September 23, 2016:

"I want my life to be... different."

The film is marketed as early cougar, where Ben's affair with Mrs. Robinson is incorrectly highlighted as the purpose of the narrative. Its true center is Ben's alienation from the shallow, materialistic culture of the middle-class suburbanites who define and constrain his possibilities. Encapsulated succinctly and brilliantly by the single word "plastics", and by the scuba suit scene, where Ben's isolation is radical, the hands of both parents pushing him literally under the surface.

Mrs. Robinson's tragedy underscores the emptiness of that culture. Her empty life and empty bed are determined inevitably by her pregnancy, in a social context that demands the marriage which destroys her soul. Again brilliantly encapsulated by the heart-wrenching zoom-out from the doorway of Elaine's bedroom, rain-drenched and backed alone into a barren corner of her cavernous prison-house.

Their affair is a defeat for Benjamin, a surrender to the bored emptiness of his parents' thoughtlessly hollow world. It's a lifeline for Mrs. Robinson, whose agony in the hallway is for herself, not her daughter.

It's a '60s film, a movie which articulates in slyly confident terms the Boomers' generational rebellion against that thoughtless hollow culture it shrewdly satirizes. With its sweet, optimistic ending suggesting that blind thoughtless rebellion has a chance of success. Just say no, and love will conquer all.

It didn't. "The '60s" failed, largely because of that blind thoughtlessness. Chronicled and encapsulated in turn by the Rolling Stones' brilliant suite of albums beginning in 1968, the year of The Graduate, ending in 1972 with "The '60s" in full disastrous rout.


September 22, 2016:

I remember moments in the middle.

Dark. It has a darkness, as though all light were muted.

What's this word? End, and this is the end.


September 21, 2016:

Day for night.

Do they make conscious choices?

These are all grade school words.