Monday, June 14, 2010
The Graduate (1967, directed by Mike Nichols) is one of the key, ground-breaking films of the late 1960s. I recently re-watched it because I wanted to see the scenes filmed in Berkeley. I was still trying to decide whether or not to go there. It was a hard decision to make and I was very torn about making my choice.
Anyway, back to the film-One of the film's posters proclaimed the difficult coming-of-age for the recent, aimless college graduate:
This is Benjamin. He's a little worried about his future.
The recurring theme of the film is of a disaffected young generation, who is exploited, led astray, and seduced (literally and figuratively)by a fake, plastic, and decadent older generation. The two disparate generations are also reiterated in other dualities: the two women (young, naive, doe-eyed daughter Elaine and the older seductress Mrs. Robinson), the two California settings (Los Angeles and Berkeley) and S. and N. California cultures (materialistic vs. intellectual), and the dissection in Benjamin's character (morally drifting and indecisive vs. committed). The accompaniment of Simon and Garfunkel's music serves as almost a narration for the film, with telling, haunting lyrics that enhance the film’s mood and themes.
...And in the naked light I saw, ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening.
People writing songs that voices never shared, no one dared disturb the sound of silence...
fountain scene was actually filmed at USC