Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

"God uses us all." So says Doc Ock.
"I never had much use for a real father, real Father.." Said Ishmael Reed.
Walking out with a group that enjoyed the movie --in a packed theatre-- I pondered the merit of critics aloud. Internally I sank into a dark murk of self loathing and self pity.
There was a time when codes, symbols and logic and math were clear to me..And that is gone, I have lived myself stupid. My brain has atrophied..And when faced with even middlebrow stuff like this I feel like I have squandered my time here.
Books pile up around me, I read them, try to pass on what I learn--where does that all go? The nostaglia pit beckons, the hard stuff is hard in a world where getting by is neither a challenge nor a celebration.
Amassing wealth, living comfortably--the last challenge I had was a jazz album. Music is a language and religion is a faith/tool/weapon/crutch/lie--you pick. This movie nags at the mind, opens a hole that is the past, that is scholarship and research and devotion, and--apparently--self flagellation.
The Pope is nervous. Entire countries are boycotting and the critics are savaging this earnest and religious film. In spite of the Pope (as effective as the critics, apparently) and the Cannes audience, and the LA Times, and the Baltimore Sun, and the New York Times this movie had a top 50 of all time opening.
Ron Howard directed. He also directed "Apollo 13", which also starred Tom Hanks. Audrey Tatou (she'll always be "Amelie" to me)starred opposite Mr Hanks. The critics seem to hate his hair. It looks in the style of academics to me--and, lo and behold--he plays an academic!
Magneto does a great job as does Leon the Professional. Sure, there is some truth to the criticisms leveled. It is wordy, idea-laden, exposition heavy--but the room full of believers enjoyed it without streaming from the doors into the church buses in tears like they did after "the Passion". There were no picketers like at the "Last Temptation of Christ"--yes, even in this ID believing, science hating, state.
Go see it and decide for yourself, IM Pei's scar on Paris demands the big screen!

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