The Graduate (walking tour of Berkeley)




A four-car pile-up on the Bay Bridge makes us late for The Graduate walking tour of Berkeley. In the tunnel, in the dead time, we talk about the film. My friends watched it last night, but my hotel  Wi-Fi was too patchy.
"Does it hold up?" I ask (I always ask). 
"Not sure," Greg says. "Anne Bancroft is really rapey." 
"But, but," Melita argues, "it's because she didn't get to have a life. She's a depressed, unfulfilled alcoholic." 
"That's no excuse."
Twenty minutes later we arrive at Sproul Plaza where a group (a wealth? a monopoly?) of Baby Boomers are listening to Steven Finacom from the Berkeley Historical Society read from the Charles Webb paperback. Most everyone has sensible shoes and non-phone cameras. Given the demographic, I'm anticipating interjections and reminiscences, and nodding, lots of nodding. But I can't be too disparaging, for I'm here too. What is it about The Graduate that compels us to walk around in the hot sun and ooh and aah over film stills? What is this quintessence of dust and caravan of nostalgia?
I first watched The Graduate on VHS during the late 1980s. I came to it via Simon and Garfunkel, whose songs provided most of the soundtrack to the film, and whose I am a Rock was balm and mantra for my teenage soul ("I have my books and my poetry to protect me"). 
Before rewatching the film a few weeks ago, these were the images I'd retained: Benjamin Braddock's view from his scuba-suit in his scuba-gear; Ben's face framed by Mrs Robinson's black-stockinged leg; his hands beating on the window of the church, shattering Elaine's nuptials-in-progress, and the final scenes of the pair, like the bad kids up the back of the bus, flushed, exhilarated and then, maybe not so. 

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Comments

  1. I think you are confusing Katherine Ross with Samantha Eggar, understandably, faces similar, both with the same thick hair, but Ross dark, Eggar a ranga. Ian C Smith.

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  2. Gah! you are right - I have confused my leading ladies. (oops)

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