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1. The Graduate Narrative Structure
2. The first frame we see after the institution's themes, is a close up a mans face. I know this is the protagonist because it is the character the opening sequence focuses on- his journey through the airport. At this point, there is little context because we are unable to see any costume or location. However, we hear a diajetic voiceover saying “ Ladies and Gentlemen, we are about to begin our decent”, which suggests that they are on an aeroplane. At the moment, there is equilibrium in the film, there is no problems and everything is normal for the protagonist. This is exercising Todorov’s Equilibrium theory.
3. The mese en scene in this shot, shows that he is in an aeroplane. The voice over proceeds to talk about the weather in Los Angeles, so we know where the rest of the film is set. This medium shot of people in the plane, also shows Barthes’ Referential Code. It displays the culture of late 1960s Americans through their costume and the set- this was the appearance of aeroplanes in this times.
4. Here we see the protagonist moving through the airport. I know this because his body isn’t moving as he moves across the building, so I can assume that he is traveling on a conveyer belt, as these are typical features of airports. I can definitely know that he is “The Graduate”, because he is wearing a suit, I can assume that he a professional person.
5. This opening sequence, the director really used Barthes’ Enigma Code, to hook the audience, by making them question what he’s doing. Because the film’s called “The Graduate”, we can assume that he is looking for a job but nothing is definite at this point. This shot also shows Barthes’ Referential Code, through the style of the briefcase, because it is typical of 1960’s style.
6. Here, we see the protagonist wave and smile to something outside of the shot. This suggests that he is going to meet someone he recognises and likes. This is an example of Barthes’ Action Code, because one action implies that there is further narrative. This shot again shows the Referential Code, because other people in the shot are wearing clothes which are typical of the 1960s.
7. This close up shot, suggests that he is in an office, because in the background, there is a fish tank, which is typically found in offices at this time. This opening sequence is based on the Enigma code, not giving much context or narrative to the story, so we stay engaged.