Transcript: Dead Poets Society (1989)

26 min readJan 10, 2022

Transcript of 70mm’s Dead Poets Society (1989) Episode.

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I sit down to talk about recently watched movies with my dear friend and artist Danny Haas.

DANNY Every time Russell Crowe is on the screen, I physically can’t watch him on screen in this film. It’s the most cringe thing I think I’ve seen in cinema.

SLIM And our spiritual advisor, Protolexus.

PROTO Robert Downey Jr. — the wardrobe is despicable.

SLIM Later this episode we talk about Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. Does Robin warm our hearts as he attempts to change students lives? Or is this a bit dated after all these years? We’ll find out… together.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM Can we talk about Iron Man real quick? [Danny & Slim laugh] Protolexus, our spiritual advisor for this podcast, we look to him for guidance in these very difficult times that we’re in. And I saw you log a movie, the OG Iron Man. What’s happening in the Protolexus household? What is going on?

DANNY Why was this picked?

PROTO Am I doing some research? Am I going back?

DANNY Are you?

PROTO Back in history?

SLIM If you do the entire MCU catalog, I’m gonna lose it.

PROTO No, no.

DANNY I’d lose my mind.

PROTO It’s much simpler than that. My son he has he has discovered the Avengers but he doesn’t know why. He knows this name Avengers, these characters, but he has no idea who they are. He sees them in like Roblox or whatever. So he’s into it. Like he’s like, What are these characters? So I thought I if I had to pick a Marvel movie. Uh, I mean, it’s the first one. And it’s one that I remember liking. Why not watch it with him? Probably shouldn’t have watched it with him. It’s like one of those parenting moves where you’re like, hmm, probably should have waited on this one. But you live and learn. I don’t know which ones I should watch. But we watched it and had a good time. Do you remember this movie? The first 40 minutes he’s in that cave?

SLIM He’s building the suit.

PROTO This is an origin story, okay? [Slim & Proto laugh] This is a lot of fun. I have vivid memories of seeing this in the theater. But Robert Downey Jr. —

SLIM Talk about the wardrobe.

PROTO The wardrobe is despicable. [Slim laughs] The clothes that he’s wearing, the sunglasses he has. He just walked out of Forever 21 with these sunglasses from 20 years ago. [Danny laughs] I’m sorry but they don’t work.

DANNY They also never changed. They kept it all the way through Endgame.

SLIM We also, we uncovered something. Maybe it was just me —

PROTO I was on the lookout. When we were talking about the pants.

SLIM The pants. Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. I don’t know what his thing is. But he loves wearing baggy pants. He always is wearing baggy pants. Did you see it in this movie? Did it make itself apparent for the first time yet?

PROTO That’s the thing. I did not see it here. It is a layered development. Have we pinpointed the first origin of the baggy pants?

SLIM Maybe it’s the Avengers movie. Maybe that’s when it kicks off. It’s like JNCOs, he wears suit JNCOs.

PROTO So this is the prequels for the pants. [Slim & Proto laugh]

SLIM Let me let me check out Proto’s review here. Only four likes, so I think he might have ruffled some Marvel feathers with this one. Otherwise this would have been sky high. H&M special for this one. Gweneth Paltrow wildling around half the movie in heels. Never have I ever, but it was a different time and I feel for her. [Danny & Slim laugh] Are you going to continue? Is there any chance you’re going to do Iron Man 2?

PROTO Probably not Iron Man 2. I’m thinking go to the man himself Captain America. If my arm is twisted, you know, that’s where I gotta go.

DANNY Oh my.

SLIM I just have to read this art comment after the Robert Downey Jr. wardrobe talk. Quote from Art in chat. I’d rather meet Proto nude then in clothes then have my wardrobe assessed. [Proto & Danny laugh]

PROTO It was interesting seeing Jon Favreau in this movie as well.

SLIM Favs.

PROTO Knowing where he is now.

SLIM The creator of the modern Marvel U himself. We should say hello to some new patrons that joined us.

PROTO Please.

SLIM This week. Jadakiss says it’s in 4K. Every week, we talk about making new friends on Patreon, you can join our Discord, VHS Village, get discounts on prints, uncut eps and 22 episodes in the 70mm vault. Kinky Boots just got added. We had a big week. Brad, Brianna, Thomas, Ben, Sam, Tripp, Mattis, Lilsizzle, Miles, Philip, Benjamin, Eric, Josh and Greg all joined in the last week.

DANNY My goodness.

SLIM Holy smokes.


SLIM And yeah and Megan points that I released the reward the goal for 250 patrons which was Proto singing the Halloween John Carpenter theme song, put that in Discord. So feel free to make that your ringtone at any point if you so desire. And I didn’t share other ones, but this was I think these were just DMS, but I found some other archives of Proto singing in my database.

PROTO Oh yeah.

SLIM So maybe stay tuned.

DANNY Stay tuned.

SLIM Maybe they’ll get dropped in the Discord.

PROTO I enjoy singing. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Danny, did you watch any movies this week?

DANNY I did. Let’s just jump right into one real quick.

SLIM Oh my.

DANNY 2016 Ghostbusters.

PROTO Oh yeah.

SLIM We chose violence this episode.

DANNY Listen. I’ve talked past, I’m a new fan of the Ghostbusters franchise. Love the new movie. Love the first movie. Enjoy the second one. I read the reviews. I know people don’t like this movie. But also people don’t like the second Ghostbusters as much as the first so I just assumed it was probably fanboys. I’m used to them being in the Star Wars fanboys.

SLIM Get ’em outta here. Let me just make a statement right now, if you’re a toxic fanboy, and you’re listening to this podcast right now, unsub. I want you gone. Continue.

DANNY The toxicity of our city.

PROTO The toxicity.

DANNY This movie sucks. And I feel bad because I do like the actresses in this film.

SLIM Amazing cast.

DANNY The writing is so bad. Like it’s bad, bad. And like I couldn’t get over it. I’m watching these jokes that I have that these women have made me laugh, belly laughed in the past, and I’m watching them deliver jokes that are just flops and I’m so confused by this movie.

SLIM The Paul Feig as the director, he was the co-writer in this movie. Also wrote —

PROTO Is this a remake?

DANNY No, well, yeah, I don’t —

PROTO How could it be so bad?

SLIM What I’m trying to say, he also wrote Spy starring Melissa McCarthy.

PROTO That’s a Steve Carell movie. [Slim laughs]

SLIM No it’s not! Yeah, I agree that it’s not a great movie. What sucks is the movie came out, all these nerd-lingers took a hot S on it before it even was released because it was ‘Oh, the girls are being Ghostbusters, I don’t like this.’ And then I sat down to watch it. And I didn’t love it. And that even sucks even more because now I’m like well, you know, now I’m in a group I want to keep my mouth shut because I actually didn’t like it. But I don’t want to be looped in with those toxic losers. It just felt like there was too much improv. Like writing in that was like left in the movie. And someone should have been like editing the movie and be like, and yeah, this improv is fun and all but like some of the stuff just isn’t that funny. And like maybe we should cut it.

DANNY Or it was just bad writing. Like it was like all over the place. Like I was baffled by — I don’t know it just to also try hard. Like it was trying too hard to not. I don’t think it knew what to want it to be. Is it a comedy? Is it paranormal? Like nothing felt right about this film.

PROTO Was there no ghosts?

DANNY There are ghosts, but I don’t know.

SLIM Marcie says she has a hot take on Kristen Wiig.

PROTO Take it.


SLIM Marcie, the floor is yours in chat.

DANNY We’ll wait. We’re recording, but we’ll wait. Go ahead.

SLIM Art also suggests what remaining council member can I bribe to pick Iron Man 1?

DANNY Her hot take is she’s not funny.

SLIM Oh my goodness.

PROTO She’s not funny?

DANNY Let me move on to another movie that I watched. Les Miserables.

SLIM You watched that this week? Didn’t you watch it a month ago?

PROTO Yes. I want to bring this up.

DANNY I really love this movie. But gosh, every time Hugh and the other guy is on screen — Russell. I hate it so much. They are so bad at singing. And I can’t get over it. Every time Russell Crowe is on the screen, I have to turn away. I can’t watch it. I physically can’t watch him on screen in this film. It’s the most cringe thing I think I’ve seen in cinema. [Proto laughs]

PROTO How was he pitched for this role? It’s insane!

DANNY I don’t know how he was picked for this role!

PROTO And why couldn’t Hugh Jackman have a barber? Why does he look like Krusty the Clown in this movie? [Danny laughs] It’s insane.

DANNY I can’t get over it! That’s the thing. So Casey in chat says Hugh Jackman is not bad at singing. I don’t think he’s bad at singing. But in this film, I can’t — I don’t know. It’s like he can’t keep up with the words that he’s trying to spit out of his mouth. I can’t — the two of them in this — it’s hard to watch.

PROTO But the Anne Hathaway scene. It’s all worth it.

DANNY Ohhhh, Anne.

PROTO Oh my god, hallelujah!

DANNY Oh my goodness.

PROTO That’s a top 10 cinema moment. I’ll tell you right now.

DANNY I mean, she won an Oscar for it. Please.

SLIM I have not seen Les Mis. I don’t have any comment to make on this movie or production.

DANNY That’s about it. I watched Brother Bear, another five star Disney movie. [Proto & Danny laugh]

SLIM You’re always banging the Brother Bear drum.

DANNY I’m banging the drum.

PROTO How many times have I heard that drum?

DANNY I know.

SLIM When are you gonna choose it for this podcast? When are you gonna settle the score?

DANNY My heart cannot take the two of you watching Brother Bear with me. I don’t know if I could do it.

SLIM Who did the music? Is that Paul Simon?

PROTO Are we doing a watch-along of Brother Bear? All of our watch-alongs should be movies that Danny loves that we just shred the whole time. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Let’s see. We need to give away our free year of Letterboxd Pro. Every week we give a free year of Letterboxd Pro for someone who shares the show on social media so you get no third party ads when you’re a Pro member of Letterbox to get personalized annual and all time stats, sort by where your movies are streaming on Letterboxd. This week’s winner, who recently discovered the show Liam Doyle on Twitter.

PROTO Oh yeah.

SLIM Free year Letterboxd Pro.

PROTO Liam, thank you.

SLIM And then I guess we should probably mention at some point, you know, we mentioned it last week in the Discord, private announcement, that as of the end of January I will be officially a full time employee at Letterboxd. Joining the team.

DANNY My gosh, there it is.

SLIM Long time coming, very excited. So now I’ll have to add a disclaimer of some kind to the segment of the show. Very excited for the new year to kick off.

DANNY My gosh, congrats.

PROTO Are you kidding me?

SLIM Thank you very much.

DANNY We did it.

PROTO This is the moment.

DANNY It’s all been leading to this.

PROTO This is the moment that this is all been leading to.

SLIM Should I talk about a movie before we get into Dead Poets?

PROTO Please.

SLIM Let’s see, I’m watching the clock here. Maybe we need to get into some positivity somewhere on this podcast about a movie.

DANNY No one’s been negative yet.

SLIM Proto, what were you about to say? Did you have something in mind?

PROTO Dive My Car! I’ve heard so much about this! What’s the deal with this?

SLIM Drive My Car.

PROTO Is the hype real?

SLIM You heard about this movie?

PROTO I’ve heard about this movie. This is hyped!

PROTO I think this is the number four movie or number five movie of the year on Letterboxd. And so there was a lot of buzz about this, you know, Drive My Car 2021 I believe it has the same writer and I’ll get fact check in chat of the movie Burning, which I am greatly enjoyed. And this is three hours long this movie. First of all, just set the stage. I knew I had to weasel this movie in before we recorded the Year In Review Letterboxd episode. So I got up at 7am to fire this bad boy up.

DANNY My goodness.

SLIM And then I tried watching it with Amanda. And then I looked at the runtime and I was like, nerp, we’re not doing this. So Drive My Car is about a stage actor director who is coping with the loss of his wife. And he takes a job to put on a stage play at a theater in Hiroshima. And he meets a young woman who is assigned to be his driver because they have like an insurance policy in place where he’s not allowed to drive. But he gets his inspiration. He learns his lines, and envisions the play as he drives. So he has kind of like a disconnect in agreeing to this proposition. But there’s also a backstory for this young driver that potentially mirrors his own life. And he casts someone in the show that is potentially related to his wife in the past. And it is I’m trying to think of how to describe this movie. It’s one of those things that I would describe as a film and not a movie, you know one of those capital F Films.

PROTO Ohhh. Capital F. [Slim laughs]

SLIM I enjoyed it. I didn’t love it. I gave it three and a half stars. But I was glad to experience it. But with that said, it’s 4.2 average on Letterboxd and everyone else that I found letterbox should have seen it and has it like four and a half stars, five stars.

PROTO Oh, you were right about Power of the Dog.

SLIM Oh, that’s right! I wanted to talk to you about Power of the Dog.

PROTO We’ve both seen that now. That’s a great flick. Man. I’m so glad I watched that. You know what I didn’t hear anyone talking about really is the sound design. Man. It sounded so good.

SLIM Sounded real good.

PROTO Oh, my God.

SLIM Same guy who did Spencer I think.

PROTO Yeah, that Jane Campion. I want to watch more of her movies now. Gotta do one on the pod. It’s gonna happen. It has to be done!

SLIM How about that scene with the hand in the barn? Are you kidding me?

DANNY Excuse me?

PROTO Did you see the trailer for this?


PROTO Okay, so I felt like watching. I feel like the trailer kind of gave the story of this away a little bit. I wish I didn’t see it. I feel it would have been so much better if I didn’t see the trailer. Because it kinda like gives you hints of everything in it. And it kind of spoils it. Benedict Cumberbatch is so — man it really is his best performance. He’s so different in it than anything else. He almost seems like he’s like, he’s too small for it like he should this guy should have been like six six or something. He kind of looks like the clothes are too big for just like his frame. So there’s something funny about him. But it kind of makes sense for the character to maybe like I wonder if you read the book if it’s like that. But man, those characters are so good. I feel like that’s some of the best storytelling I’ve seen in a movie in a really long time.

DANNY My goodness.

SLIM There’s some comments about Dr. Strange in chat. It just makes me like also, like I’m on record. I don’t like congratulate Dr. Strange, but it just makes the casting look even more wrong. In my opinion. Like, I wish he didn’t sign up for Dr. Strange because I feel like it’s not his best.

DANNY I blame the writing.

SLIM We should get into the Dead Poets Society.

PROTO Let’s get into it.

SLIM Main course this evening. Feature prezzo. This is Danny’s pick for no theme month. Anything goes. You pick it. We watch it and Dead Poets Society was Danny’s pick. Proto, are you ready to explain what this movie is? Set the stage for this conversation?

PROTO Yes. It’s a new school year at Welton Academy, an elite all boys prep school in Vermont. Todd Anderson is new to the academy but is quickly befriended by his roommate, Neil and his crew. They have a new English teacher, a Welton alum John Keating, played by Robin Williams, who uses unorthodox teaching methods that has the stuffy faculty scratching their heads. The boys are inspired by his proclamation to seize the day and through the poetry that they read. They uncover a secret club that Keaton founded during his time at Walton and seek to revive it. Under the cover of the dark, they sneak into the woods to a cave to invoke the sacred words and awake the Dead Poets Society.

PROTO DPS for short.

SLIM Have you ever been in a secret society, Proto?

DANNY Can’t talk about that.

PROTO Yeah, when I was young me and my buddies, we had a we had something called the Brotherhood had a bunch of rules. You had to follow the get into it, kept a lot of people out. But the was supply was so low that the demand was great to get in. So it worked out great. That’s all you really need to do.

SLIM Danny, why did you pick this movie for us?

DANNY Well, since we had no themes, one of the things I wanted to set for myself was to pick a movie that I hadn’t seen and that Letterboxd receipts told me that you guys hadn’t checked out. And because I wanted to, you know, experience a new movie with you guys. I love that part of our gig. And this movie eluded me because I feel like I get this mixed up with Good Will Hunting. But I also get Good Will Hunting mixed up with Beautiful Mind. And so I’m not terribly sure which of the three movies I have seen. So, watching this, I definitely have not seen Dead Poets Society.

PROTO That’s a great trilogy. [Proto & Danny laugh] Those three movies together.

SLIM Struggling young males student trilogy.

DANNY So yeah, this is definitely one where I’ve seen the VHS a lot.

SLIM Famous poster.

DANNY Yeah being carried through. It’s gorgeous. And yeah, that’s why I picked it.

SLIM Proto, do you have any backstory with this movie by any chance?

PROTO My backstory is this, yeah, this covers so iconic to me. I remember seeing this every time I went into Blockbuster, like it caught my eye for whatever reason, like I just remember seeing this so many times this movie, but never seeing and I feel like I should have. Like this is such a movie of that era that I should have been watching like the way I watched like Little Women or just like movies from the 90s over and over again. This feels like one of those movies. Like I should have had this.

SLIM So Danny, why don’t you start us off with one of your top three notes for this viewing of Dead Poets Society?

DANNY My number one is Robin Williams is magical. I can’t get over this man in this film. When I think of Robin I think of comedy. He’s made me laugh I feel like my entire childhood. Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Aladdin. So when I think of Robin, I think of comedy, just straight up laughs all the time. But every inch, like every second of him in this movie is serious. And I love Robin in a serious role because he’s so talented. He’s disgustingly talented. And I kept thinking of the word magical, every time he’s on the screen, when he’s interacting with either the whole class or one-on-one with Neil or Todd. And it hurts how good he is and it hurts that he’s no longer with us. Because I feel like old Robin could be just pulling out some amazing performances nowadays.

[clip of Dead Poets Society plays]

SLIM Can you imagine a 70mm Hook episode?

DANNY I don’t want to talk about that right now.

SLIM Can you imagine it?

PROTO You’re so right though. The way he emotes is so genuine and feel so real. Like he really is incredible in like these tender moments. Just like playing that role. Yeah, it’s like inspiring. It l made me wish like, man, I wish I knew somebody at this age like this guy. Changing the way you see life was amazing the way he portrayed that.

DANNY It made me wish to have had a teacher like this, because I had amazing art teachers in high school. But to have someone very passionate about what they’re teaching you and not only, like passionate about the subject, but passionate about you. Making you passionate about it as well. Like, that’s really what like he talks about how he just loves teaching. And so it just made me kind of wish or longed for something like that. When I was a kid.

SLIM Should we become teachers? Should we file the paperwork right now? Do we need to change some young people’s lives?

DANNY We’re trying.

SLIM Is this what it takes?

PROTO Feels like everyone should teach in some capacity. Like why not? We all have something, you know, you could teach like podcasting, art, like you could teach somebody how to do that.

SLIM I’m gonna sign off on my local community college, learn how to podcast, Tuesday nights 9pm.

PROTO Dude, you would change lives.

SLIM That actually sounds pretty fun. [Slim & Proto laugh]

PROTO That would be awesome.

SLIM I agree, Robin Williams, it was a lot of fun to see him in this role. Kev says limit the Learning Annex. [Slim & Danny laugh] I need to get a blazer of some elbow pads stat. Yeah, I had never seen this movie. I think I’ve seen parts of it before when I was younger, but it was a lot of fun to see him in a different kind of role. I don’t even know if I’ve ever seen Good Will Hunting now that you mentioned it.

DANNY Right? I can’t remember these movies.

SLIM I’ve seen GIFs, but that’s it. And please, you know, please don’t write a negative iTunes review. You know, I didn’t see Good Will Hunting. We’ll get through this together. This is how we learn. This is how we grow as people.

DANNY He knew we had a podcast to make.

SLIM I’m at the Annex. I don’t have time to watch Good Will Hunting. I’m trying to teach these kids and adults if they so choose. One note, imagine taking Latin.

DANNY No. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM I mean, God what a bygone era. Latin class. And it’s just brutal. It’s like cursive. Do people still learn cursive in school? I have no idea. We got plenty of teachers in our Discord that can help me out here.

PROTO Raw memorization like that in a class, sends a shiver down your spine. Just having to memorize stuff, you have no idea what it is.

SLIM Traynor in chat, dead language society more like. [Proto laughs] And also, similarly to that comment, the mental disconnect that I have with poetry in 2022. And this is probably more reflection on me. Maybe. But, you know, poetry is not in the mainstream. Was it ever in the mainstream? Like, in modern society? Maybe when this movie came out? I don’t know. I just feel like so disconnected with how I live my life on, you know, movies, Twitter, Instagram, like, I don’t know, maybe I just, I’m not forced to read poetry. So it’s just kind of out of my life. Proto, what do you think?

PROTO I feel like you almost have to be trained in it to be like to appreciate it and like normal, like, most people aren’t trained how to read poetry. Like to know how to appreciate it, it takes a lot of work. It’s it’s so much harder than any other kind of art form. Like you can pick them and read in a book and it’s just your imagination, music, movies, like it comes so naturally, but poetry the way it’s written, it’s it’s hard to make know how to make any sense of it. Like the people I know who’ve read poetry, they love it. Like, you know, you can love anything. But yeah, it just, it takes like a level of interest and training, I feel like to know, like, I haven’t read poetry in over like, probably seriously in over like 10 years. So it’s like a thing that was in college, but even now, it’s just, it’s out of sight for me.

DANNY I mean, they’ve improved that point in this movie, where they rip out the introduction to the book, where that’s just trying to apply rules to how to read poetry. And it’s fascinating.

SLIM So Proto, what’s first on your list if we didn’t cover it already?

PROTO The boarding school life. I just can’t imagine going to a boarding school like this. This, in a lot of ways, this seems like amazing. If I was in high school, going to a boarding school like this, the whole dormitory thing. And like just living with bros. Oh my god, in high school? Like this would be this feels like this would be so much fun in some ways. But I have like no frame of reference for this. Like, I’ve never even met anybody who went to a boarding school like this.

DANNY It’s really funny. I felt the same way. And also to the point where I don’t believe they exist. I feel like this stuff’s made up for movies. It’s fascinating. I don’t know anyone that’s ever been to a boarding school and every time I see it, I’m like, this isn’t real. This is like anti-Hogwarts.

SLIM How did they get anything done? High School me in a boarding school, like which is like a college, a high school college. I couldn’t get anything done. I’d be getting paddled by the principal for not getting anything done. That scene was brutal when they punish that one student.

PROTO Oh gosh.

DANNY My word. He was enjoying it too. [Slim laughs]

SLIM The teacher?

DANNY Sorry. [Danny laughs]

SLIM I just did a triple take after that comment. Any school that does that stuff just absolutely brutal. I think I remember getting hit on the arm with like a ruler from a nun in my Catholic High School. I’ve had an eraser thrown on my head by a nun when I pushed it a little too far. [Slim laughs] I think it’s Danny’s turn or was your boarding school comment your numer two?

DANNY No, no, no. I’m Robert Shawn Leonard as Neil Perry. He almost steals the show from Robin. I think he’s amazing in this film. And it’s funny when I look at this cast, everyone seems familiar. But no one is relevant to me anymore. It’s really funny. I feel like I know these are placed these people from somewhere and I can’t figure it out besides Ethan Hawke. But I love Neil in this. His journey in this film is incredible. And to watch him, you know, have to navigate his passion for acting. A teacher who is inspiring him like Robin is or Keating, and then to have to deal with his father, who is projecting his past onto Neil, in a way that is damaging for Neil. So I really loved his story arc in this and I think Robert is amazing. I mean, he’s an amazing actor and I don’t think he’s in — I’d had to look it up. He’s in like House, like a ton of House. I never watched House. But I just feel like this guy should have had a huge career. He reminded me of like Billy Campbell, The Rocketeer or something. I just love Neil in this film.

SLIM Yeah, I loved his dad, to be honest. I love Kurtwood Smith. I didn’t know he was in this movie. So when he appeared on screen, I was like, oh, Clarence Boddicker from Robocop is in this. Sweet. And he also still plays kind of like a mean person. His first scene as his dad, he seems like completely strict and kind of like a jerk off. And then he, like, you know, cools down and talks to Neil about how like important this is, you know? And then I’m like, oh, maybe it’s not a real bad guy in this movie.

[clip of Dead Poets Society plays]

SLIM But then, as you like that scene later in the movie, where he’s watching the play that Neil really wants to do. And the play is like kicks off everything in this movie, Robin suggests to him like talk to your father about you wanting to do this play. I think if you really just have a sit down conversation with him and tell him I feel, you know, that’s all you should do. That’s all you can do. And he lies to Robin and told him he did have that conversation. I can do the play. He’s let me do it. Wrong. He does the play, his dad shows up. And the stare that his dad gives him during that entire play. Are you kidding me?

DANNY You know what’s funny is, I believe the lie.

SLIM You believe he did tell him?

DANNY I did. I was Robin in that scenario. I when he said that he talked to him. I didn’t catch it to me. He was telling the truth to a degree. And then when his dad shows up to the play, I was like, oh, man, this is gonna be a touching moment. I was really like, he’s gonna see his son. He’s gonna see his passion. He’s gonna see his talent. And they’re gonna have a moment. And when he makes eye contact behind the curtain before he has this last kind of thing, his last kind of performances Puck. I felt it. I was like, oh, no, i How’s it oh, oh, shit. I’m wrong. He didn’t tell his dad, his dad’s pissed. And then it felt like his monologue that Puck gives for Midsummer Night was like, directed directly at his father. And it is I was like, oh, no, this is not good. And it was incredible.

SLIM Yeah, I had forgotten or had no idea at this point how this movie was going to go and then I started to kind of like, have a vague recollection. I was like, oh, god, what does Neil do after this? So no. And the you have that guy, he has a conversation with his parents. They tell him it’s over. He’s getting kicked out of the school. He’s going to military school. And you know, this was real life I feel like in the 50s. You know, and it’s probably not probably about like real life for many people. Now, maybe not military school, but there’s, you know, similar analog conversations happening, but it’s so Neil goes home in this long drawn out scene, and he commits suicide after having this conversation with his parents. And, I mean, how about that scene where they walk in the room, the parents, oh my god.

PROTO It’s pretty strong.

SLIM It is a brutal scene.

DANNY It’s a lot.

SLIM Cripes.

DANNY And I actually, if I can be honest.

SLIM Please.

DANNY I don’t feel like the suicide scene was earned in a way. Like suicide is a very — I just, I feel like you would have seen this kind of —

SLIM Signs?

DANNY Signs in Neil. And I don’t know that, all of a sudden happens, like I wasn’t expecting a suicide. And when his dad sets up from hearing the noise, but you don’t hear the gunshot, I actually, it’s kind of like that, because it kind of led to the moment. But I didn’t feel sad. Like I like as much as I love Neil throughout this film, and as much as I kind of not connected with him, but I understood his journey. I don’t know that I felt kind of, I don’t know, jaded towards the suicide ending. I didn’t like it very much.

SLIM To play devil’s advocate, could you say that, when people do commit suicide, a lot of people do say like, oh, I didn’t even know, he was so happy go lucky.

DANNY No, yeah. And I get that. But I feel like us watching from the outside in, some sort of signs, but I don’t know. I mean, a lot of the ending felt like a metaphor a bit to a degree. Puck when he’s in his window, wearing the crown for the last time, opening it up feeling the cold. I felt like a lot of it was a little bit just kind of more metaphorical than meaning to be literal, even though it is a literal happening, but I don’t know.

SLIM Proto, what did you think of that scene?

PROTO Yeah, I felt like this movie, it felt like Little Women 1993 like at the beginning. And then like at the end there, it felt like the tone of it switched to, I don’t know, something different, like Gettysburg, or something. Too forward for where the movie was like leading up. I have like a bigger problem with like, the way the movie felt like where it was going. And then like the have this, because like the story, it felt like the story is mostly structured as like vignettes of all these characters being affected by Robin Williams, Keaton, and how that’s like, affecting their lives. I feel like the payoff should have been something with Ethan Hawke. Like, I feel like he never really had his moment. Like there’s the scene where they’re in the classroom, him and Keaton, and he gets him to come up. He didn’t write the poem. And he has that moment where like, comes out of him. He’s like the actual poet in the group. But he hasn’t like come out yet. But I felt like that was like where the movie should have been leading to. But it takes this left turn into being about Neil. It just doesn’t feel, it didn’t feel satisfying for the the flow of the story for me.

SLIM Yeah, there was a couple comments or maybe there at least one about how Ethan Hawke’s character maybe was more realistically in trouble by the end of this movie, like, you know, this, you know, he’s shy. He keeps himself he’s an introvert and things like that. But yeah, I was some reviews that I saw, I think in the Village pointed out how like, the movie became almost too much about Robin Williams, at the end, where it should have been about Neil and like the fallout of what happened to Neil, you know? And like what caused it as opposed to the students supporting Robin Williams. The one scene that was more brutal to me than the suicide on this viewing was there’s one character I can’t remember the character’s name, but the one who’s trying to go out with this one girl, he’s like, in love with this student. Knox. So Knox goes to this party. He drinks with the jocks. And the girl he’s in love with his past out next to him. And he leans over and kisses her while she’s passed out. I was so revolted by this scene, I could not believe that I like was not seeing it in reviews. Like I was like, you know, looking left to right, I was like, in 2022 and I’m not trying to defend the scene, but like in 2022, this is like the most revolting scene the whole movie for me in. Whenever this movie came out, it’s probably like in adorable moment where he is Carpe Diem-ing in that party, but yeah, this this scene in my opinion, just does not hold up at all. And funnily enough, I was with the jocks, I was like, yes, beat the shit out of this kid for kissing her while she’s passed out. I was like hell yeah, destroy him right now!

PROTO If this kid from a prep school came to my party, kissing my girl at my at my house. This kid is dead. [Slim laughs] I’d bury him in the backyard.

SLIM He would not be walking home. He would be crawling home, his legs will be broken. Oh boy. Let’s see, Proto, what else is in in your list? I think we’re at number two or three.

PROTO Let’s see. Um yeah like the vignettes. I love this stuff with the club, with the Dead Poets Society. Going out there, like those scenes were really great to me. Oh, the scene that I love the best scene of the movie to me is when they’re in their dorm room and Neil grabs his notebook and they’re running around and like the cameras in the middle of the room and it goes around like four or five different times and they’re all in there. It’s a really beautiful scene. Some of the just the way that was just shot I really enjoy Peter Weir. Is that his name? Peter Weir? The director? Yeah just like his style. I feel like it feels so of the time but in some way it’s like very comforting watching this just the way the movie looks

SLIM Yeah, there are some some reviews I think in a Discord called out how the like this felt like an older movie or like the style is not really present today. But I enjoyed the style. It did feel dated, but you know, just feels like a timeframe of movies that I really enjoy going back to.

DANNY Yeah, it felt like 1989.

SLIM Proto, you haven’t seen Master and Commander, right? Or have you?

PROTO I have but it’s been a long time.

DANNY I have not.

PROTO Is that your pick? [Slim laughs] Wow.

DANNY Amazing.

PROTO After those Russell Crowe comments from earlier.

SLIM I need to avenge the Russell Crowe fans and choose that movie. Let’s see. We just gave my number two. Danny, what’s left on your list?




A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.