Filmclub for Summer School Students

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The Emperor's Club is a 2002 drama film that tells the story of a preparation school teacher and his students. This movie is based on Ethan Canin's short story "The Palace Thief”. The film is directed by Michael Hoffman and the main actor is Kevin Kline. The movie is set at a fictional boys' preparation school, the St. Benedict's Academy, located in Massachusetts. Story: William Hundert is a passionate Classics professor. He inspires his students to study hard in order to become one of the 3 competitors for the so called Emperor’s Club and be crowned “Mr. Julius Caesar” in the competition where the best 3 students of a class are asked questions about Classics.  For achieving their goal they have to understand the deep thoughts of the great historical leaders, philosophers, conquerors before the contest.   But one day a new student, Sedgewick Bell, enters the classroom and stirs up the life of the intelligent and highly motivated students.

From the beginning of their relationship, a fierce battle takes place between Sedgewick and Mr. Hundert. But the boy tempts the others to join him to do lots of unaccepted activities. After a while Hundert tries to establish a closer relationship with the boy to make him a better man then before. Although Sedgewick also contributes on the competition, he cheats and as this unfair act is discovered by Hundert, he doesn’t expose him but he prevents his victory. Twenty years later, Sedgewick is a business tycoon and offers to make a remarkable donation to the prep school if Mr. Hundert hosts a rematch of the “Mr. Julius Caesar” contest, with the original contestants. Once again William sees Sedgewick cheating and prevents his victory again.

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Best quotes by William Hundert and Sedgewick Bell:  “As I've gotten older, I realize I'm certain of only two things. Days that begin with rowing on a lake are better than days that do not. Second, a man's character is his fate.” “The waters in which we found ourselves swimming, were precisely as lovely as those we had earlier only imagined. But if time had made concessions for love, it made none for death.”  “Tyranny is what we have in this classroom. It works.”  “William Hundert:      You passed. Sedgewick Bell:         It's only a C-. William Hundert:       Well, you know what they say about Rome. Sedgewick Bell:         It wasn't built in a day? William Hundert:       No. All roads lead to it.”

/Article made by Hajnalka Kovács - IBS Trainee/