To Robin Williams, who made us laugh and inspired a generation with one scene (here) in Dead Poets Society (1989), I am so sad that he is gone.
I have mentioned that carpe diem scene, sentiment and stars many times on this blog: here, here, here, here and here. That speech is one of the reasons this blog exists. You only have so much time in your life; if you have something to say, you had better say it. I have thought about Dead Poets Society for years. With that role, Williams showed his insight, depth and versatility as an actor. He went on to play other characters who grappled with social alienation (The Fisher King, Good Will Hunting, One Hour Photo).
Dead Poets Society asked a question about how the individual can find validation in a world of conflicting values, while struggling with conformity and non-conformity, the pressurized demands for achievement, the futile sense that time is always running out, and a final, redemptive creativity: "Only in their dreams can men be truly free. 'Twas always thus, and always thus will be."