4.22 — DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989) and Poetry

Our film this week is the 1989 Peter Weir film (and Robin Williams vehicle) DEAD POETS SOCIETY. After our usual reviews, we talk about the aesthetics of this film and its evocative nature, how this film is not like either LOVE ACTUALLY or AVENGERS, and why high school films are often like dreams.

Next Time
Next time, our high school season continues with the 1993 Richard Linklater film DAZED AND CONFUSED.

Recent Media
MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS (2008–): Franc Roddam, Gregg Wallace, Monica Galetti
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 — PARABELLUM (2019): Chad Stahelski, Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry

Recommendations
HOUSE (2004–12): Greg Yaitanes, Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps
INSOMNIA (2002): Christopher Nolan, Al Pacino, Robin Williams
THE HISTORY BOYS (2006): Alan Bennett, Nicholas Hytner, Richard Griffiths
THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS (1974): Peter Weir, John Meillon, Terry Camilleri
DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD (1991): Stephen Herek, Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy
THE SECRET HISTORY (1992): Donna Tartt

Footnotes
Firstly, here’s Roger Ebert’s rather caustic review of the film: www.rogerebert.com/reviews/dead-poets-society-1989. Then, somewhat in support of this — though not entirely, as we discuss — here are some clips of Robin Williams in full ‘stage comedian’ performance mode (including some full-length shows): www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcnFbCCgTo4, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewtfs-T4aNM, www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0ran3tHy6Q. This is a little more on the subject of Shakespearean tragedy: www.owlcation.com/humanities/Shakespearean-Tragedy-Definition-and-Characteristics-of-Shakespearean-Tragedy. And on the theme of transformation as explored in Midsummer Night’s Dream (for an English teacher, Shmoop is a godsend!): www.shmoop.com/midsummer-nights-dream/transformation-theme.html. Finally, here’s a little something on sequels in high school film; the fact that there are fewer than 10 successful franchises on this list (some of them really don’t count! especially those which are really straightforward re-boots) is telling: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listofteen_films.