THE DEAD POET’S SOCIETY?

Dead Poets Society

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The way in which we consume wall to wall news of famous people’s deaths is bizarre. The furnaces of the media burn ferociously with the news of a star’s death and only grow hotter with the arrival of a witch-hunt of a possible celebrity paedophile. Otherwise the storm of hand wringing and endless tributes normally continues unabated and then immediately stops when the next celebrity departs from Platform 7. Somewhat wistfully, I often imagine or hope that a few simpatico right minded souls have met up and formed Dead Poets Anonymous and are meeting regularly in a centrally heated cave somewhere beautiful in the after life.

My imagined membership consists of three actors and a writer whom I greatly admired. Robin Williams, Bob Hoskins, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sue Townsend.

Robin Williams’ performance in Dead Poets Society as the English teacher who inspires a group of adolescent boys to become excited about poetry is perhaps my favourite film of his, closely followed by Goodwill Hunting and Good Morning Vietnam. Not forgetting his two hour stand up performance in Live in San Fransisco. A brave and talented actor and human being who was unafraid of taking risks. I think he would get on well with the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, talking about Boogie Nights, Capote, Doubt and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. And of course Bob Hoskins and reminiscing about the Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa. And without doubt all three of them equally being kept in order and led astray by Sue Townsend, maverick and brave true original who created Adrian Mole. I think they would all keep each other’s demons at bay and have enormous fun. There might be a good stage play in it, called The Really Dead Poets Society. Whatever, I salute you one and all.

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