Monday, November 05, 2007

Dead Poets Society (1989)

I am always reluctant to declare anything an absolue favourite but Dead Poet's Society may truly be my favourite movie of all time. There...I said it! :)

Truly, this movie has always spoken to me and in a powerful but peaceful way. The movie inspires my soul and uplifts my existence. Individuality and the arts are exalted in this movie, among exquisite autumn and winter scenes on a quintessential boarding school campus.

Of course, being in a absolute rapture beacause of the current autumnal phase, I think of this movie!

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be? " -Professor John Keating (played by Robin Williams)

"I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life... to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." from Henry David Thoreau

Keating: "Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, 'Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.' Don't be resigned to that. Break out!"

*Image from here.
*Quotes from here.


carra said...

Dead Poet's Society - I watched this film probably about 20 times, and every single time I cried, not because I was sad but because it moved me so much... I think I might watch it yet another 20 times and still love it!

b said...

carra...of course, I am not surprised to hear that you too really appreciate this movie! yes, more than anything, it is moving. its exploration of individuality is so wonderful. and the scenery in the movie is superb. i know...i'm going to be pulling it from my small dvd library and watching it again this week!

Richard said...

I remember seeing this movie with friends. It was ok, but like most movies of this sort, I don't relate tot eh characters or trials and angst. Or, at least, I didn't used to.

The quotes are great! We lead quiet lives of desperation because we are afraid; afraid to stretch out because the universe has no safety net. We fail and we fail alone.

I also love the Thoreau one because I don't want to come to the end of my life and feel I have not lived. But it is all too easy to live for tomorrow, a little more money, a little more security. It is something I am working to overcome, but, like everything in my life, it is a slow process because I am not impetuous (although, surprisingly, I can be spontaneous). Sometimes I think it comes down to a lack of planning.

La Page Française said...

I love this movie too! It's just one of those movies I can watch over and over again.

b said...

richard...although you did not feel that you could relate to the characters, you still did not like the "thrust" of the movie? that being individualism? i find that even if i cannot relate to the characters or their trials, i can always find a way to relate to an underlying theme of a book/movie, even if i don't really like said book/movie.

yes, i do appreciate those quotes and that is a huge part of why i love this movie...those great inspirational moments in which the young men are encouraged to be free thinkers and celebrate themselves. i too do not want to to the end of my life and feel that i have not lived. but i honestly don't think about that very much.

la page français...i too can easily watch this movie over and over again, never finding myself bored or done with it.

Richard said...

To be honest, I don't really remember much about the movie, except that I did not relate. I recall vaguely it had a theme of individualism, but it was lost against the trials fo the characters. I really found it a lot like "Lord of the Flies" - probably good, but it didn't resonate with me.