For the July entry in our Staff Picks series, we turn to Marketing Manager Nick Adrian who’s selected a film that’s resonated with him well before his own college graduate days. Here’s what he had to say about it:

“My Sidewalk journey started as a very, very brief intern before accepting the position of Marketing Manager. Before that I was a proud patron, attending a couple festivals and visiting the Cinema as often as I could before the pandemic. My life has been dominated by film for about as long as I can remember, ultimately leading me to pursue it at least in some part in both my academic and professional careers. Though a lot of my favorites were self-discoveries, I have to thank my parents for instilling a love for older titles – basically by having them constantly playing in the house growing up. 

Mike Nichols’ 1967 coming of age classic The Graduate entered my life at probably way too early of an age. As I was beginning to grow more curious about film in my middle school years, my dad had cited it as having one of his favorite movie endings. That – and admittedly a Plain White T’s music video – ignited my curiosity over it, eventually convincing Dad to show it to me. I was far too young to appreciate what was going on, but its uniqueness stuck with me. I still loved it for what it was the few times I’d watch it throughout the years – it came to reflect almost everything I loved about the medium from the boundary pushing plot, influential soundtrack, European influences, and mix of comedy and drama. But it wasn’t until my own approaching college graduation that its importance truly cemented itself.

Everyone’s anxiety about adult life outweighs the ordeal of their graduation, but I participated in mine from my living room as it streamed through YouTube in the midst of the pandemic. Not only was I uncertain about my own future – I was uncertain about the world’s future. It felt almost worthless to worry about grad school and a career when it seemed like the planet wouldn’t even be around that long. That uncertain summer in 2020 mirrored Benjamin’s in 1967. Though somewhat a product of its time – the generational gaps representing the growing resentment towards anyone over thirty in the late 1960s – the themes still prevail to this day, pandemic or not. While it has (thankfully) passed, that period in between finishing your education and beginning your profession can be scary, intimidating, and long – films like The Graduate can help you feel a little less alone.”

The Graduate (1967) plays at the Sidewalk Cinema July 13 + 15. Get tickets here.

August 19-25, 2024

Sidewalk Film Festival

More info