Friday, October 02, 2015

Friday Night Flicks: Dead Poet's Society

One of my favourite touching films set in a high school, albeit a boarding school back when radios were just getting in the hands of young people, is "Dead Poet's Society" directed by Peter Weir. I love the portrayal of the students, the two room-mates Neil Perry, played by Robert Sean Leonard, and Todd Anderson, played by a young Ethan Hawke, and their interactions; the final touching scene never fails to make me cry. The advice from the Romantic Poets "to suck the marrow out of life" is a Carpe Diem "Seize the Day" kind of inspiration.

I love the scene where the teacher, played by Robin Williams as John Keating, the kind of person who lives to provoke barbaric yelps from the most unassuming, tells them to rip the page out of their books. Equally good are the cave scenes where the guys impress some local girls by quoting Romantic poetry as if they had written it themselves.

It is sad to see how one father crushes his son's dreams to be an actor and even sadder when the young man decides seizing the moment means ending his own life. As a teen I sympathised more with the young man, but as I got older I could kind of see the father's perspective a little more.

"To Sir with Love" is great. Some more recent movies about inner city schools have been touching, but for me nothing matches the dramatic intensity and depths of passion of "Dead Poet's Society"!

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