Friday, May 19, 2006

controversy builds crowds

There was an overflow crowd at the promotional screening of "The Da Vinci Code" last night. Tickets had been given away by two radio stations, a television station and a newspaper. The woman standing in line ahead of me was wearing a shirt that read "so dark the con of man." I asked where she got it and she told me that the movie company had sent a package of freebies and movie screening tickets to her workplace. Where does she work? At the Knoxville Museum of Art. As we waited, theater personnel announced that no camera phones would be allowed into the screening. Hired guards from National Security Company looked in my wife's purse and passed a wand over us. In addition to their star-shaped sheriff-like badges, they wore laminated ID tags that said they were on the anti-piracy squad.

Unlike the mostly unknown actors in "United 93," seeing big stars like Tom Hanks, Alfred Molina and Ian McKellan made it easy to remember that "The Da Vinci Code" is only a movie.
I found the film enjoyable and because I had read the novel so long ago, I was able to understand what was going on yet not worry about which parts of the book were cut out or altered. The character of Leigh Teabing seemed more anti-Christian than I remembered from the book. That might have been because his scenes, like everything else, had to be condensed. The Robert Langdon character tried to balance out some of Teabing's bias but could have done more so.

I spoke with blogger Rich Hailey the other day. He reminded me that "The Da Vinci Code" appears to overlook a basic tenet I was taught in 12 years of Catholic school. I got the impression that the Leigh Teabing character was saying if Jesus is mortal, then he cannot be divine. Whereas I was taught to believe that Jesus was simultaneously fully mortal and fully divine. Rich pointed out that as a man, Jesus ate, drank and experienced the same bodily functions we do. Does that make Him any less divine?
As both God and man, would it matter whether He was single or married?

As usual, I stayed to watch the credits all the way through. I noticed that one of the pieces of music in the film had been written and performed by a Dan Brown. I think it was called "Phiano" or something like that. I assume it's the same Dan Brown. If they made a blockbuster movie out of your bestselling novel wouldn't you insist that they use one of your musical compositions on the soundtrack?
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