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Nichols’ Film “The Graduate”, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1089

Essay

Introduction

During the 1960s a rapid shift of focus from the previously established values to a new construct of social, political as well as artistic viewpoints was emerging in the United States; the thing is that a new generation was focused on eradicating the principles of gender stereotypes in the face on how the older people perceived it. Throughout this period, it is worth saying that male and female relationships underwent serious rearrangement. People’s willingness to reorganize the attitude towards the issues of gender occurred as the thematic core of “The Graduate”. Considering Mike Nichols’ film “The Graduate”, one cannot but encounter the fact that it mirrors the changing awareness of gender roles of both men and women.

The discussion film communicates the story of two young people on the brink of becoming aware of absolutely different interpretation of individuality as well as gender; moreover, it presents the values of the older generation. Possessing ambiguous representations of gender, the character of Mrs. Robinson is characterized by embodying both the modern-day conception of femininity and the old understanding of patriarchal privileges. Having such a mixture of gender interpreting, “The Graduate” conveys a vivid representation of gender friction of the 1960s.

Sound Devices

Basically, Mike Nichol’s film “The Graduate” is famous for the active usage of color. Inevitably, the use of color appears to be the matte of great importance within the area of film industry (Bordwell & Thompson). However, apart from the film director’s usage of color, it is necessary to draw attention to some other unique film techniques, which are sound and editing, since these very techniques occurred to have enhanced the major theme of discussion film.

In the film “The Graduate” the song “The Sound of Silence” is utilized 5 times. It is worth saying that one of the scenes incorporates an instrumental version of the abovementioned song. Obviously, one can hardly name some other movies where the same song appears to be used more than 3 times. The question naturally arises as to what significance the song “The Sound of Silence” had within the movie; evidently, the lyrics do not align with the plot of the discussion film. As a result, it is possible to get perplexed as to why the film maker decided to use this piece of music so often. In accordance with Mike Nichols, the song was chosen, since the pacing and mood it contained were coherent with the movie. It is worth admitting that even though the film has nothing to do with lyrics reflected in the soundtrack, the theme of Benjamin’s drifting life perspective has much in common with the song’s melancholy. The very fact that the film incorporates an iconic soundtrack proves “The Graduate” to represent the emerging nonconformist youth of the 1960s. All in all, it is still worth mentioning that the usage of some other sound techniques has to be yet analyzed.

Dialogue Hook

It is important to make mention that the notable utilization of dialogue hook links communication between Benjamin and his mother as well as Mrs. Robinson. Benjamin’s words “Wait! Wait a minute!” in a high-pitched manner cannot but catch the viewers. The narrative impacts of the phrase “wait a minute” join different scenes giving the entity of succinctness aimed at outperforming the opportunities of editing. It is necessary to admit that the repeated dialogue enhance the main theme in way that the infantile masculinity of Benjamin becomes obvious.

Sound Bridging

The abovementioned sound device occurs as the transitional technique.  It is possible to define it in two different ways:

  • When the sound of next scene emerges and the characters of the previous scene are on the screen;
  • When the sound extends while the characters of the following scene appear.

A good example of sound bridging is when Benjamin abandons Mrs. Robinson’s house. One cannot but encounter the thing that when Benjamin approaches his car, Mr. Braddock appears to be heard in his words “ladies and gentlemen – your attention, please – for this afternoon’s feature attraction.” Indisputably, sound bridging influences the enhancement of the main theme as well; the thing is that it pinpoints the clashing gender conceptions in Benjamin’s head.

Anxiety through Sound

Concerning the sound devices, it is worth taking into consideration the technique of conveying suspense through the sound. It is necessary to take a view of the scene where Benjamin and Elaine sit on the bus. Apart from vivid anxiousness at the faces, the song “The Sound of Silence” begins to play; the method of enhancing the sorrow through the sound helps the viewers understand Benjamin’s sense of being both isolated and disillusioned.

Editing

Apart from sound devices, it is impossible to omit the significance of Sam O’Steen’s proficient editing. Obviously, one of the best reasons to watch the discussion film is editing. Sam O’Steen utilized the zoom technique in combination with concise components, including sound devices. Among the zoom editing techniques, it is necessary to make mention of water, and Benjamin’s athleticism. The thing is that these two aspects complement the features of the zoom editing used. It becomes clear that Nichols managed to put the film together and perfected its flow. Analyzing the editing techniques utilized in “The Graduate”, one should take into account that Sam O’Steen managed to endow the movie with the easiness that the bulk of viewers lack while watching cinema products. Moreover, he succeeded in combining mise-en-scene scene and cinematography that Bordwell and Thompson regard to be inseparable components of filmmaking (183). It becomes apparent that editing techniques enable the viewers to see all the perplexity that the main character suffers from due to letting through traditional and new gender roles. Benjamin’s attempts to question the human values help the viewers to get to the point of the movie, which is making sense of the world; in view of Bordwell and Thompson, the search of the world’s sense cannot be underestimated within the cinematography from the perspective of its impact on the viewers (76).

Conclusion

Evidently, Mike Nichols proves to be a role model and filmmaking icon today, since his contribution to the development of film industry is really huge. The thing is that Nichols managed to produce his own film techniques enabling him to succeed in reaching the viewers’ acknowledgment and getting to know the variety of new unlimited opportunities in shooting films. “The Graduate” inevitably appears to be homage to newly-adopted Hollywood’s texture of filmmaking. It is worth noting that both sound and editing serve as the tools to enhance the major theme defined.

Works Cited

Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin. Film Art: An Introductionby. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

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