23 April 2014

"I like to Watch."

.
HAL ASHBY.

that name might ring a distant bell... it should.
films like (and possibly your favorite of all time) Harold and Maude, others, like Being There (my own personal Hal Ashby favorite), Shampoo, Coming Home, and Bound for Glory- are HAL ASHBY  films. With fifteen films as director from 1970 to 1988, and seven Academy Awards wins credited to his movies, just who was Hal Ashby?

A new documentary in the works answers-

from the film here

Amy Scott the film's director promises in her notes on the film, ONCE I WAS to "present an all-encompassing look at Hal and his work, giving cinematic credit where credit is long overdue." 

I for one am intrigued, and why not?



Being There, stars the justly brilliant actor Peter Sellers-as Chance. His "I like to watch." is something one hears quoted, misdirected, unattributed, and as Seller's Chance delivers the line ever so simply-it reverberates as a talisman in all the Ashby films I've seen. I think Being There is a masterpiece. If you have not seen it-I don't know why.


 from imdb here

 Harold and Maude can claim to be the most enduring film of the 1970's, a masterpiece-and certainly that claim carries on unmatched as films like it are rare.
If you watched in in your 20's- watch it again in your 30's, your 40's, your 50's-that's as far as I go yet.

Maude would say-


( from here)

... it's impossible not to get attached to this film.


from here


It couldn't be a better time to assess and reassess the influence of Hal Ashby on film-
and on Love,
and Life,
and Being There.




 I look forward to it-and I'll keep you posted.
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