From its opening sequence, The Emperor's Club, set in an eastern prep school for boys in the early 1970s, is behind the cinematic eight ball, and it knows it. That eight ball is the tremendously successful 1989 film Dead Poets Society, starring Robin Williams as the gadfly teacher who awakens in his students a thirst for learning and for a poetic experience of the world. The Emperor's Club encourages such comparisons, believing (wrongly, it turns out) that it can subvert and exceed the expectations.
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.