M. Ward On His Favourite Film, ‘Being There’

The 1972 Peter Sellers classic

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, Being There is a 1972 American movie about a guy (played by Peter Sellers) who has no earthly lineage, seems to come from nowhere, speaks in parables, and achieves miracles illuminating the lives of his believers and infuriating his non-believers. The non-believers scramble around researching his origin – trying in desperation but ultimately failing to prove he is a fake. Meanwhile, he is bringing true enlightenment to his believers about life and the after-life. By the end of the movie it is inferred that he and his political disciples change the world, making it a better and less fearful place. Somewhere in the middle there’s a weird and funny make-out scene with a woman named Eve (played by Shirley MacLaine).

I like to imagine sometimes that one of these souls is actually walking the earth right now or will maybe surface in my lifetime. Someone with such a clear vision of the cosmos and where it is we come from (dust) and where it is we are going (dust) that they are able to illuminate millions (and probably infuriate billions) and just by speaking instinctively free us from fear. Maybe the next great seer will come from a musical conservatory or film school or some fancy college, but I like to think he or she will surface from a mud hut, or a garden shed, or a prison, or a mental ward. I think Jerszy Kosinki did too – he’s the guy who wrote the story. Even if it’s all an illusion I very much love the idea that it could happen someday – or is happening now and the seer could be you, dear reader.”

‘A Wasteland Companion’ is out 9th may on Bella Union.

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