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Analysis of The Graduate

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Through the analysis of characteristics present within The Graduate this paper will express how it encompasses not only attributes from classical Hollywood cinema but also those of the Art film. These types of cinema have distinct and obvious styles and patterns that evoke different purposeful reactions independently, for instance the classical film tends to allow its viewer to understand completely what is happening throughout the film; this is archived by forming a logical plot, and applying repetition. In contrast the Art film takes on a very different style, which includes, non-closure, and episodic construction. The Graduate seemingly encompasses characteristics form each of these styles, through its use of an easy to follow plot; and because it has a final conclusion, it follows the stylistic characteristics of the classical film. However, extended shots of Ben floating, running and driving and the repetition of The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel suggests stylistic themes of Art film as well.

Cinema has been represented in numerous ways, however classical Hollywood cinema truly had an independent grasp since its debut in the 1910’s. The style created by the large producers of the time including Warner Brothers, MGM, RKO, Fox and Paramount shaped the genre not only during its birth but also through its Golden Age and into the present. As a style it has many characteristics that make it unique and poplar among viewers. The most salient of these aspects is the classical films plot structure and construction; unlike other styles including the art film the classical film creates a consistent and coherent plot for its viewers as David Bordwell states in his article, The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practice “The view...

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...raduate encompasses both the stylistic characteristics of the Classical Hollywood cinema through its use of a structured plot and use of equilibrium, disequilibrium and a return to equilibrium as well as use of repetition of at some points, however the Art films style is if not dominant, highly present in the creation of this piece. Its use of alienation and ambiguity in portions of the film leaves the viewer at points disoriented and questioning components of the film, extracting from its viewer the psychological response that is intended from that style of film. Made even more visible by the use of sound and specifically the music of Simon and Garfunkel to increase that feeling. Therefore The Graduate utilizes both these styles in a effective manner to achieve a film that while bringing its audience into the character’s life simultaneously alienates them.
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