I first saw The Graduate when I was about 17. I remember that I liked it, thought it was artistic and visually stunning, and I understood the general idea behind some of the symbolism. I saw it again a few years later, when I was the age of the main character, Benjamin Braddock, a 21-year-old just out of college, flawlessly portrayed by the 30-year-old Dustin Hoffman. I "got it" more then, being closer to the lost Benjamin than I had been at 17. I saw The Graduate several more times over the years. I gotta tell you, though, it wasn't until I saw it this year, at age 40, that I really saw into the soul of director Mike Nichols' masterpiece. Now that I understood that only retrospection leads to true introspection, and that Benjamin Braddock is more a fool than an Everyman. Benjamin's search for self leads not to realization, but to abandonment of self. The film ends with loose ends and mistakes cleverly disguised as a riding-into-the-sunset ending. It is only now that I really get it. The Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane at Inwood, screens The Graduate Friday and Saturday at midnight. Visit landmarktheatres.com or call 214-764-9106 for information.
Fri., Nov. 6; Sat., Nov. 7, 2009