The Graduate

I went through a lot of preparation for my class.  I ate a salad for lunch.  I thought I gave a decent lecture, and I walked on home.  I browsed through the record store and bought the video game Tekken 5, the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “Time Bandits,” and a CD of The Blasters’ “Non Fiction.”  Apparently, there was no Flashback Feature at my neighborhood theatre.  “Purple Rain” was showing, but it was at ten o’clock, and I didn’t want to be out that late, so I broke out my Blu-ray disc of “The Graduate.”  My perception was that the movie did look better than the previous Blu-ray version I saw.  I think that after all these years I’m still not quite sure why Mrs. Robinson does what she does.  I thought her alcoholism had something to do with it.  I wasn’t too sure about the timeline, either.  His father says that Benjamin has spent three weeks loafing around, but then Benjamin says that he’s spent months meeting Mrs. Robinson in the hotel.  I couldn’t figure out the differences in the school terms, either.  Benjamin graduates and returns home while Elaine is still in Berkeley.  She also goes back to the university, but then suddenly withdraws from school, along with Carl Smith.  It sure seems that the Robinson family makes big, sudden decisions.  I could see someone like either Jeanne Moreau or Doris Day playing Mrs. Robinson.  I can’t really picture Audrey Hepburn in the role, but it would have been plausible after “Two for the Road.”  I could imagine Candice Bergen as Elaine.  I don’t know what Patty Duke looked like in 1967, but she could have done well in the part.  Dustin Hoffman was right as Benjamin in almost every way, except perhaps one.  I didn’t see how Mrs. Robinson could get it in her head to pursue him.  If it was Robert Redford, I could see that.  One of the scenes I liked most was Benjamin’s attempt to have a conversation with Mrs. Robinson.  I thought it was odd that it should be raining on the day Benjamin revealed the truth to Elaine.  Southern California in the movie was a constant summer of 72 degrees otherwise.  It was obvious that many of the shots that supposedly showed Berkeley were actually showing either UCLA or USC.  Also, Elaine seemed to be taking a nonexistent bus line to the Oakland Zoo.  It looked like it was going in the opposite direction along Telegraph Avenue.  I also saw that the lipstick on Benjamin’s cheek at the party disappeared after he stepped outside.  I kept wondering where Benjamin was getting to money to do all these things, paying for hotel rooms, driving around constantly, and renting that apartment in Berkeley.  It was amazing that he drove from Los Angeles to Berkeley to Santa Monica at the end of the movie. It was also incredible that he should run out of gas just as he got close to the church.  I thought the scene at the gas station was pretty funny.  I would think that I noticed before that Benjamin was whistling “Mrs. Robinson” when he was exiting a store.  I didn’t see Elaine was so attractive and desirable after a while because she hardly seemed like someone who could count on.  She was wavering between Carl and Benjamin.  I think she was right when she said that things wouldn’t work out.  I thought that the bus at the end was unrealistically full of people.  I also thought that someone at the church could have caught up with the bus.  You don’t make a getaway on a bus like that.  The Simon and Garfunkel songs added a lot to the movie.  If you showed this movie to a young audience today, how would they react?  I’m rather afraid to find out the answer to this question, based on the way they laugh at old movies.  I think this film has a lasting quality to it.  There is no mention of current events in it, and we don’t run into hippies in Berkeley.  I was glad that I saw this movie again.  I stayed up to watch some of Jimmy Kimmel.  He spoke with Jared Goff, who had been drafted by the Rams.  It was good for him that he went to the Rams in Los Angeles, because now he’s a huge celebrity.  Some of the people who died on April 29 include Anthony Mann (1967), Alfred Hitchcock (1980), Mick Ronson (1993), and Mike Royko (1997).  Today is a birthday for Michelle Pfeiffer (58), Eve Plumb (58), Daniel Day-Lewis (59), Kate Mulgrew (61), Jerry Seinfeld (62), and Willie Nelson (83).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 29, Bruce Springsteen climbed the wall of Graceland in an attempt to meet Elvis Presley in 1976, but was escorted away by security.  In 1990, 13 people were hospitalized after fans tried to get into a sold-out New Kids on the Block concert in Brighton, England.  In 1992, Paula Abdul and Emilio Estevez were married in Santa Monica.  Today is Bob Miranda’s 74th birthday.

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