make false interpretations, presents the audience with the same dilemma. What do we see? I'm firmly with Ebert's students and not with Ebert on this one!
Actually, it leaves us with just one notable and reliable person's view. If you can find any other reliable ones which argue another interpretation, add them. Hell, you can even add your personal artistic deconstruction, though I daresay it won't remain there for long. If you want to discuss whether Chance is actually Jesus, I'm sure there are communities out there where you can do so. Wikipedia isn't among them. Jimmy Figsworth (talk) 20:45, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
The Blu-Ray release of the movie discusses the ending in some detail. Earlier in the film, Ben and Chance are walking down the hallway in such a way it looks to the viewer like they are walking on water. The effect inspired the director to film the ending with Chance walking on water.--KJRehberg (talk) 20:35, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Chance was taking a short cut to return straight to the house rather than having to walk around the lake. My take was that Chance was so innocent of heart that he was literally able to do anything. He registers no surprise when he tests with his umbrella to prove to himself that there was indeed only water there. Innocence allows us to accomplish things that wise men know are too difficult. It's a venerable bit of homespun philosophy, and is certainly reminiscent of Jesus's teachings and His alleged demonstration. Although this is my view, I can't include it because it is WP:OR (I doubt there is a WP:RS for it). David Spector (talk) 03:46, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
I always thought that was pretty obviously the point. I'm a little amazed that people need to speculate about other, "realistic" explanations. I'm going to cut the unreferenced alternative explanation, which is unsupported by the film and has (at best) no more right to be there than mine and yours. Spark240 (talk) 22:02, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Mr Spector is on the right path; the Jesus references are for the lazy. He is watching a Roadrunner cartoon earlier in the film, and his walking on water is a reference to that. Chance is like Roadrunner, able to defy nature's laws by failing to realize they exist at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.111.189.57 (talk) 00:54, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Good observation and inference. Now, if we only had references for some of these subtleties! WP policies usually work, but not for notable topics that just happen not to have many reliable sources. David Spector (talk) 19:57, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
This is still an interpretation, and is not suitable as part of the plot summary section, which should simply describe what is shown on screen. 123.243.147.193 (talk) 22:41, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Sections to add[edit]

  • Social commentary
  • Analysis
  • End scene - walking on water
  • Controversy over out-take sequence during credits

Bungopolis

Synopsis[edit]

It needs to be clairified that this is a summary of the film, and not the book. The movie is a little different from the book, and if you search the book word by word, you will never find the word "MacLaine".

I am concerned that the article as it currently stands misrepresents Roger Ebert. At http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19970525/REVIEWS08/401010303/1023 Ebert says

Is it possible that we are all just clever versions of Chance the gardener? That we are trained from an early age to respond automatically to given words and concepts? That we never really think out much of anything for ourselves, but are content to repeat what works for others in the same situation?

which to my mind is quite different from what the article says Eberts has written in his book. Is it possible that the edits have been shifted about and now the Ebert explanation in the article is now mis-stated?--Tom (talk) 23:51, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Television clips[edit]

Moncrief and I are working on this section. There are a lot of details I'd like added:

  • Name of orchestral work in opening scene, and, if possible, the name of the conductor in this performance.
  • Production from which the "wheelchair man" was taken.
  • News station (probably local) from which the blizzard coverage was taken.
  • Identify the clip featuring a scene from Little Ceasar; it's reported at IMDb, so I trust it, but it's not apparent to me which one it is. paul klenk 16:48, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

I like the actual quotes added along with the title of the program, but or sake of consistency, perhaps a format should be adopted. paul klenk 16:48, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

The Little Caesar reference is dialogue only and is played under the final bedroom scene where Shirley MacLaine brings new meaning to the act of "self love"! Musicmaker 13:27, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Also, I have just reviewed the opening footage again and that conductor looks quite like Eugene Ormandy. The orchestra therefore would almost certainly be the Philadelphia. But I can't be sure. Musicmaker 13:47, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Autistic savant?[edit]

I need to know whether this film includes an autistic savant or not, preferably with a verifiable source for the claim. Thanks. ИΞШSΜΛЯΞ 15:14, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we could say that Chance is an autistic savant, and there are certainly no verifiable sources to that effect. The suggestion from the novel and film is that his nature is a result of his isolated upbringing. It is never suggested that he is a product of a neurological condition such as autism. -Bungopolis 19:25, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know the novel, but the film certainly does not support the idea that Chance's unusual behavior is the result of his isolated upbringing. His long-time housekeeper felt that God had not granted him any sense. This and her behavior toward him implies that Chance was never "normal", even as a child. We cannot put any speculations about Chance's mental state into the article, since the film is ambiguous at best on this point. My own feeling was that Chance had a severe mental deficit as viewed from "normal" society, but that he was really living in a pure state of enlightenment, which would account for his innocence about everything he perceived, his complete comfort with activities ranging from gardening alone to talking with street criminals to meeting presidents, as well as the supranormal feat of walking on water at the end of the film. David Spector (talk) 01:05, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
There is no mention of any medical condition or illness of Chances. Not in the film nor in the novel. He is not an autistic savant or any other diagnosable thing. He is exactly what we are told he is: a man raised in a house whose entire world view is formed by a garden and a television and a radio before that. Please accept what the director and the author before him (who wrote the screenplay) have given you. This isn't an episode of House, MD. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.111.189.57 (talk) 00:57, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

A Different Take[edit]

I removed this link from the bottom of the article.

I don't feel the review adds anything to the article, and it seems like it was added to promote the site and I guess feed its google ads. --87.81.110.119 01:05, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Is there any reason why reviews should be included at all? Reading that review I've got to say I find it to be nonsense and I'm very gald it's been removed. Raoul 16:43, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I have removed this unseemly back-and-forth. Wikipedia doesn't need it. Chill!


N.Carolina[edit]

Why is this film included in the various "North Carolina" categories? Pgc512 17:40, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

OK. It is filmed at the Biltmore House in Asheville.Pgc512 02:51, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Analysis & Character Sections Need To Be Deleted[edit]

Although interesting, they are full of raw opinions offerred by some Wiki editor. I will delete them soon unless someone gives me a reason not to. Pgc512 02:55, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

The film (I have not read the book) has created some controversy about what it is about and the meanings of certain scenes (especially the last). The author of this work emerged from hiding in Poland after WW2 and therefore actually witnessed the effects of the rise to power of Hitler. So it is perfectly possible that Kosinsky was drawing parallels in Being There to the blind faith in the populist Hitler placed by the Germans in the 1930s. I agree that the recent edit contains opinion, but many WIKI articles on matters of an artistic nature contain opinion, though I agree the best articles reflect the range of opinion. Rather than delete material relating to opinion I think editors should be encouranged to ensure the article reflects the range of opinions out there.Tom 15:25, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed the two sections. This is not for an encyclopedia. Here is the sections. Perhaps some of the material could be put back. Pgc512 22:12, 2 January 2007 (UTC) Does anyone realize that Joseph Stalin was considered the "Great Gardiner"? That same year Shostakovich was obliged to compose the cantata Song of the Forests, which praised Stalin as the "great gardener." from the wiki page of Shostakovich.

Inserted Characters Section[edit]

I rewrote it and put it back in. Pgc512 17:48, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Use of television - Cartoon Segment[edit]

The first cartoon image in the film is from Mumbly show, yet one voice says, "Muttley, come here". I'm wondering if the sequence shown was intercut between several cartoons. --George100 06:56, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure it's not Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines or the Wacky Races? While we're on the subject of cartoons, where was the animated music video for Cheech & Chong's "Basketball Jones" originally shown? ----DanTD (talk) 17:35, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Link to the book[edit]

please make a link to the book

Yah, I'm just holding the book right here and trying to make a link... But it doesn't work, really. Though, why is this article about the movie and where is being the article about the book?

--91.152.110.178 (talk) 23:06, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 15:07, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for File:Beingthere11.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 07:35, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for File:266360.1020.A.jpg[edit]

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File:266360.1020.A.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 04:19, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Rand's quotes[edit]

This section seems to contain quotes which I do not recall seeing on my DVD and some which I am sure are not attributable to Rand, though do seem familiar and are probably in the film. I no longer have the DVD but I would welcome it if someone with the DVD could verify these and update the section accordingly. I certainly don't recall the alleged quote regarding a bowl of chili! --Tom (talk) 22:06, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Need uniformity of naming ?[edit]

There seems to be no consensus around which name to use for the character (Chauncey or Chance), and even changed within the same paragraph .. ex.

Oblivious to all this, Chance wanders through Rand's wintry estate. Ever the gardener, he straightens out a bush and then walks off, across the surface of a small lake. We now see Chauncey physically walking on water. He pauses, dips his umbrella into the water under his feet as if testing its depth, turns, and then continues to walk on the water as Rand's quote "Life is a state of mind" is read out in the background.

See how it starts off as Chance and then become Chauncey later on. I am unsure of the rule of thumb here but would vote for Chance unless it's a direct quote of the name Chauncey.

--Jeff.homme (talk) 22:29, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree, but in some cases it's very practical to talk about Chance and Chauncey as different characters. Chance is simple gardener and Chauncey is what the other people see: wise man, who is able to almost "materialize" abstract and often difficult matters. --91.152.110.178 (talk) 23:10, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
They are not different characters. Be careful to over interpret. The novel clearly states that Chance accepts his new name as Chauncey Gardiner as his own as soon as Eve calls him that. He has learned about the importance of names from television. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.111.189.57 (talk) 01:00, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Presidency[edit]

I believe the pallbearers are saying that they need to keep Chauncey on the board to keep favor with the president. When they say they will lose the presidency without Chauncey, I believe they mean they will lose control of the presidency since Rand, their direct link to the President, is no longer alive, but Chauncey can take his place. I didn't get the idea that they were talking about Chauncey running for President. The underlying shadow government/illuminati/Freemason political influence is the matter at hand, here. --KJRehberg (talk) 20:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree, the tomb is shaped like the pyramid with the eye in it that the secret societies use... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.158.136.36 (talk) 10:02, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the Blu-Ray is different from the general release which I just enjoyed on Netflix streaming. In this release, very clearly the pallbearers are discussing Chauncey running for President. --KJRehberg (talk) 03:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

the intent/meaning of the book and film[edit]

The supplemental material on the Blu-ray Disk includes reminiscences from Melvyn Douglas's granddaughter about the making of the film. It's obvious she has no idea whatever what the film is "about". The film's meaning is futher confused by Ashby's introduction of the "walking on water" scene, which is not in the book, and which he makes sure we "get" by having Chance thrust his umbrella into the lake.

It's unfortunate that the film, like Chance, has become a kind of inkblot onto which people project their own interpretations, when it should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent person what Kosinski is getting at. The book doesn't "explain" the story, either -- Kosinski had too much respect for the reader to do that -- but it goes something like this:

Chance is a voyeur who has never actually experienced anything directly. Everything he knows is a vicarious experience from watching TV. And because his mind is filled with nothing other than what he sees on TV, he has never developed an "inner dialog" that might provide a framework into which he could place his "experiences". Do I need to explain that this is a satiric slap at Western societies -- and the US in particular?

The title's meaning is also plain -- Chance goes from vicarious experience to actually "being there" in the real world.

There are other points to make, but I'll save them for my upcoming Amazon review. This article needs plenty of references to "expert" (hah!) opinions. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 14:04, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

'thrown existence'?[edit]

What does this phrase in the article mean? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.151.245.89 (talk) 18:23, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm thinking "thrown" as in making pottery. But it is either an error or else obscure, so I changed it to make the meaning clear. David Spector (talk) 03:56, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

The Novel[edit]

The novel of Being There came out in 1971. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.237.34.211 (talk) 18:43, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Source[edit]

An interesting source for this article is the long interview by Illeana Douglas on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show (http://www.kevinpollakschatshow.com/archive/?cat=214). She describes the connections between Melvyn Douglas and Peter Sellers, and the origin of the unusual final scene of the movie. David Spector (talk) 21:02, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

LGBT category[edit]

Either justify with reliable sources why this should be categorized as LGBT-related or stop adding it. The article and the film in no way support it. The film is already in multiple American film sub-categories so it does not to be in the upper level category. Jerry Pepsi (talk) 01:13, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

I don't know who has been adding it, but is it possible that the sole reason that it's being added might have to do with a scene where two gay men are hitting on him, and then invite him upstairs to watch their tryst when he tells them he "likes to watch?" ---------User:DanTD (talk) 01:56, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Music[edit]

The Music section is missing quite a bit of what was in the movie. From this page, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078841/soundtrack, we find that there is a number of songs missing from the Wikipedia page. Missing items include... (sorry I'm not a better editor, I hope my notes will help someone make the WP better.) Basketball Jones Featuring Tyrone Shoelaces Written and Performed by Cheech Marin (as Cheech) & Tommy Chong (as Chong) Band: George Harrison (lead guitar), Carole King (piano/background vocals), Billy Preston (keyboards) and Tom Scott (saxophone) Background vocals (cheerleaders): Darlene Love and Michelle Phillips Also Sprach Zarathustra Written by Richard Strauss (uncredited) Arranged and Performed by Eumir Deodato Courtesy of CTI Records Gnossiennes #4 & #5 by Erik Satie Rearranged by Johnny Mandel Different Ways Performed by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Caroll Spinney It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Performed by Fred Rogers Symphony N°6 in F Major (opus 68) known as "The Pastoral Symphony" Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1808) Also Sprach Zarathustra Composed by Richard Strauss (1896) Arranged and performed by Eumir Deodato Courtesy of CTI Records Symphony No. 8 (uncredited) Written by Franz Schubert I'd Like To Get To Know You (uncredited) Written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway Performed by Michael Troy Bacchanale (uncredited) Written by Camille Saint-Saëns

StarGehzer (talk) 03:44, 7 April 2014 (UTC)