In The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967), the screen cuts to a blackout to indicate the first time that Benjamin and Mrs Robinson get together – then Simon & Garfunkel’s song ‘The Sound of Silence’ comes in. Nichols gives a new meaning to the lyrics, “Hello darkness my old friend.” Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) sees adults in the glare of the sun, only as dark silhouettes. He wears sunglasses to a strip joint.
Nichols also mutes the sound of adults’ voices. When his parents are yelling banal encouragements at him through his ridiculous scuba gear, when Elaine (Katharine Ross) runs of with Benjamin from her wedding. Only youths know when to be silent, don’t ruin every moment with horrible empty speech. The beginning of a new era.