The Academy Award-winning film The Graduate (1968) will be the subject for dissection in this year's Ebert Interruptus, the Conference on World Affairs’ annual, week-long interactive film analysis.
Author, broadcaster, activist and veteran CWA participant David Bender will serve as the Ebert Interruptus host this April. Bender says, "I feel tremendously honored to have been given this amazing opportunity. As a once twelve-year-old kid who stood in a four hour line to see The Graduate in 1968, being able to personally bear witness to the impact this film had on my generation is more than a privilege, it's a great responsibility. Not surprisingly, The Graduate is a film that never grows old, precisely because it always finds new audiences that are worried about their futures, too."
CWA director Jim Palmer, who will introduce the film at the uninterrupted screening, says "Given all the elements—the CWA, a college campus, a 60s satirical rite of passage movie about an angst-filled recent college graduate—how appropriate of CWA veteran David Bender to chose The Graduate for the Interruptus."
Bender describes the reasoning behind his selection, "When Roger Ebert launched Cinema Interruptus in 1975, he began with what is still considered to be the greatest American film, Citizen Kane. There's a line from Kane—'It's not hard to make a lot of money, if all you want to do is make a lot of money’—that could well have been in The Graduate. Instead, screenwriter Buck Henry simplified it into one word, 'plastics.' Life comes with no degrees. There is no diploma conferring wisdom on any of us. All we have are the questions that are raised about our purpose here, our values and the way we treat one another. The Graduate is an enduring work of cinematic art because it recognizes those questions without offering answers."
An uninterrupted screening of The Graduate will be held on Sunday, April 6 at 3 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium, to be followed by four days of Interruptus sessions Monday through Thursday, April 7-10, in Macky Auditorium at 4 p.m. each day. During the four days of the Interruptus, any member of the CWA Interruptus audience may freeze the film by yelling, “Stop!” in order to make a comment or ask a question.
The CWA’s annual shot-by-shot film analysis has inspired the commentary tracks for DVDs of Dark City, Casablanca, Floating Weeds and Citizen Kane, which won Variety’s Video Premiere award as the best DVD commentary of the year.