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Dead Poets Society

I wanted to put my other blog initiatives on hold for a bit, and pay further tribute to the incomparable and sorely missed Robin Williams. For many that he touched, Dead Poets Society is their favorite of his films. Having only seen it once or twice before, I needed to know it better. I've been watching a few of his others throughout the week, but this is likely the most fitting tribute to the man who had such a big impact on the world.

Dead Poets Society centers in on a school for boys. They are taught to value honor and tradition above all, even if it ends up stifling their spirits. Robin Williams' teacher John Keating comes in to change that. He inspires his students to think for themselves and to seize the day. He instills in them a passion for the written word as well as for life. Not too unlike what Williams did for us, yeah?

Even without the Williams factor, this is a very inspirational movie. A certain someone I know counts this among his top five. I've heard him describe books and poetry with much of the same passion you see on the screen. It's beautiful. Even though I don't care much for poetry, watching this movie makes me want to be into it.

So many young actors before they hit it big: Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles. Hawke's performance is particularly heartbreaking. His part in the final scene made me teary. It might also have been in the context of Robin Williams, and thinking to Jimmy Fallon standing on his desk in his honor, and all of the "O Captain My Captains" I saw written at his makeshift memorial at the Good Will Hunting bench. Even without that, Hawke was the heart of the film. But Williams was the soul.
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