Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Our Lives Are Ruled By Schedules!!

Howdy everyone

Trish and I spent a lot of time this morning just making sure our schedules match up. We're trying to figure out if we can take a trip up to Washington next weekend (not Memorial Day weekend, but the weekend following), and you'd be amazed at all the checking and double-checking that such a thing requires. Our friends laugh at the fact that Trish and I both have our Palm Treo's glued to our hips... but as busy as our lives are, we're constantly checking them to be sure we don't double-book something.

We were able to do something spontaneous Friday night... I had an appointment that ended up not happening, which gave Trish and I A Free Night Together!!!! Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles! So, we decided to go see The DaVinci Code on its opening night. First time I've ever been to the opening night of a movie, and as you might expect the theatre was packed.

I had the disadvantage of having read the book already. I say "disadvantage" because no movie can ever stuff everything printed in a book up on the screen. It's just impossible - the two mediums are too different. Books are cerebral, and films are all about action and visuals. In a book the narrator can go on for pages about the thought process leading up to an action that, on the screen, takes two seconds. If that description of the thought process happened in a film, most of the audience would be asleep before the action ever occurred.

With that in mind I tried to stuff all my book-borne preconceptions to the back of my brain as I watched the film... and found it to be one of the best novel adaptations I've seen. To be sure, Tom Hanks isn't the man I pictured Robert Langdon being, and Ian McKellen isn't who I thought of when I read Leigh Teabing's character (I was pulling for Sean Connery, but hey... Ron Howard didn't call me when he was casting. Whatchagonnado?). The film did, however, succeed on many levels.

The novel, The Da Vinci Code, is a historical mystery pure and simple. Sure, the historical mystery is pursued in the contemporary world, at a very thriller-like pace... but the real meat of the book is in the history, and how it drives contemporary events. In the book, this history is explained by the characters in long monologues with supporting narration... BOORRRRRING on film. Ron Howard managed to give the audience a view of the historical events as they happened - at times he meshed the contemporary and historical events together. A great solution to the problem of describing history.

Now, as to the "controversy..." yeah, what ever. I read the book and liked it, so I'm obviously not predisposed to clinging with a death grip to church dogma. It's a ripping yarn based around a historical "what if." If you believe that Jesus was so holy that he never went to the bathroom or that he could beat Superman hands-down in a fight... eh... it's probably not for you. If you can actually allow for things like alternate gospels that didn't make it into the bible, if you remember that the Councils of Nicea and Trent are the reason the contemporary bible looks the way it does... then you may be open to the story it tells. You be the judge.

But take my adivice: see the movie, then read the book. It'll be a much fresher experience for you, and the book will help to elaborate on a lot of ideas and historical elements that were just touched on in the film.

So, anyway, back to the schedules... this week sees Trish and I meeting up with Francesca Sanders tomorrow night to read a new play she's written (not a public performance; just a living room reading), and being heard on OPB's Golden Hours Wednesday night (broadcast on the SAP channel of most OPB stations in Oregon. This will be Trish's first time). Wednesday and Thursday I'm going to be acting like I have ADHD for an OHSU study. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, I'll drive down to Salem for the Salem Sockeye stage combat workshop, run by Revenge Arts (I'm going to attempt to get re-certified by the SAFD this weekend... and try not to injure myself. With luck, I'll be successful in one of those endevours).

It's going to be a busy week... hope yours is looking a little less full, and that you're doing well.