On Story: “Buck Henry: A Hollywood Story”

My projections were slightly astray in regards to the topics Buck Henry discussed on this week’s episode of ‘On Story’. No mentions of Saturday Night Live, but he did discuss The Graduate in-depth.

I must say, I’ve never fully grasped the appeal of the film, but I do acknowledge the genius of the film as it helped Hollywood progress to a new era. Henry said he could relate with Ben Braddock and that he fully understood this stage of his life. Maybe it’s a film men relate to as they progress from teenager to adulthood (you know, like Field of Dreams and The Dirty Dozen). I just can’t relate or see the attraction! I would say it is my task as a female to somehow relate to Mrs. Robinson, but…  I hope to never cross that bridge.

On the subject of The Graduate, Henry discussed the importance of the last scene. As Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross sit in uncomfortable silence and the music of Simon and Garfunkel draw attention to “The Sound of Silence”, neither of actors acknowledge one another with dialogue. I always wondered why the ending was ambiguous and lacking in dialogue and Buck Henry finally enlightened me. This is why I love ‘On Story’; little gems of information give you the satisfaction of knowing the trivia you’ve always wanted to know.

Another pattern I’ve seen over the past month of viewing ‘On Story’ is the term “inspiration”. Each week, it seems, the participants and interviewees all have different motives for inspiration for their works. For instance, Caroline Thompson (a few weeks back) claimed her dogs and love of dogs inspired the script for Homeward Bound and Edward Scissorhands. Buck Henry seemed to chalk his inspiration up to the paycheque and putting bread on the table. I know he’s a very dry humourist, but that was slightly disheartening! I love knowing the inspiration behind a great writer. To each his own, I guess.

Overall, this episode flourished in Buck Henry’s humour and admirable filmography. If you didn’t get a chance to see the episode last night on KACV, check out the ‘On Story’ website for the entire ‘On Story’ archive. Next week we’ll be hearing from director, producer, and writer Rodrigo Garcia as he discusses the importance of character development in The Godfather and Capote.

Tune in next Sunday night at 5:30P on KACV! Until next week…

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