The ONLY Film Thread Presents: Spoiler Alert! (Episode 1: The Graduate)

#1
The Film Thread would like to invite you to a special discussion of classic movies. Please use this thread to discuss any aspect of the selected film.
This week’s selection is…


The Graduate (1967)



hello darkness my old friend


What’s this thing?: After graduating from college, Benjamin returns to his childhood home. Uncertain of his future, Ben aimlessly wanders through his post-grade life. It’s not until he begins a sexual affair with a friend of his parents (and falling for her daughter) that his life begins to take structure.

Why is this remembered?: Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren’t you? This line has firmly secured a place in public lexicon. The affair between Benjamin and the much older Mrs. Robinson captured audience’s intrigue, and dominated discussion surrounding this movie.

But this is much more than a movie about an affair. The Graduate acts as a glimpse in time to the tumultuous time period of the late 1960s. The culture clash between the generations is central to this movie’s legacy; Benjamin is continuously pitted against his parents. Ben doesn’t know what he wants to do, while his parents have their own wishes for his future.

But how is this relevant to ME?!: Not only is The Graduate is a snapshot of this generational clash, but it also acts as a representation of the post-graduation aimlessness. It shows the period between being a child, and truly being considered an adult.

Also, it’s pretty funny.

Let’s get the ball rolling: What’s the significance of the last shot? What emotions are Benjamin and Elaine feeling? Is it optimism for the future or fear for the future?

Here's the scene as a refresher:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSDMwoOYzNw
*-)
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
i kinda wish we all had a penis and vagina instead of buttholes

i mean no offense to buttholes and poop or anything

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner and Mike Brown
#3
Quote by lolmnt


Let’s get the ball rolling: What’s the significance of the last shot? What emotions are Benjamin and Elaine feeling? Is it optimism for the future or fear for the future?




The terrifying realisation of the frail and fleeting nature of true love and that going away into the sunset might only bring a temporary escape from being an 'adult'.

In contemplating their future paths they see themselves having to accept the same underlying societal expectations/ideologies of adulthood that they are running away from and their 'true love' may be a fickle thing that will not provide them the strength or joy to help them in the fight we all have against despair and disillusionment.


I found the ending quite funny because it poked fun at their whole love story and the 'happy ever after' favoured by love films and also suggesting that we're all just flailing about hopelessly to find that mythical happy ever after.


Is that the right answer? I'm not a film student, so I'm not sure.
O.K.

“There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
~ Bill Watterson


O__o
#4
Okay, I'm gonna try this.

I only saw The Graduate once and it was probably two years ago, not more than three, so I was 19-20 and almost finishing university.

This movie is famous for a hell of reasons. It was (and feels) ahead of its time. The soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkel is ageless and famous. There are some lines that are familiar and people easily associate it with the movie, like the one lolmnt referred; and the ending is extremely famous and still talked about - it's also one of the only really great things about this movie to me.

I'm sorry, but I just never got into the movie as I watched it. I found no likeable characters and everything else (from the directing to the acting to the plot) was just okay.

I understand what the movie's trying to convey, and Dustin Hoffman really captures that feeling of being lost in the between youthful naïvety and adult responsibility, but he's character's just too... I can't really think of a word for it, there's a portuguese term that defines it perfectly. He's kind of geeky not in the dork sense of the word. Idk how to explain it better in english. I never liked him, and I never cared for him. The same happened with Mrs. Robinson and Elaine (even though the latter manages to be the most "normal" of the three).

The movie also felt dated to me. Not in a visual way, but in the whole feel of the plot. It's like, the movie was important for being ahead of its time, but I feel like today, the way how it is ahead of its time feels dated.

Also, I never saw it as a comedy. I know it's not your in-your-face comedy, neither it is slapstick, and I felt more sad than jolly as I was watching it. The ending also ends (marvelously) in an uneasy note. I always interpreted it like this: they start it off by smiling because they got away from all of it. During the entire movie both these characters are always pressured, and by breaking through their current situations with a fuck everything attitude, they feel all that relief from being able to actually go against the current, as it is probably the only independent action both these characters take during the entire movie. However, as they're being driven away from everything their smiles fade. They know they don't know anything. They have absolutely no idea of what's to come, and what to do. They just remain silent and I feel as they are looking at each other more and more seriously, they're realizing how they actually don't know each other and they're becoming more and more uncomfortable with that. They have had few interactions in the past, so they're not at ease to be open with each other. They both felt that they needed to get away from it, and that's what bonded them together. They're not in love with each other, only with the idea that both feel the same way toward things. So, ultimately, they're just as lost as in the beginning of the movie, and the only thing that they've come to realize is that they're independent now, and can take actions on their own, but they know nothing about anything.

And that's what pushes me away in this movie. The characters interact with each other but no one ever really knows anything beneath the surface of anyone. Everyone's actions lean towards instant satisfaction and there's not single character in this movie that has an average concept of life. It's obvious that it helps to portray the general feeling of being lost of the movie, but, in the end, it always made me unable to connect with the chracters, and usually despising their attitudes.

Maybe it's not for me
#6
I always felt like the ending was a realization that they still weren't adults. They get on a bus, which evokes child-like feelings, but everybody on the bus is old. I think their diminishing smiles is them realizing that they've done one of the most childish things they've ever done. So with all of the old people staring back at them they kindodf have to put everything in perspective as they get over the exhilaration of what they had just done, and the result is the realization that they are children on a bus to adulthood. The lasting feeling for me is that they've gotten themselves into something that they aren't prepared for, and the feeling is mostly negative which is telling about how they will likely end up.
“Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.” - Donald Trump
#7
Quote by theguitarist
The terrifying realisation of the frail and fleeting nature of true love and that going away into the sunset might only bring a temporary escape from being an 'adult'.

In contemplating their future paths they see themselves having to accept the same underlying societal expectations/ideologies of adulthood that they are running away from and their 'true love' may be a fickle thing that will not provide them the strength or joy to help them in the fight we all have against despair and disillusionment.


I found the ending quite funny because it poked fun at their whole love story and the 'happy ever after' favoured by love films and also suggesting that we're all just flailing about hopelessly to find that mythical happy ever after.


Is that the right answer? I'm not a film student, so I'm not sure.
There's no right answers. But I really love this interpretation.
Quote by bradulator
I always felt like the ending was a realization that they still weren't adults. They get on a bus, which evokes child-like feelings, but everybody on the bus is old. I think their diminishing smiles is them realizing that they've done one of the most childish things they've ever done. So with all of the old people staring back at them they kindodf have to put everything in perspective as they get over the exhilaration of what they had just done, and the result is the realization that they are children on a bus to adulthood. The lasting feeling for me is that they've gotten themselves into something that they aren't prepared for, and the feeling is mostly negative which is telling about how they will likely end up.
Ahhh I love this too.

I first watched this as part of a film class (elective). I was almost to graduation, but still had no idea what I wanted to do or why I was even in school. I was really doubting my major and just felt kind of "there." On an absolute impulse I went and changed my major to something I didn't have any experience in. On my walk there I felt like I was going something important and taking direction in my life. On the walk home I was like "What the hell did I just do?" (spoiler alert: it all worked out really well).

So this movie kind of struck a chord with me. It was kind of the right time for me to watch it. I think the last scene is really about uncertainty. Like I just did this huge, life-changing thing, but have no idea what I'm actually doing or how it'll work out.
*-)
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
i kinda wish we all had a penis and vagina instead of buttholes

i mean no offense to buttholes and poop or anything

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner and Mike Brown
#8
Saw this movie in the cinema not so long ago. It turns out they just ran a dvd player through the projector because we got the menu after the credits finished. Anyway, really great film.

The whole film has a sense of being "closed in". The shot through the fish tank. The one in the pool. Between Mrs Robinson's legs. That's essentially what the film is about. Charging headlong into things and only knowing the repercussions afterwards.

Another thing I noticed, and it's in most of Mike Nichols' films. The way he blocks his actors, they often walk infront of each other as the focus of a conversation turns to them. I'm not sure it actually means anything to this film in particular but it's interesting to see it go on throughout his work.

Also, according to Nichols, the ending was "because of him". They got on the bus and were laughing and he was shouting at them to stop, so they were. It's supposedly why Simon and Garfunkel play over it and the laughs were dubbed in later, cause he was screaming at them. I can't help but feel like it's a director trying to take extra credit, but you never know.
Last edited by andyscoot at Nov 25, 2013,