Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Langdon vs. Illuminati vs. Vatican

I loved the semi-guided tour of Vatican City and some of Rome's most famous churches and castles. I squealed at being able to viscerally join Tom Hanks and team inside the Vatican archive vault (far frickin' out, man!). I thought the codes reflected more than a little presumptiousness on the part of their Illuminati-related creator, although I appreciated - who wouldn't? - Dan Brown dragging in famous folks from the past (e.g. Galileo). The executions were stylishly gothic, especially when wrapped in the haunting music. The cardinals and conclave meetings were adequately 'thick' with the intensity of centuries of religiousity and oh the panoramic views of St. Peter's Square and the Sistine Chapel were breath-robbing!

Best of all, I haven't read Angels & Demons (nor do I  know a thing about Vatican history, culture or landscape) prior to the catching the movie so, unlike the Da Vinci Code (which was really about the historical Jesus, strangely enough a far less mysterious subject to me than the five elements of the Illuminati!), I had no pre-viewing framework (academic or otherwise) and thus no 'standard' with which to judge Ron Howard's latest movie.

No, I don't know exactly what anti-matter is, although I would agree with Ewan McGregor's character that there is (and should be) no enmity between faith and science. Whilst their starting premises may diverge seriously (at times) I've always believed that the best scientists are those with some faith in something beyond their labs and the best theologians are those who can listen carefully to what others (especially skeptical others) are saying.

The embarassing inaccuracies of the movie aside, the film's a great (because far cheaper) substitute to visiting Rome and getting a huge Langdon vs Illuminati vs Vatican kick out of it.


fishtail said...

I was there in 1979, standing at St Peter's Square staring at the two rows of columns (that, to the observer standing at ONE particular spot, will appear as only one row). They didn't let me into the Vatican vault, darn.

alwyn said...

They didn't Langdon in either (despite 10 years of requesting) - not until the whole city was threatened haha

Superman said...

I watched that movie on Wednesday. Really nice and exciting. The Vatican city is really well filmed.