Posts Tagged ‘the Graduate’

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The Fancy Plans Guide to AFI’s Top 100 Films – Vol. 2

June 4, 2010

Just recently we took on the first five films on AFI’s Top 100 Films list, which much like the movie industry itself, is loaded with obvious selections, most of which exceed three hours in length and/or are shot in black and white. The next five films listed promise to be “more of the same.”

Enjoy?

As was common in those days, The Wizard of Oz starred several SURNAMES.

6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Well ahead of its time (4:20), The Wizard of Oz is universally considered a “stone classic,” full of singing midgets, hand-tinted film stock and gay icons. Much like Ambrose Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, The Wizard of Oz is an extended hallucination suffered by the main character when she is killed by a [SPOILER ALERT!] tornado.

Oz is really two films in one: the first satirizes the blandness of a flat, arid and witch-infested Kansas while the colorful “back nine” pokes fun at the idea that traits like “love” and “courage” somehow make people more “human.”

The posters for The Graduate preemptively give away the entire movie before the trailer has a chance to.

7. The Graduate (1967)
A cautionary tale of plastics and seduction, The Graduate served notice to well-meaning parents everywhere with its chilling portrayal of ennui-laden and aimless youth, many of whom were headed back home for the summer.

Starring a somewhat attractive, young Dustin Hoffman, Mike Nichol’s film answered the age-old question “It’s late in the afternoon. Do you know where your children are?” with a resounding “Floating angstily in the pool/banging Anne Bancroft.”

Worth a look for its prescient commentary on plastics, which were “the wave of the future” for years until dethroned by the sudden popularity of kickboxing.

Brando looks around apprehensively for the next green-tied assailant.

8. On the Waterfront (1951)
An unflinching look at union labor, boxing and Father-surrogate son relationships, Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront is also known for the powerhouse performance delivered by an oddly coherent and dangerously underweight Marlon Brando.

Shot in Oscar-baiting black and white, On the Waterfront earned Kazan an enormous amount of goodwill, which he quickly pissed away with his extensive sellout of colleagues and competitors during the McCarthy “witch hunts” (which netted surprisingly few witches, but did snare several deadly Communists).

Pitched as "The Matrix" meets "Over the Top."

9. Schindler’s List (1993)
Director Steven Spielberg goes back to his roots as a 1940’s-era director, utilizing the black and white cinematography that was the “all the rage” in the days before color (or colour) film.

Cameo appearances by Robin Williams (as a Good Morning Vietnam-ish radio personality) and Roberto Begnini (as a rubberfaced entertainer whose jokes are all of the “too soon?’ variety) keep the film from sinking into complete pathos. Exceedingly long.

They were later charged with "indecent exposure" and "possession of unlicensed umbrellas."

10. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
The first Oscar winner to feature a dropped “g,” Singin’ in the Rain is a charming musical that takes a very dark turn at the midpoint when it’s titular song becomes the soundtrack from some dystopian ultraviolence. A change in tone is also signalled by a change of costumes, from suits and fedoras to codpieces, jumpsuits and bowlers.

The remaining time is given over to a heavy-handed allegorical songfest, which lays out a devastating condemnation of both reckless optimism and the collected works of Ludwig Van. Recommended for its amazing choreography and surprising amount of nudity.

-CLT

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Upper Midwestern State Community College and Vocational School Courses

May 18, 2009
The scenic Upper Midwestern State campus, located just outside the maximum security prison.

The scenic Upper Midwestern State campus, located just outside the maximum security prison.

Summer’s here and, unfortunately, will soon be gone, much like this rapidly fanned bong smoke. Hopefully more rapid than that, Mom’s almost to the front door. Jesus! Open that window!

Time to apply for college. And not just any college, the cheapest college money can buy. Browse some selections from UMSCC&VS’ upcoming academic year.

Required

  • The Main Entrance Doors Are “Pull” – Key info for new students. Also covered: lining up in alphabetical order, last name first (needlessly complex?), and why are all of our parking spots marked “Handicapped?” (Just park anywhere and help us mount a counter-attack against those Devry eggheads.)
  • G.E.D. Fundamentals – Getting a handle on our only admission requirement.
  • Righty-Tighty, Lefty-Loosey: Introduction to Basic Mechanics
  • It’s Not Rocket Science and Other Phrases You’ll Be Hearing a Lot Of – Also covers: “dangerously underqualified,” “lowered expectations,” “potential liability,” and “You’re 36. Move the fuck out of our house.”
  • Shop Class Basics – Learning to count to ten with fewer than ten fingers; fallback obscene gestures.
  • The 1040EZ: Mastering the Only Tax Form You’ll Ever Need
  • Will It Blend? – What MSDS sheets aren’t telling you.
  • From Airliner Repair to Birth Control: 1001 Uses for Duct Tape

Vocational

  • VCR Repair – Tape jams, tracking and 12:00. Required course for admission to basic laserdisc repair.
  • How to Take Advantage of Women and the Elderly – Entry-level Auto Repair course.
  • MLM & You: Fallback Careers and Moonlighting – The power of exponential math brought to you by Amway. Also of interest: World Book Sales – Wikipedia for slow children.
  • Geocities Presents: The Future of Website Design – Animated GIFs, multi-colored text, banner ads and other key basics for your Tiffany fanclub website.
  • Basic BASIC: Your “GOTO” Programming Language
  • Copier Repair – Earn up to $30/hour installing toner cartridges and selling extended warranties.
  • If You Want to Spend Time with Your Family This Holiday Season, You’d Better Hope They’re Shopping Here – Essentials for a career in retail.
  • Executive Mailroom Training: Blue Collar in a White Collar World – Stop believing all that Hollywood bullshit. You’re going nowhere.
  • Geek Squad Basics – Earn up to $11/hour selling extended warranties, “installing” pre-installed software and stripmining porn from customers’ hard drives.
  • Sounds Like a Hardware Problem: Microsoft Tech Support basics
  • Game Design – You like games, right? Then you’re perfect for this. You also like low-paid, 18-hour workdays and have a solid background in higher math and computer programming, right? No. Not so much, huh. Go hang out with those blonde morons, then.
  • Quotation Marks and the Commercial Signing Business – Just put “them” anywhere!
  • Security Guard Training – All the fun of being a cop (hassling teens, strip-searching teens) with none of the responsibility (preventing crime, solving crimes).
  • Cable Installation – Throw out your calendars and clocks. You won’t be needed these restrictive items any more!
  • Outsourcing – The Man’s plan to keep you hip-deep in Amway cleaning products; World Book encyclopedias.
  • Shopping Cart Wrangling – Advanced techniques for lines of 20 or more carts.
  • Elementary School Coaching – How to deal with violent parents, inept children and your own sex offender past. Also included: where to get the best buys on those sweet polyester shorts.
  • Everything’s Gone Retarded! – Dealing with suddenly becoming left-handed.
  • Introductory Tuning – Increasing your horsepower through careful decal application.
  • Dental Technicians: Grabbing the Brass Waterpik – With Prof. Shane McGowan.
  • Over-the-Road Trucking – Covers: methamphetamine selection, caring for your two sets of logbooks, and how not to respond to law enforcement (see example).
    Example:
    Which is the correct response?
    Weigh-Station Officer: “You look like you’re a couple hundred pounds overweight.”
    A. “Well, that makes two of us.”
    B. “This always happens during a lunar eclipse. Simple physics, really.”
    C. “Someone thought the illegals would appreciate a sack lunch.”
    D. “So… you want me to let some air out the tires or something?”

Electives

  • Art Appreciation – We have never, and will not ever be using nude models. Please stop asking.
  • Advanced Bong Assembly – How to turn yesterday’s shop class project into today’s “tobacco-only” recreation device.
  • In the End, Does It Really Matter?: The Poetry of Linkin Park
  • Pain Don’t Hurt: The Tao of Patrick Swayze – Includes discussion of “Water ain’t Wet” (Point Break), “Dancing ain’t Dirty” (Dirty Dancing) and “Planes Don’t Crash” (Donnie Darko).
  • Political Science: Diebold invites you to get your crowd-sourced ass to work on designing a better electro-vote machine.
  • Debate Class: Ford vs. Chevy – Who truly deserves Calvin’s urine?
  • Computers and Creative Writing – Covered: how to fail to make your point in 500 words or more (blog pointers), the subtle nuances of Youtube comment threads and the DiggNation citizenship exam [1109 Diggs].
  • Music Appreciation: From Hair Metal to Rap Metal – The best of the last 20 years of rock. Not included: those whiny-ass “grunge” years.
  • Things That Are “Gay” – Open discussion on everything from Kevin Federline’s latest single to that ridiculous shirt you’re wearing.
  • Film Appreciation: Pioneers of the Straight-to-Video Market
  • Bumper-Sticker Philosophy: From “Honk if You’re Horny” to “My Other Car is a Bible” – Making the least out of space limitations. See also: Twitter

-CLT