Monday, August 11, 2014

The Death of Robin Williams

I can't remember feeling quite this shocked and devastated by an actor's death. Robin Williams was many, many things, and many, many people have mentioned his struggles/torments/demons (however they choose to put it). I'm blown away by his talent and have always admired him for how much he gave in his performances and creativity. His internal battles were tragic. His life's work was astounding. 

By singling out one performance, I don't want to imply that any others are less valuable or less of an achievement. But I will testify that Dead Poets Society is probably the #1 essential movie of my lifetime. I routinely put it in my Top All-Time Films list, and I have often mentioned my Life Arc Trilogy that I feel explains me better than I could myself: Dead Poets Society-Dolores Claiborne-The Hours, in that order. Today, thinking about Robin Williams' death, I realized that Dead Poets Society is for me the most essential film, the one I can't give up. If there were any other film, even one of my favorites, that you wanted to take away, but I could keep all the other films in existence, I could conceivably make that trade--OK, you can have this one as a price for all the other films of the world ever. But after Dead Poets Society, for me, there can be no going back. Even for everything else out there, I couldn't give it up. 

Remember the ending where, amid shouts of, "Sit down Mr. Anderson! I'm warning you!" he just stands there in the doorway, a face full of realization? And then he speaks the last line. 

Thank you, Robin Williams. Thank you.

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