"The Graduate" Film Language Analysis

Essay by crydeeCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2006

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In the 1967 film "The Graduate" directed by Mike Nichols, uses excellent film language to add meaning to the film's story. I believe if you were to watch "The Graduate" without sound people would be able to understand the characters' disposition just by film language.

In the very beginning of "The Graduate", the first shot is a medium close of Ben that slowly zooms out on the airplane coming back home. At first, I thought this was a freeze frame with a voice over of all the people talking around him on the plane. Then once the camera zoomed out you could see all the people around him going on and talking. I believe this shot is a great introduction to Ben. It is also a great precursor of Ben's apathetic, emotional, and confused feelings that we see in the movie later on too.

The same feelings can be seen in the next shot while we see Ben standing still on a moving sidewalk, shot with a tracking camera, which says the world is still passing him by, and it looks like he does not care. The feelings that we associate with Ben at the beginning scene are related to the song that is playing which will be used with film language later on in the film to convey the same feelings.

Film Language plays an excellent part in the introduction of new characters. When we meet Ben's father we get a extreme close up of his face and part of it is obscured. Part of his face may be a symbol for something or a meaning to his character because of this weird introduction. When we met Ben's mother she covers him up on the screen. They are all close up shots while...