I see that they’ve taken down all the videos on my old blog, so I think from time to time I’ll bring back some of my favorites here.
This one comes from Hal Ashby’s 1979 film “Being There,” based on a novel by Jerzy Kosinski. Chance the Gardener (Peter Sellers) is a simpleton who has spent his entire life in a Washington D.C. house in the service of an old man. The old man dies and Chance has to leave, emerging into the real world for the first time. His knowledge of it comes entirely from watching television (thus his use of the remote control in this excerpt). The perfect music for the occasion is a once famous funked-up version of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (the theme from “2001″), which manages to express both the dawning of a new day for Chance, and the gritty urban world of that dawn. Keep watching: near the end comes what is, for me at least, an indelible melding of image and music, as Chance, in a long shot, walks up the middle of a busy street.