Spent part of the afternoon rewatching Mike Nichols' The Graduate, one of the few movies I actually own.
I hadn't watched it for many years, and revisiting it today I was struck by how timeless both the story and the settings seemed to be. "The Graduate" was filmed in the 1960s when there was a lot of student unrest and agitation over the Vietnam War yet you would not get any impression of this from the pastoral college scenes shown here.
The film continues to fascinate me for its gentle parody of the rigidity of a certain type of middle class living, revealing, once the moorings to that way of life have been cut, how ill-equipped to cope all the protagonists from the naive Benjamin through to the superficially sophisticated Mrs. Robinson turn out to be.
It's also beautifully directed. Each scene can be dissected and some deliciously clever dramatic ploy revealed. One of my favorites is at the end of the scene where Benjamin declares to his parents that he will marry Mrs. Robinson's daughter Elaine only to reveal, upon questioning, that he hasn't even asked Elaine yet. He is told by his father that his idea is half baked, and responds that it is completely baked and then leaves. At that point the toaster, prominent in the foreground of the frame, pops up with four pieces of fully toasted bread as the startled parents look towards it. A lovely visual metaphor.