Waking up to the shock of Robin Williams’ death, we came into the office today talking about him. To no surprise, his work had impacted all of us. We all started talking about which of his films was our favorite. Even with such an international staff of various ages, his humor and dramatic turns have left a wide range of memories on the Berlin camp. Below are some of those memories that we shared.
For me, I grew up knowing Williams as the lovable alien Mork on Mork & Mindy. “Nano Nano” was the dorky thing we said on the schoolyard. It was a little weird to see Williams not as Mork when I saw Popeye and The World According to Garp. It was years later when I saw him in Good Morning, Vietnam that I realized he was capable of doing so much more than “Nano Nano.”
For Alicia Fasser (Italy), Dead Poets Society was more than a movie: “Dead Poets Society has been my favourite movie so far. I saw this movie when I was in high school and it has changed my way to approach life. This is one of the many passages that I love about this movie:
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. 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?
I think he was a great actor and person and this is the best way to say goodbye to him:”
“O Captain! My Captain!”
Hank Smith (USA): My first Robin Williams memory is of trying to watch Jumanji but being too scared, and my parents showing me Mrs. Doubtfire instead. I didn’t understand much of the movie but it was still funny to me at that young of an age. It took me a few more years to then realise that the person who was Mrs. Doubtfire was the Genie in Aladdin (my favourite movie as a kid).
Casper Mejlholm (Denmark): “Good Morning, Vietnam stood out for me. Handling such a delicate issue is far from easy and I can’t really imagine anyone else succeeding in that, other than Robin Williams. Also, the amount of improv he put into playing this role is stunning.”
Marina Apena (Latvia): “I think the first one I saw was Mrs. Doubtfire. But the roles I remember him the most were from Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come. The last one is about him in the afterlife by the way…”
Robert Chwalczyk (Poland) dug Williams’ multi-culti stand-up: “Yeah, it’s huge loss for comedy. Here some of his sketches.”
Teasing the French:
Teasing the Scots:
Andra Kradolfer (Switzerland): “Mrs Doubtfire (because of the scene with the vacuum cleaner) and A.I. – Artificial Intelligence (it was an exciting, new thing with the robots and science).”