Friday, May 6, 2011

A Tribute to The Graduate: I am Actually Graduating from Graduate School

Today is a great day in my life I am graduating with masters.  This moment reminds me of the film The Graduate (1967) starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman.  Unlike Hoffman's character Benjamin I am already in and graduating with my masters; his character had just finished his undergraduate degree and felt his future was uncertain. There are parallels in my own life, my future is still uncertain I do not have a job at this point, but I have options out there.

This film had a huge impact on me growing up, it made me think about my own life, and what I wanted to do with my future.  Like Benjamin my family hope I would become a lawyer, and become rich and successful.  After my graduation no one came up to me and said Kevin I have one word for you "Plastics."  This films message still rings loud and true with my current generation, parents and relatives work hard to make sure that their children are successful and stable, but often push them towards a career they either do not want or have no interest in.  My masters is in college student personnel, not a glamorous degree, nor does it make a lot of money, but I used my passions to work towards something I enjoyed.  At the end of the day I am not done with my life, and my pursuit of different dreams and goals.  This masters is not the end.  This film made me think about my life and what I want from it in a different way.

Until, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was released this was my favorite film.  I like the dark humor, and the ending that seems happy but isn't.  Hoffman was almost passed over for this role, but I couldn't imagine this film with anyone else.  Bancroft was also supposed to be much older than him, and she wasn't in real life. Bancroft is so sultry and manipulative and just does a great job. The director Mike Nichols is a genius and has been one of my favorite directors for years; he directed Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Closer, Angels in America The Birdcage.  The man has range and won the Best Director Oscar for this film.  This film is one of the best shot films ever, and I love the artistry behind and in front of the camera.

This film introduced me to the music of Simon and Garfunkel.  The song Mrs. Robinson was not submitted to be nominated for best original song, none of the tracks from the film were, which is unfortunate because this film has some of the best music. As I graduate at 7 pm tonight I will be thinking not only about my friends and family, but will be humming Mrs. Robinson  to myself, and smile.

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