Analysis of the Graduate

1044 words 5 pages
The Graduate is a great example of a film where lens and camera choices were used effectively to convey the director’s point of view. It seemed like every choice made by the director Mike Nichols director and the director of cinematography Bob Surtees was justified. The outcome of each shot played an important role in shaping the message of the film. The cinematography of Bob Surtees is very complicated and thoughtful but at the same time seems poetic and spontaneous.
All of Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin’s scenes pass in a musically backed montage sequence, a segment that uses rapid editing, special effects and music to present compressed narrative information. This shows the endless pass of time. One scene is edited so that it
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The movement of the camera is very jerky. The whole shot was intended to be like this in order to create a feeling of insecurity, panic and paranoia that Ben experiences at that moment.
When Benjamin runs into the house and up the stairs, we see the first shot with a large depth of field. The camera is positioned upstairs and is not moving at all. The viewers’ eyes follow Ben entering the building and running upstairs. Having two major plans within a frame creates the depth of field. The wall and the door have the function of a background. The upper steps and railing present the foreground. Here, on the other hand, a wide lens was used in place of the telephoto lens. We can clearly notice that Ben covers great distance from the distant door to the first floor. We can also notice a very deep depth of focus. As Ben comes very close to the camera, we can still see a sharp image of rain in the door downstairs.
As soon as Ben gets to Elaine’s room, he begins to confess the identity of the older woman of his affair. Glancing at her mother and then looking back at Benjamin, Elaine’s out-of-focus face slowly comes into focus as she realizes the woman is her mother. In this case, focus was used to graphically present the moment when Elaine realizes the fact that Ben had an affair with her mother.
Totally offended, Elaine refuses to speak to Ben and orders him out. Mrs. Robinson bids him goodbye as the camera pulls back


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