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Hal Ashby’s classic 1979 comedy drama ‘Being There’ has NC connections

On Jan. 11, the N.C. Museum of Art’s Winter Film series is presenting Hal Ashby’s classic 1979 comedy drama “Being There.”

Peter Sellers stars as a simple-minded gardener named Chance whose talk about planting and seasons is mistaken by many Washington insiders for political wisdom about shifts in the economy. Based on the 1970 novel by Jerzy Kosinski, the movie also stars Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden and Melvyn Douglas who won a Best Supporting Oscar for his role as the dying millionaire, Ben Rand. There’s a big North Carolina connection. A large part of it was shot at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. As it’s one of one of my all-time favorites, I am pleased to be introducing the film before the screening at the SECU Auditorium in the East Building. 8 p.m. $5 ($7 for museum members).

Details: 919-715-5923 or

Other Highlights:

Jan. 12, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is showing Robert Mulligan’s 1962 classic “To Kill a Mockingbird.” At noon on Jan. 13, Martin Scorsese’s 1993 drama “The Age of Innocence” screens as part of the Champagne Cinema series. At 2 p.m. Jan. 15, it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller classic “Psycho.”

At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16, the Weird Wednesday series presents Terry Gilliam’s twisted 1998 Hunter S. Thompson adaptation “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Also Jan. 16, the Cinema Overdrive series is featuring a 35mm showing of Frank Perry’s 1972 cult classic “Play It As It Lays.” On Jan. 17, there will a party for Mary Harron’s 2000 thriller “American Psycho.” 7:30 p.m.

Check their website for ticket prices. Details:

Jan. 13, The Cary Theater is showing Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s 2018 documentary “Free Solo.” at 2 p.m. (There will be an encore of “Free Solo” on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.). On Jan. 17, John Barbisan and Michael Hamilton’s 2018 documentary “I Am MLK Jr.” screens at 2 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Check their website for ticket prices. Details: 919-462-2051 or

Jan. 13, the Cinema Inc.’s 52nd season continues with Orson Welles’ 1942 classic “The Magnificent Ambersons’” at 7 p.m. Subscriptions for the rest of the season are sold out, but those interested in subscribing for the next season can send their contact information to

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