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The Graduate

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The Graduate
The Graduate is 1967 film that was based on a 1963 novel, The Graduate. I have viewed both the screenplay and the trailer of this film. The trailer took important scenes and presented them in such ways that could actually change the plot of the movie in some ways. The trailer combined so many key shots of the film that gives you just enough to engage you emotionally and spark your curiosity. As the trailer begins you immediately hear an asynchronous sound (Sikov, 79) of background music. The song playing is The song of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel (wikipedia.com). The trailer opens up with a long shot of a young man sitting outside in front of a fountain and there’s a flag waving right above him. The camera then cuts to an extreme long high shot to capture the entire landscape of the university and students walking around the campus behind the young man. The next few shots are various close-up shots complied together that shows several people coming up to Ben rubbing his head and hugging him congratulating him on his graduation. You hear a one lady ask him “what are you going to do now?” And his reply was “I was going to go upstairs for a minute”. This showed that he was definitely clueless that the question pertained to his future career. In the first thirty seconds of the trailer you are already aware that the movie is based on a guy named Ben who just graduated college and with only a few spoken words you can derive to the conclusion that he is undecided about his future. The trailer then shoots to a close-up shot of Ben sitting in front of an aquarium with a very depressed look on his face. From this shot you can assume that Ben is troubled or in some sort of way.
A nervous looking Ben is seen sitting with a drink in his hand staring at something or someone. You then see a women who he refers to as “Mrs. Robinson” sitting on a chair with a cigarette in her hand giggling as she lifts her leg onto a chair. This is an eyeline match shot due to the fact that you see Ben staring at someone but you don’t actually see the person and in the very next shot you see Mrs. Robinson staring back at Ben, but you don’t see physically see Ben in this shot. In the next shot Ben is now standing up in front of Mrs. Robinson, but you only see her leg that she has raised up on a chair next to her. The framing of the camera is shooting Ben through the opening under Mrs. Robinson’s leg. You hear him say “You’re trying to seduce me” and she giggles and then he ask “aren’t you”. This to me implies he was confused but yet curious as well when he asked for confirmation. Also, from this shot you can assume that “Mrs. Robinson, is married. It’s never shown in this clip whether or not Mrs. Robinson confirmed or denied Ben’s allegations. The trailer then immediately takes you to another scene where Ben and Mrs. Robinson are sitting at a table in an establishment. They exchange a few words regarding if Ben had gotten a room. So this leads you to believe that they are in a hotel and Ben’s allegations may have been true but it also tells you that he may have taken her up on the offer. In the next scene you see the both Ben and Mrs. Robinson in a low key lit room and she’s is trying to remove her clothing and states that she’s about to get undressed as a nervous he watches as the scene ends. This leads viewers to assume that believe that they have had sexual intercourse but it is not shown. In the film they do engage in sexual intercourse for the first time, not realizing that this would be a full on affair. In the next scene you see Ben and a younger women sitting in what looks like a car, due to part of the steering wheel that you see in the corner of the shot. With a concerning look on her face she asks Ben “Are you having an affair with someone?” This raises eyebrows as it makes you wonder what made her ask that question and also who is this young woman. She calls him Benjamin which makes me think she close to him, maybe a girlfriend. In the film Ben gives Elaine context clues for her to come to this conclusion.
In the next scene you see Ben walking into to a low key lit room whistling carrying something in his hand. We that someone is inside of his apartment before Ben actually does as he turns on the lights, he lets out a startling yell. The camera cuts to a white- haired man in a trench coat sitting in front of Ben’s window ledge smoking a cigar. The lighting shining through the window from the outside gives off enough light so that you are able to see his face. He proceeds to let Ben know that due to his actions with his wife that they are now getting a divorce. So now the viewer’s know that Ben indeed did have an affair with Mrs. Robinson and that the man that is sitting in his apartment is Mr. Robinson, Mrs. Robinson’s husband. It leads you to believe that he had enough evidence to show up at Ben’s apartment to confront him about it. In the film we know that Ben has been having an affair with Mrs. Robinson and when he stated to her that he wanted to date her daughter she flipped out and became angry and threatened to let their secret out of the bag. In the trailer Ben tells Mr. Robinson that he what he and his wife had was nothing and that he doesn’t love his wife, he loves his daughter. So now viewers are puzzled as to what’s going on. In the first minute and eleven seconds of the trailer you know that Ben has had an affair with this guy’s wife who’s sitting in his apartment, who presume is Mr. Robinson but then Ben states he’s actually in love with the guy’s daughter. Now your mind drifts back to who the young women was that was sitting in his car that asked about the affair. The scene then cuts what appears to be a women who could possibly be Mrs. Robinson but you don’t see her face standing in front of a house as she watches a woman, who could be the daughter that Ben is in love with, get into a car and she starts walking towards it. The camera shot is now on Ben who is standing behind a bush as he watches women silently. From the film we know that this defiantly Mrs. Robinson and her daughter and that they had just had an argument that lead to Elaine leaving. The next scene you see a guy’s arm and a balled up fist hitting the desk and right above his hand is a piece of paper that has the name Elaine written several times across it in cursive writing. In a moving shot you see Ben on the highway speeding a red convertible like car. The trailer than immediately jumps to another scene in which we see the young woman appear that was sitting in Ben’s car a few clips earlier who asked him if he was having an affair. The young women bursts through the door and angrily tells Ben she needs to ask him a question and then she’s leaving. She then asks him “Why is he here in Berkeley and is it because she’s there? Ben who has shaving cream all over lower half of his face says “Well look I love you”. So now viewers can put a few of the hints together and assume that this young woman is in fact Mrs. Robinson’s daughter and she’s so angry with Ben because she possibly knows about the affair that he had with her mother which is causing her parents to get a divorce. We also can assume that she was the young women who got in the car in front of that house as a woman (Mrs. Robinson) and Ben stood watching her. We gather that Ben followed this young woman due to the fact that we saw Ben on the highway driving somewhere and she asks why he is in Berkley. Ben also proclaims that he in love with her, we can also assume that her name is Elaine as we possibly saw Ben sitting at desk where he wrote Elaine several times across the paper before it cut to the scene with him on the highway. The next three scene you see Ben kissing this young woman (Elaine, though it’s never stated) and he asks her to marry him. Throughout the next three clips you see on three separate occasions where Ben is asking this young women to marry him. The next scene you see Ben in a room with Mrs. Robinson. She is getting something out of a closet and Ben, who is lightly panting from possibly loss of breath, states “You’re not going to be able to keep me away from her and that he would find her”. Mrs. Robinson coldly replies with “sorry we won’t be able to invite you to the wedding Benjamin because the arrangements have been so rushed” and she walks out the room leaving Ben standing there looking annoyed. This is a major cliffhanger because is Elaine getting married? And if so to who? We also know that Elaine’s parents are trying to keep Ben from her and that they could be possibly rushing a marriage to do so. In the next scene we then see the red car speeding down the road again but we don’t see who is driving it, but it’s made to believe Ben is driving it.
The camera then cuts immediately to a close-up shot of an unshaved, tired and upset looking Ben, who screams out “Elaine” loudly, you then see Elaine turn around with a wedding veil on her head to look towards where Ben’s voice is coming from. In this shot you also see part of a man’s face, who we can assume is the groom. Now the viewer’s know that Ben has showed up to Elaine’s wedding, the one Mrs. Robinson mentioned before walking out of the room. You also wonder how Ben found out where the wedding was being held. In the film you see a panicked Ben go through a bit of an ordeal trying to find Elaine. From speeding down the highway swerving from lane to lane. Ben drives up to a gas station and jumps out the car, runs inside, picks up a phone book, calls the grooms mother’s place of business and pretends to be her brother and is told that she’s at her son’s wedding and what church the wedding was most likely being held at. After leaving the gas station without getting gas, Ben runs out of gas a few blocks away. He then gets out and starts running the remainder of the way until he arrives at the church and then that’s where you see scene from the trailer. You see Elaine staring upward towards Ben with a look of desperation. In the next shot the camera zooms out so that you now see a long shot of Ben standing behind a window on a balcony banging on the window screaming in amplitude (Sikov, 81) Elaine’s name. You then see shots of Mrs. Robinson, Mr. Robinson and the groom mouthing angrily scowls towards Ben. Due to the angry looks on their faces we can know confirm that they were indeed trying to keep Ben from Elaine. All of sudden Elaine looks at her groom and the back at Ben and screams “Ben”! The trailer ends and leaves the viewers with the biggest cliffhanger of wondering if Elaine got married and if so to who. In the film, after Elaine screams “Ben” she runs to Ben and they fight off and lock her parents, the groom and anger guest in the church and run and flag down a bus filled with people and jump on it and ride away with smiles on their face. The trailer has an open ended ending just as the film does. From the trailer you are able to draw several conclusions as to what will happen in the movie, which is what a trailer is set up to do. The Graduates trailer was well put together and gave a great overview of the Oscar winning film.

Works cited
Edward Sikov's, "Film Studies: An Introduction" New York, New York. Columbia University. 2010
The Graduate, Dir Mike Nichols. Embassy Pictures, British Board of Film Classification.1967
Simon & Garfunkel. “The Sound of Silence.”1964 By Paul Simon. The Graduate Soundtrack. Columbia Masterworks, 1968, Album. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsdvhJTqLak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Silence

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