Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker here since 2008.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Last Night I watched 'The Graduate',

a film from 1967 which featured
a pudgy-puppy Dustin Hoffman
and close-harmonious Simon + Garfunkel.
Here is my IMDb review:

I wonder what I would have thought of this film when it came out...when I was 25. At 82 I found it completely baffling, and actually rather disturbing.

Is it a satire on the American Nuclear Family and the oppression of parents ? Or is it a comment on the mores of a country beyond decadence ? Or is it a simple horror-film to frighten queer men like me away from the hideousness of rapacious and compulsive heterosexuality ?

The epicene but randy wimp Dustin Hoffman is quite unbelievable. As an ex-autist I could quite understand the things he said and how he said them, but not his actions, which were Pavlovian.

The beginning was good: student almost driven mad by his ambitious-for-him parents and their rich white bourgeois friend tries very ineptly (and unbelievably) to avoid the ghastly celebrations they have organised to mark his graduation and his birthday.

Then came the Harpy: Mrs Robinson, one of the creepiest monsters in all cinema.  Chilling, scrotum-freezing bedroom-scenes ensue.

The most distressing scene in the film, however, was that of the two traumatised chimpanzees trembling and cuddling each other in a hideous, brutal zoo which I hope has since been closed. (But it probably hasn't.)

I couldn't watch it through to the end.  Any ending would have been bad, given the nasty story.

This sort of sneakily-sub-pornographic film (shown in the Kingdom of Iran not so long after it came out) was surely one small ingredient in the socio-economic-cultural-amoral-political entity which the Appalling Ayatollah called The Great Satan.

(I am actually a fan of Mr Hoffman, due to his brilliant performances in Midnight Cowboy and Tootsie.
I should add that I had to download via PTP from my favourite Russian website a version with subtitles, since the mumbly Ms Bancroft is totally incomprehensible to the partially deaf.)


Wofl said...

A totally-different way of thinking about this film is to imagine that it had been made by Tarkovsky or Bergman...

Anonymous said...

I hate to ask, but what movie recommendation did i miss out here?
And is it commendable?


Wofl said...

There was no recommendation!

Almost all films are trashy in one way or another; most American films are trashy in several ways. Cinema is a very bad 'artistic medium' because it allows so little time for reflection, unlike a painting.

Anonymous said...

It seems like Mr Karl had written a recommendation but that comment might be invisible. :)

Regards and yours,


Wofl said...

Yes, Karl (White) recommended another film (Straight Time) in which Dustin Hoffman appeared, which I found so-so (but better than The Graduate). Film is sometimes called the seventh art, which is appropriate since it is inevitably as a medium at 'the bottom of the heap' except when geniuses such as Bergman, Fassbinder, Kiarostami, Kaurismäki...and Tarkovsky have the opportunity to make them.