Being There

Bartas's Lithuanian Pain and Gilliam's Rain in Spain

Film Forum's Peter Sellers retro showcases one of the 20th century's most sui generis performers, a chameleonic meta-clown with untold recesses of deranged history lurking behind his deadlight eyes. Sellers was such a momentously unique and beguiling comic figure for so long (nearly 30 years), it still seems difficult to believe modern culture can roil onward without him. It's of no importance that most of Sellers's movies were underwritten and clumsily conceived—he was always addictively watchable. Only Dr. Strangelove, Lolita, The Ladykillers, and Being There fully live up to Sellers's measure, but even I Love You, Alice B. Toklas is twice the hash high it should be thanks to his impish energy.

Natural desolation: Katerina Golubeva in Bartas's Three Days
photo: Courtesy Anthology Film Archives
Natural desolation: Katerina Golubeva in Bartas's Three Days


Sarunas Bartas
January 30 through February 2, at Anthology Film Archives

Lost in La Mancha
Directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe
IFC Films
Opens January 31

Peter Sellers
January 31 through February 13,
at Film Forum

Related Article:
"The Meaning of Strife: Documenting the Ruins of Terry Gilliam's Quixotic Dream Project" by Jessica Winter

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