Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition

Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The Graduate: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Studio: MGM
WorkNameSort: Graduate: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition, The

The Graduate was utterly of its time in 1967, but it was also ahead of it in terms of its modernism. The underrated Mike Nichols brought visionary style to the movie, taking chances most directors wouldn’t fathom today. Take that poetic associative montage after Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin and Anne Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson make love for the first time. Or the humiliating sequence at the family pool, shot from the point of view of Benjamin in full, claustrophobic deep-sea diving apparel. With the movie’s iconic key scenes firmly lodged in the subconscious – “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me,” “Plastics,” etc. – it’s these smaller moments, the fascinating ways Nichols stages, edits and photographs scenes, that keep me coming back to this vital work. The special features for this 40th-anniversary expanded edition could have been better, though. A featurette called Students of the Graduate offers insight from Henry Rollins, directors David O. Russell and Harold Ramis and others, but the Graduate at 25 featurette just says more of the same.

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