Over this holiday season, I have had the opportunity to revisit several movies and take another look at why they remain special to me. Each reminded me of where I was living and what I was doing when I saw them for the first time. Some things change yet some remain the same!
I saw The Graduate again. It came out during my freshman year of college. I loved it this time around as much as I did way back then. The lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel’s song The Sound of Silence came rolling back to me as if time stood still. Dustin Hoffman’s dilemmas and moves obviously etched scenarios in my mind. I was there inside his mental space with him. Since that time, I was able to make it to the UC Berkeley campus and I later owned a convertible Spider similar to his Alfa Romeo Spider in the movie.
Then, I saw Claudine again with Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones. It was a big hit at the time because though she was a domestic with six kids, she fell in love with a garbage collector. He almost abandoned her and her children because he realized he did not make enough to feed them. It takes a hard look at the traps of the welfare system but ultimately love won! The music written by Curtis Mayfield and sung by Gladys Knight and The Pips kept everyone going On and On. I was teaching high school at the time and oh, the memories from that era came rushing back in!
Seeing Agnes of God baffled me as much this time around as it did when me and a couple of my co-workers from a community college saw it for the first time. I remember that day because we did a movie marathon and saw two movies on the same day. Jane Fonda fashionably chain-smoked as she tried to figure out who impregnated a young nun that murdered her newborn. I thought of how unattractive smoking is today and how it is now prohibited in most public places.
Both she and the talented Anne Bancroft acted superbly in this drama and this time around, I was able to connect a few more of the dots. Plus, I did a little more research to see what drove the playwright to write the play. He based it on a true story of a nun in Upstate New York; but, it was less of a mystery because that nun had spent time outside of the convent for a conference.
Over time, we grow. Society rules change. I have changed. Several of my perspectives and points of view have also changed. If I stood against a measuring stick and compared where I was then to where I am now, I would have to reach up really high to strike off my new tick marks of growth!
Lynn M. December 29, 2018