Books and Movies Reviews

the graduate

The film ‘The Graduate’ was made in 1967 by Embassy Films. Directed by Mike Nichols with the help of cinematographer Robert Surtees, and co-producer (with Nichols) Lawrence Turman, ‘The Graduate’ was a number one hit of 1968. From the novel by Charles Webb, Calden Willingham and Buck Henry crafted this superb screenplay. The major players include Elizabeth Wilson, Murray Hamilton, William Daniels, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman..
Benjamin Braddock, raised in a comfortable middle-class home, never having dealt with any major problems in life, graduates from college, and is now left feeling empty and unsatisfied with his accomplishments. His past in uninteresting and his future is uncertain. So, he turns to thefirst thing offered: an affair with his father’s business partner’s wife, a woman twice his age, also searching for some relief from her vague, dead-end, wealthy existence.
The director has manipulated elements of the frame to suggestconfusion and emptiness within the affair. Elements playing significant roles in the mise en scéne of this sequence include the placement and staging of the characters in the frame, and the framing techniques.
In many places throughout the movie, Benjamin is placed on the far right or the bottom of the frame. He is depicted as insignificant, small, and lost. In other shots, the camera captures him from behind an obstruction, framed, sometimes nearly obscured, by a piece of furniture or another character. In this short display of Benjamin’s enjoying his leisure, his face with its blank expression is the dominant image which draws the viewer’s eye and fills the screen. Usually when a character is center, it is to draw attention to his impending actions or his power.
Staging of the characters and props suggest a lack of human connection and intimacy. The proximity of Ben to other characters is constantly shifting. He floats in the pool, isolated-an island aw…


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