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Old 05-19-2009, 11:36 PM
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Smile Angels and Demons ***slight spoilers

Habemus Papem : Angels and Demons
First let me confess (if you pardon the pun) that I have never infact read the book. However I enjoyed the Film. From a symbological point of view it was weak. It was a little bit like a mechanical dot-to-dot. There was no hidden breakthroughs, no real cracking of codes, just following easily identified Statues that pointed to one another.

But it worked as a thriller. The Score was nothing to write home about, unusually for Hans Zimmer, the work was a variation on the motif of Knights of The Holy Bloodline, mixed with brass playing the stringed melody you hear in pearl harbour, and various sticatto elements stolen from Hanibal. There was nothing really original except for a few choral chants which are to be expected when you subject matter is The Roman Catholic Church.

My Knowledge on the Illuminati is not sufficient enough to say what in the movie was based on fact and what blanks had been filled in with a little imagination, however, I reckonized the value of the two opposing sides. In the film, the Illuminati are supposed to be Scientists of the Church, who were silenced by Rome. I cant help thinking in one shape the Scientists had the last laugh. See the Illuminati were supposed to be "Enlighened" and of course what finally robbed Rome of her Power was "The Philosophical Enlightenment" a movement of Philosophers and Scientists that aggreed the only way forward was an absence of the Devine and in place went Rationale, Reason, Science and Logic. Although GOD featured in their works, he was the Absent Clockmaker you find in the works of Emmanuel Kant (Emmanuel means "GOD with us" which is an irony in itself, since Kant basically said GOD is about as far away from us as is possible to be when you consider your self a Diest.)

The plot features a mad scramble to find a bomb that is due to distory Rome and the Vatican at the same time the Cardinals sit in Conclave to decide on a New Pope. But it plays on an hysterical ellement that came into existance about a year ago. Like an Urban Legend, The film features a special Bomb made from particals gathered through a Large Hadron Collider...you'll remember the big ring they built to play with minute particals in Europe last year that broke down the day it was due to be turned on? Well, its funny that much has been written about how that machine could bring about everything from the "GOD" partical, to Blackholes, and with it is a certain terror, and fear that I saw in newspapers and in the local community last year.

In the film some of the particals are stolen and used to make the bomb. Isnt in interesting that there is a morality tale here about discovery and invention. I suspect Einstein was most upset to see how his research was used. The film asks the questions, is the discoverer responsible for the use and potential harm of his discovery, and with the potential harm being so high, should he infact deliberatley avoid making any such discovery in the first place. Interesting questions in the realms of Morality and ethics. You can see where I stand on that issue by the words I use. I said "Discovery" NOT "Invention" for a very good reason. Invention implies some personal responsibility, Discovery does not.

The film features two things that we know nothing about. First, Conclave. I love the idea of a gigantic Goldent Cyborium used as the poll box, but I do not think Rome would do such a thing with a vessil meant for a very different purpose. I also would love, myself, to know what is in the Vatican Library. Again, I very much doubt that it resembles anything like what was shown in the film.

I will admit that I was fooled by the twist involving the priest at the end. I will admit that I didnt see him as being the mole. I will admit that I was drawn, as the audience was supposed to, to assume the leader of the Conclave was consipring to get himself ellected Pope, rather then actually being a decent Bishop who was just loyal to Church tradition....but then I have worked in an Anglican Cathedral myself, and have seen...interesting scenes.

One of which was brought back to me at the close of the film. The Words "Habemus Papem" which, suprisingly, do not feature in the film, are the words that are spoken to the Masses when the Bassilica of Saint Peter revieals who has been ellected, up until this point the masses only know a successful vote has taken place due to smoke signals. Roughly translated it mean "We have a Pope" or "Here lives a Pope" or "A Pope is now in residence" Before the newly consecrated Pope steps out onto the balcony to be viewed, he is dressed in his Vestments. At the end of the film, we are privy to a moment where a Bishop and a Symbologist discuss the fact the Church is Fallen, and in the background stands the Pope who is being dressed by attendants. in 2004 I witnessed a moment of Consecration in Saint Paul's Cathedral, London. The Ceremonial was half way through and the Bishops-to-be, having been dressed in their Priestly Vestments, were led away to a side Aisle with a curtain, where they were to remove their Priestly Vestments, and replace them with Pontifical Vestments. It was most unusual, for the service continued without them, and as the people were praying for the new Bishops, the Vergers were acting as attendants, taking off the old Vestments, putting on the new Vestments, adorning each Bishop with his Mitre, His crozier, his ring. It was fascinating to be able to see the reaction of the people being consecrated. It was as if who they were, was laid out in their actions, in the way certain Bishops accepted with Humility the donning of such items, and others snatched for their possessions. As soon as they were dressed, they went out into the Church, and the consecration has occured. It happened behind closed doors, but I was fortunate enough to be in the room whose doors were closed to the masses.

Its funny, the year after that ceremonial, the Church of England decided that bit of Pomp was not needed. Instead, the Bishops would go out at the start of the service, already dressed. The mystique, and the moment of consecration, which was as thin as a vapor in air, had vanished. So as you couldnt say when the consecration happened, and yet, whenever it did, it had been viewed by the whole world. It was as if the more people who watched it, the less obvious was the case it was happening at all.

That, dear friends, was the best day of my service to The Church of England. So it maybe not suprising that I felt a strange pang of nostalgia when I saw a harmless recreation in a film taking place in the Roman Church.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:39 AM
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:11 AM
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:26 AM
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No one asked you
Dave, read the book. Seriously, the book is fantastic, I read it before I read the DaVinci Code. Really great.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:11 PM
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Dave, read the book. Seriously, the book is fantastic, I read it before I read the DaVinci Code. Really great.
I concur, I read both books, though I cheated and read Angels and Demons prior to the Davinci Code, and I have to say, the movies didn't let me down, but added such a depth to my understanding and visualization of the story. The two go hand in hand, like whips and chains, can't have one without the other ;)
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:22 PM
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I concur, I read both books, though I cheated and read Angels and Demons prior to the Davinci Code, and I have to say, the movies didn't let me down, but added such a depth to my understanding and visualization of the story. The two go hand in hand, like whips and chains, can't have one without the other ;)
I like how you think!
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:59 PM
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As do I

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:47 PM
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i was skeptical about this movie at first but i gotta say it was pretty awesome
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