Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams: 1951-2014

The first movie of Robin Williams I ever watched was Popeye the Sailor Man. I remember I went with my elementary school English teacher, alongside two boys. And to this day I remember the occasion poignantly, because, first, I absolutely loved the movie (the transliteration of the cartoon into living, breathing beings, that wonderful Robin logo-diarrhea catching me like fly paper does to flies) and, secondly, it was the first time ever I got teased on my growing breasts. Yup, I as growing breasts early on, don't ask.

In 1989 Dead Poets Society (another formative moment in my timeline) was everything I aspired to be: inspirational, caring, eros-focused, unconventional for my students to be. The film remained with me for a long, long time and shaped me, I think, into part of what I am today.

From then on I never really lost sight of mr.Williams until today.

Robin Williams is my significant other's favorite actor. I recall watching a documentary together on the mating habits of dolphins (don't ask). Williams described how dolphins mated in nanoseconds, yet enthusiastically, like we do pecking the cheek, and I distinctly recall how effing tender and playful and child-like his face and eyes looked as he was describing this mating ritual. As if there couldn't be any shadow hanging down because, hey, dolphins are so lovable in just about everything they do and life is sweet, right?

For me, Williams ~like Dustin Hoffman~ will forever remain poised in my mind in that incredibly tender, (deceptively as it turns out) smiling face that resembles a naughty child one can't resist to.
O captain, my captain…


  1. "Dead Poet's Society" truly hit a cord in me at the time. Depression is an horrible disease - I myself suffer with it/from it. May he rest in peace.

  2. C,

    it is one of the more inspiring movies without becoming corny (like some other US movies can be at times) and that's largely thanks to his comedic genius, injecting a playful tilt in every single line.
    May he rest in peace indeed.

    I didn't know you suffered from depression. I have another online friends who does and it's certainly not easy to deal with it, exactly because it produces numbness. In fact I'm not sure I haven't skirted the issue myself.
    These are rough times which no one prepares us for.

  3. Anonymous01:21

    elena, i would say the smiles were not deceptive, and that he felt what he felt when he felt it - including the shadow feelings. light plays off shadow, as we all know. sometimes the shadow seems to eclipse the light, but it's a matter of perspective. he is now standing in the brighest light of all. love to him, and those of us who appreciate his many gifts. he truly gave so much. just beautiful.


  4. Anonymous02:39

    Wonderful tribute, Elena, thank you for this! nozknoz

  5. He was such a talent !!!!!

    I have just heard Lauren Bacall has died too.

    Both wonderful actors!

  6. C,

    ah, you're so right. I sincerely hope that he had happiness in his life besides the depression. He gave so much of himself to the world, it's a real shame to imagine he hadn't. Of course he must have, 3 kids and all…May he rest in peace and continue living in our memories.

  7. Noz,

    you're welcome. The news devastated me.

  8. M,

    his talent is inimitable and shall live on, thankfully the material of celluloid can preserve it.

    It's also sad news about Bacall (have just posted a small tribute), but at 90 she has had a full life. It's a logical ending to a full circle. Robin's death rankled…


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