03 June 2006
  jfk versus the code

for obvious reasons a lot of people have been comparing howard's da vinci code to stone's jfk. they are both semi-fiction- alized stories about vast historical conspir- acies that (unin- tentionally?) sparked wide debates in society about the government/church's role in covering up dangerous secrets. i think it is kind of ironic that both of these works were created by people who never tried to hide the fact that they were fiction. but people still find truth in them nonetheless. that group includes me i guess, because i came away from both of these movies swayed to the potential veracity of each conspiracy theory. i think there is a lot to be said of a comparison of these two movies, since they elicit such similar reactions from the viewer, namely indignation.

if you can watch jfk and afterwards still think that jack ruby singlehandedly killed the president, then i am shocked. i was reading on imdb that after the stone opus was released even congress was swayed by the director's admitted fiction to reevaluate government policies related to the classification of documents and videos related to the assassination. i know that stone's theory is just one possible explanation for a series of extraordinary events, but what it shows, at least, is that there were larger forces at work in the assassination of jfk. were these forces the u.s. government itself? and was there any correlation between the murder and the vietnam war? i don't think i am necessarily convinced of that, but i am convinced that jack ruby couldn't have done it (alone).

my evaluation of jfk echoes almost precisely my evaluation of the code. i think that brown and howard's arguments are very persuasive even though they are admittedly just one possible reasoning behind millenia of extraordinary historical events. am i convinced that there is a secret christian organization out there guarding centuries of church secrets related to the creation of catholic doctrine as it exists today? it is a romantic possibility, but an unlikely one. however, i am positive that secrets do exist, whether they have been lost or not. that is, brown has convinced me that doctrine was not divinely created but was rather mechanically created by those with various interests, and these interests probably benefited from the denegration of women. like jfk, the story is a romantic fictionalization, but the underlying message is a true one.

what would have been done differently had stone been commissioned to make the film version of the da vinci code. it would have been a darker film for sure, focusing more on the intricacies of the story than on dramatic action. but i still think that howard's slightly blacker, more nuanced, more respectable product here is somehow influenced by jfk and the master/creator of the conspiracy film genre. they haven't said on imdb yet who is directing the next brown film, the code prequel angels and demons, but i think stone should be considered because i would like to see what he manages to do in the milieu. and i would like to see if he can convince me even further of the veracity of brown's fiction.
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