Feature Screengem

Screengem: Chance’s Remote Control in Being There (1979)

‘I Like to watch.’ So says simpleton Chance the gardener (Peter Sellers) in Hal Ashby’s filmed version of Jerzy Kosiński’s novel ‘Being There’; a story about the improbable rise of a holy fool from lone obscurity to vaunted celebrity through a series of fortuitous ‘chance’ events. Skewering the hollowness of political rhetoric, racial entitlement and […]

Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939)

By far the most memorable moment to be found in Ernst Lubitsch’s great Ninotchka arrives mid-way through the film, where Greta Garbo’s eponymous tight-lipped Bolshevik is glumly partaking of some fish soup in a working class Parisian bistro. She is as one with the “common people”, or so she says, but couldn’t look more out of place: her starched clothes, […]