I was on twitter after the news broke and I was fine until someone tweeted “Oh Captain my Captain” and I started crying on the train, which was awkward.
Robin Williams is dead, and at first everyone thought it was a hoax, because he can’t die! That’s ridiculous! It’s Robin Williams! He will live forever because he is our childhood!
So I was reading this review of Dead Poet’s Society and the reviewer hit the nail on the head:
“It is not a film that it is cool to admit loving. It is uncynical, idealistic and hopeful – not qualities one necessarily associates with film snobs, but what it lacks in critical kudos it has recouped in audience appreciation.”
Why is it that those qualities – idealism, hope, a lack of cynicism – are considered to be so uncool? I mean, what’s wrong with them? Why are they so undervalued?
As a testament to my personal lack of cool, I’ve realised that every single one of my favourite movies has exactly these qualities to a greater or lesser (but mostly greater) extent. Examples:
Love Actually: love actually is all around.
American Beauty: there is beauty in everything.
V for Vendetta: ideas are bullet-proof.
Life as a House: you can knock down your old life and build a new one.
… etc, etc.
So yes, I will love these movies. Yes, I will hold to these uncool ideas. I will Carpe that fucking Diem. I will cry in the cinema. I will be starry-eyed and stupid. And damnit, I will miss Robin Williams.
The reviewer gets it right again when he points out: “This is not a film, ultimately, about school or poetry or teaching: it is about death.”
And more specifically, about how precious life is in the face of our limited time with it.Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.