Monday, May 29, 2006

Da Vinci

I used to go to the movies once a month, sometimes once a week. Last year, Michelle and I went to about 6 movies and most of them were bad. The bad ones included The Phantom of the Opera, The hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Good Night and Good Luck, and Syriana. To be fair, we both enjoyed Batman Begins and Revenge of the Sith. We both somewhat liked Shop Girl.

But last year's poor showing obviously influenced us as we hadn't even seen one film this year until last week when we decided to see The Da Vinci Code. This film is stirring up the pot of religious controversy, which is not a bad thing. So let me discuss what the Da Vinci Code is.

Warning! The following material reveals the Da Vinci Code. If you plan on seeing the movie or are offended by accounts of Jesus that are not in accordance with the Bible, read no further.
After the death of Jesus, followers of his teachings continually grew in number. These early Christians were the subject of much scorn and abuse by the Romans. Eventually, Christianity became the dominant religion of Rome. This forced the Roman government to incorporate Christianity over the then, current multi-god religion (Jupiter, Mars, Venus, etc). This occurred in the 4th century. The Romans wanted to stay in control. They reviewed the scriptures and writings of the followers of Jesus and decided what to use and what to throw away. According to The Da Vinci Code, anything that humanized Jesus was tossed. Rome wanted Jesus to be a supernatural being, lest some lowly subject think they could rise to such heights as Jesus. Thus, the new testament of the Bible was created.
Now, if you believe in The Da Vinci Code, you'll believe that the tossed out scriptures were hidden in Egypt with the intention that they would never be found. These scriptures or gospels included the writings of Phillip and Mary Magdalene. They allegedly give accounts of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene and being the father of the child she was pregnant with during the crucifixion.
The story alleges that it was Mary Magdalene who was supposed to found the church, not Peter. If the Romans had followed this, the Roman Catholic church would be a matriarchal religion, as opposed to a patriarchal one. This of course, is what the Pope and many Catholics would object to. The story goes on about how the bloodline of Jesus endured and still exists today. In fact, the holy grail or the vessel that contains the blood of Christ is actually Mary Magdalene, not the cup that captured Jesus' blood during the crucifixion.
Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci were supposedly members of a secret society that knew these secrets of the church. This society was (is) known as the Priory of Sion. Da Vinci supposedly hid this truth in his works of art, including The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa.
(End of Spoilers)
Do I believe all this? No, not really because it doesn't seem that there is any definitive account of history when you go back that far. Take the Declaration of Independence signing on July 4, 1776. There are so many journals and biographical material about this event that there is virtually no doubt that it occurred. When you go back 1,700 years ago, there just isn't enough collaborative writing. Historians often have to deal with just one or two accounts of an event. This doesn't mean I rule this stuff out either. I realize some people want to insist that the Bible is the absolute truth, the book that God wrote. These people are going to have a problem with the book and film.
I have a problem with the film. It just isn't that good. It's not terrible but Tom Hanks was mediocre. The film tries to be like an Indiana Jones film but the suspense and narrow escapes are weak compared with those films.

1 comment:

Erik said...

damn you spoiled it for me. :(