Frank Capra (1897 – 1991)
Italian-American film director, producer and writer
Films of note: Lady For A Day (1933), It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Lost Horizon (1937), You Can’t Take It With You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Meet John Doe (1941), Prelude to War (1942), The Battle of Russia (1943), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
I have watched this Mike Nichols’ movie and read the Charles Webb’s book. I am a fan of both, and partial to neither. Today is the 48th anniversary of the movie hitting the screens and The Hollywood Reporter has dug out its review of it from back then. We are so thrilled they did. Yep. Absolutely. Thank You!
There is nothing about this film that does not warrant justified praise in multiple superlative terms. The writing, direction, acting, editing and sound are all complementary to each other and it is the mark of a skilled and aware director like Mike Nichols that he has combined all of these to create frames speak to the audience. A special mention to the immensely profound songs performed by Simon & Garfunkel. They add another dimension to the shape and form of Benjamin (played by Dustin Hoffman), creating a character who is in equal parts sympathy-inducing and exasperating.
Hoffman is incomparable as the graduate, born to high-society, suburban parents, getting visibly pulled and pushed around by the conflicts around him and inside him. His classic seduction by his father’s partner’s wife, Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) is now the stuff of legends. But he falls head over heels in love with her daughter, Elaine (Katherine Ross). More confusion ensues. The climax of the film is what defines the film. We think it is definitely among the top movie endings in the brief but vast history of cinema. We wouldn’t want to ruin the film for you if you haven’t watched it, but let’s just say, the adage “winning the battle does not mean one has won the war.”
As you can see, we cannot stop gushing. We hope you enjoy reading this review.
Robert Bresson (1901 – 1999)
French Film Director
Known for a spiritual and ascetic style, Bresson contributed notably to the art of film, and particularly the French New Wave. Bresson is considered to be of paramount importance to minimalist film, as most of his work featured non-professional actors, little use of music or scoring, and ellipsis, in which events important to the narrative are not visually depicted.
Films of note: Diary of a Country Priest (1951), A Man Escaped (1956), Pickpocket (1959), The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962), Balthazar (1966), Mouchette (1967), Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971), Lancelot of the Lake (1974), The Devil Probably (1977), Money (1983)