Key Scene Analysis of Dead Poets Society

Key Scene Analysis – Dead Poet’s Society

Throughout the 1989 Peter Weir film ‘Dead Poet’s Society’, a number of key scenes are shown with the use of camera angles, lighting and music, all which help to set the scene of the movie. The scene I have chosen is ‘Todd’s First Poetry Lesson’

Weir uses a variety of camera angles to display specific points and messages in the scene.
The first is a high angled shot from the perspective of Mr. Keating. The second is the circling camera angle of Todd.
The high angle shot of Mr. Keating shows the viewer a perspective shot from Mr. Keating’s point of view. This shot shows Mr. Keating standing tall over Todd and giving emphasis that he is the teacher, and Todd is the student. In the sequence where the camera is rapidly circling Todd, Mr. Keating is trying to force the she youth to come out of his shell and improvise poetry. The circling image gives the effect that Todd is transforming, and creating poetry and this symbolizes that Keating is influencing him. This scene shows the students and Todd breaking the traditional barriers and foundations of the school.

The music and sound effects in this scene are different to the somewhat ambient and flowing music of other scenes.
The music changes from when Todd is standing in front of the class, to when the camera is circling him.
When the music is silent, we see Keating trying to force Todd into coming out of his shell and screaming a ‘barbaric yawp’. The music abruptly changes and when see the camera circling Todd. The music goes from a silence which places emphasis on the conversation, to fast and high tempo placing prominence on the transformation of Todd.

The lighting in this scene is very conventional, with the use of everyday classroom lighting. However, this gives the feeling that once again, they are breaking away from the traditional, old and dreary class, and forming into a group of free thinkers, which is the main endeavor of Mr. Keating.

There are some...