Dead Poets Society | Movie Musings

(Moving Musings are some of my thoughts on some of the all-time greats in cinema. I love story and the power that comes with it, so I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about them. Also, there shall be spoilers. If interested in past Movie Musings, just click here!)

Movie-Musings

“Words and ideas can change the world.” Mr. Keating

“What will your verse be?”

Since I’m only three Movie Musing posts in, it’s safe to say all the movies I’ve shared about are all time favorites. Ones I have seen many, many times. I love to watch them with friends, because I like watching epic movies with people I’m fans of.

Except this one.

This one I watch alone.

Why? Because there’s no “blink away tears” kind of crying with this beautiful and powerful film. Nope, it’s more like “commence bawling and messy times two crying.” There’s no in between. I watched this a few weeks after Robin Williams’ tragic death, and y’all, only made it worse.

Yet, I’ll continue to watch it because there is such beauty in this film. In case you aren’t familiar, here’s the trailer:

It’s so beautiful and timeless. It speaks to the heart and our longing for beauty in the world. I love each of the characters (well, except for our buddy who throws Mr. Keating under the bus) so much.

Image Credit: Touchstone Pictures

I love Neil Perry for his passion, even if he crushes my heart with his final decision at the end of the movie.

I love Todd Anderson for being so young and naive, yet brave enough at the end to take a stand.

I love Knox Overstreet and his you-only-live-once approach to love.

I love Charlie Dalton for everything he is.

And I love John Keating because he represents all the teachers in my life who have challenged me, encouraged me and believed in me.

The scene in which you cry your eyes out. Image Credit: Touchstone Pictures

And because this movie is one of the most quotable, I had to share a few:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

“To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here — that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

“There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.”

“When you read, don’t just consider what the author thinks, consider what you think.”

“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”

“Carpe, carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

May we daily live extraordinary lives and to the fullest because of the freedom we have!

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Have y’all seen this masterpiece?

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Gladiator | Moving Musings

(Moving Musings are some of my thoughts on some of the all-time greats in cinema. I love story and the power that comes with it, so I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about them. Also, there shall be spoilers. If interested in past Movie Musings, just click here!)

Movie-Musings

(Before I dive into my discussion I want to say this: I had this post scheduled months ago. The last time I watched Gladiator was for this post and it was when I still lived in Texas. With life, I never got around to posting it until now, so onward).

Gladiator

First things first: Y’all I LOVE this movie. It has all the pieces in a story that captivate my attention. A hero driven by something greater than himself, a purpose, a perfect soundtrack that stirs your heart as soon as you hear it….I just love it. Even the phrase Maximus likes to say is one of my favorites, “Strength and Honor.”

And if you didn’t know, my cat’s name also happens to be Maximus. And this scene? Mic drop.

(This may have also been the recording to my voicemail in my early days of cell phones. I thought I was such a cool college kid in 2000.)

This movie also has one of my favorite all time movie quotes:

“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”

Now onto our main characters: Commodus and Maximus. Of the quote “strength and honor,” one had both, one had neither. One thought it was okay to have a society that fed off of death. How disturbing that a whole culture rejoiced and thrived off of human life fighting to the death for entertainment. The other? He fought to keep the dream of something more beautiful alive; a Republic. A nation for the people.

© 2000 - Dreamworks LLC & Universal Pictures - All Rights Reserved

© 2000 – Dreamworks LLC & Universal Pictures – All Rights Reserved

Also Commodus is ridiculously creepy. Why else didn’t we like him? He was a coward, he cared only for himself, created laws depending on his mood and had little care for the people of Rome, the people he was supposed to be serving.

Yet, on the other hand, soldiers and gladiators alike trusted and followed Maximus, many to death. Why? He had honor, integrity, he put others before himself (and why Marcus Aurelius wanted him Emperor), loved his family and was brave (among other attributes). He was what a leader should be.

© 2000 - Dreamworks LLC & Universal Pictures - All Rights Reserved

© 2000 – Dreamworks LLC & Universal Pictures – All Rights Reserved

What makes a leader? What makes a person the kind of person others will follow?

Furthermore, when I watch this movie, I often ask myself: What will my legacy be? Both Commodus and Maximus left very different legacies. Will I be remembered as one who fought for the people and where I put others before me? Did I give my life and heart to something beyond myself?

Lord, may the answer to that question be yes.

Have y’all seen this movie? Share some of your thoughts!

Shawshank Redemption | Movie Musings

Moving Musings are some of my thoughts from some of the all-time greats in cinema. I love story and the power that comes with it, so I thought it would be fun to occasionally post about them. I have no clue how often I’ll post, because we all know my mind is all over the solar system 98% of the time, but I love an excuse to watch a classic movie (that stirs the heart) and I love writing, so there you go! Also, all of these will have spoilers, so if you haven’t seen these movies, this is your official heads up.

Movie-Musings

“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” Andy in Shawshank Redemption

I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it (which I think was in college). Why is this one of the best? The storyline is incredible, it’s portrayed so well, the ending and the underlining theme of hope. It’s one of Stephen King’s finest (sidenote: how does he write a story like this and then some of the most nightmare-ish horror films?!!).

It’s still one of my favorite movies of all time.

There’s one scene where, after one of their old time buddies, Brooks, kills himself after getting out (he’d been there for decades and wasn’t able to cope with the new outside world), Andy was in the Warden’s office and played music over the speakers that belted it out to the fields and all the inmates. He locked himself in the office, so they had to break down the door to get in, but for a few moments those inmates heard something beautiful. He ended up getting a week in solitary for the act.

When he got out all his buddies asked him why he did it.

Andy: “Hope.”

Red: “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It’s got no use on the inside. You better get used to that idea.”

Andy” “Like Brooks did?”

Red gets up from the table angry. Andy later gives him a harmonica, but that was a profound moment, showing what people can become if they give up on hope. Yet, even with it all Andy never does.

Shawshank-redemption-she-laughs

Later, Andy continues to struggle, especially after his young friend Tommy gets murdered by the Warden because Tommy had the evidence needed to prove Andy was innocent (he was in jail for the murder of his wife and the man she was having an affair with).

Andy gets two months in solitary and after threatening to stop helping the Warden with his shady schemes, the Warden comes back with more death threats on his friends.

He finally gets out and Red immediately knows something is different. Yet, even with that Andy tells Red about Zihuatanejo, the little town he’ll go to when he gets out.

Red tells him to stop with his pipe dream since they aren’t getting out. Andy’s response?

“It comes down to a simple choice really, get busy living or get busy dying.”

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

He makes Red promise him to find the a volcano rock and box in a field. He gives him nothing more than how to find it, but he gets him to promise to find it. Andy does escape in his brilliant dig through the walls scheme and makes it to beautiful Zihuatanejo.

the-shawshank-redemption

A little time later, Red gets paroled after decades locked up. He follows through with Andy’s promise and heads out to Mexico to meet him.

Red’s final quote heading out to Mexico to meet his friend Andy is a perfectly fitting one:
“I hope I can make it across the border.
I hope to see my friend and shake his hand.
I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.
I hope.”

Sidenote: I absolutely love Red’s character. It helps that Morgan Freeman portrayed him masterfully, but the character himself is great and I love him as the narrator.

“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.”

While I know this story wasn’t written with the Gospel in mind, I love that a story will still draw you to THE Story our hearts are all longing for and the HOPE we have in that.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

Hope is a beautiful beautiful thing friends.

Have y’all seen this movie?