Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dead Poets Society (1989)

Okay, enough angsting for me.  I need to get back on track, with all this stuff to do.  Anyway, after you start a huge angst-fest, you usually regret acting so nasty afterward.  I decided to be more proactive about what I can do, and stop being so reactive to what people want me to be.  (I think that was from a self-help book.  Wow, I'm hopeless.)  Onward!

In class recently, we watched Dead Poets Society.  The main theme of the movie got through my mind and into the rant I did above, so I thought it would be good to post some of my thoughts on the movie.

Set in 1959, Welton Academy is a strict and traditionalist boarding school where many of the new students feel oppressed by the teachers' standards and the way the school is cut off from contemporary America.  Todd Anderson, a new student who's brother was a valedictorian, is shy and insecure.  Neil Perry is an active student, but with an authoritarian father who has planned every step of his future.  Charlie, Richard, and others form with Todd and Neil a close-knit group.
Compared with the other teachers however, John Keating the new English teacher is unusual and unconventional.  He tells his students to be free thinkers, and "carpe diem" (seize the day).  He shows the students old pictures of former Welton students, in an effort to show that you should make the most of your life while you can.  His teachings leave a great effect on his students, and many of them later do things to Carpe diem.
 
Mr. Keating and his class

When Neil looks up Keating's records, he finds that Keating was once part of the Dead Poets Society, a group of students who went to the Old Indian's Cave and read poetry.  Neil is inspired, and gets Todd nad the rest of his friend to join him to revive the Society.
Following this is a length of scenes featuring Mr. Keating's lessons and the boys' adventures.  However, soon things take an unexpected sorrowful turn, and brings Todd and the others a different view of their ideas.

I felt that this movie, though old, expresses to you in a way that allows the characters' feelings and emotions that leaves you thinking at the end.  The scenery was perfect for the story, and Keating's humorous lines really lightened the mood.  It didn't feel rushed, except the way they ended the movie.  (I though the last shot was awkward.)  The theme of this movie was very strong, and truely showed what it meant to "seize the day".

Picture and Summary (well, as a guideline) from faculty.frostburg.edu/phil/forum/deadpoetsalt

3 comments:

kirstyb said...

i actually havent seen that i think i better watch it at some point x

Michele said...

Love that movie

firefly said...

kirstyb- you should! It's a great movie.

Michele- Sorry about the Rodarte pictures, general business and bad weather, plus lack of inspiration has prevented me from taking pictures.