Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Graduating with Honors… and Attitude

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. The primary reason for this download is the fact I’ve yet to finish the significant movies from my youth. That and the fact three articles, two from Dan’s blog, today’s Movies That Everyone Should See and a Tossin’ It Out There: What Movie Reminds YOU of Your “Younger Days”? from awhile back, where my particular comment coincided with the film highlighted days later by Trailers From Hell, brought it all back to the forefront.

Benjamin: “Listen to me. What happened between Mrs. Robinson and me was nothing. It didn’t mean anything. We might just as well have been shaking hands.”
Mr. Robinson: “Shaking hands? Well, that’s not saying much for my wife, is it?”


The Park Theatre:

Images c/o Cinema Treasures site



January 1968: now, officially a teenager, I began my own rebellion in what would be the tumultuous year of 1968. If I could be contrary, as hormones and attitude dictated, I was, more often than not. “Why the Hell not?!?” Its accompanying sibling, Sullen, a term I’d learn of, and hear often, wouldn’t really turn up till after I entered high school.

Still, junior high was the place to begin flexing those adolescent bearings. It’s also the place where the ness brothers, awkwardness and self-consciousness, strode in with it. One found out, especially among your peers going through the same, even in the most crowded of situations, how lonely one could truly feel.

Back then, at the central train station of commotion that was my grandmother’s home, while ’67 changed into ’68, my aunts (and their husbands) discussed Mike Nichol’s The Graduate. They even allowed moi to ask questions about the film. More, my girl cousin, the closest relative in age (younger by one year) had already seen it (with her parents!).

That did it. Between her describing Dustin Hoffman (“Who the heck is that?”) laying atop a woman in a hotel room, and Anne Bancroft flashing him, I HAD to see the film. The Park Theatre was the smallest of the movie halls in Huntington Park. And it was place where second runs of releases arrived. The Park would catch those movies that already played at the Warner and the California Theatres.

It was perhaps fitting I’d see the movie there. Getting into here was easier than those other two halls, especially if you didn’t have parents to chaperone you. Not surprisingly, what I thought I knew about the motion picture turned out to be very little, or how it would hit me. That was uniquely true by the time the film’s intro burst on the screen, to the tune of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sounds of Silence, and how it impacted on the one watching it in the dark.

“Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again…”

The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

18 Responses to “TMT: Graduating with Honors… and Attitude”

  1. Fogs' Movie Reviews

    😀 these are great columns, man. Very personal. I enjoy the insights you share about yourself and your memories.

    Mine would all be the same 6 theatre cinema again and again and again and again and…


    • le0pard13

      I’m just lucky I went to so many movies, and starting out young. Thanks for the inspiration on getting this one out, Dan.


  2. ruth

    Wow, so much The Graduate love this week, I just came from Fogs’ post about it 🙂 I always enjoy your nostalgic posts Michael and amazed every single time how much you remember.


      • ruth

        Btw Michael, I love how you always have a fitting title for each of your TMT series, brilliant!

        P.S. Jack Deth’s third post on Jack Lemmon is up, hope you check it out 🙂


  3. The Focused Filmographer

    Yeah, like Ruth, I just saw this movie also spotlighted over at Fogs’ page, and I’m feeling a bit left out. LOL. I still have yet to see it.

    Thanks for sharing. I do enjoy these personal touches to your film viewing experiences.


    • le0pard13

      It’s a great one, T. And it has a distinct 60s vibe to it (if you’re into things like AMC’s ‘Mad Men’, that is). Many thanks.


      • fernandorafael

        You’re welcome, Michael. Wish I’d remember exactly where I’ve seen every movie, but the cinemas over here are so generic. None really stand out or make an impression.


        • le0pard13

          Good point, Fernando. Perhaps, given the “generic” cinemas populating all over the world (we have plenty here, too), we’re losing the ‘hooks’ that help make memories, or the experiences of going to the movies, memorable. Maybe we need things like this, unique and distinct movie edifices, to set such things in our heads. A bit of the serif vs. sans serif typeface controversy our lives on the web have gotten to. Maybe, those “small finishing strokes on the end of a character”, or a building that doesn’t look like any other box, gets us away from the generic. Thanks, my friend.



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