Da Vinci Code DVD Focuses Inward
DVD Talk has put out a review of the extra features found in the upcoming DVD release of The Da Vinci Code. Tellingly, the reviewer notes that "none delve too deeply into their subject matter, such as the 'Discussion with Dan Brown' which could have looked closely at the differences between the novel and the film but instead charts the success of the book and how Dan is handling his new found fame." Hmm. It sounds a bit self-serving.
Other features are discussed, most dealing with the making of the movie within a technical frame work ("How does one shoot a major motion picture in historic places" and such, which is probably an interesting discussion.) However, conspicuously absent from the review is any mention of the expert or authority on history or documents that can lend credence to the underlying theme for the story. Note this point: "One featurette that offers very little is the 'Close-up on', in which the cast and crew simply offer their thoughts on Leonardo's famous painting and how wonderful it was be in the Louvre with it all alone." So, there are no art historians brought in to discuss the Mona Lisa, but we do get t o hear the cast's experiences and thoughts about the painting.
This all seems kind of fluffy, especially when you consider that Canadian scientists have just finished an infra red and a three dimensional scan of the Mona Lisa. You can see this for yourself on CNN's Web site. Among the things they found were that the Mona Lisa wore a hair net (in accordance with her higher economic class) and that she had just recently had a baby.
My point is this, the Da Vinci folks and Dan Brown in particular really had an opportunity to answer some of their critics, but instead chose to talk about themselves and their views on the movie, the Mona Lisa and everything else. It's a very post-modern approach - viewing great works of art only from the perspective of "how did it make you feel?" It may be that the director's voice over of the movie speaks directly to the codes. We'll see, but I don't expect to hear any historians on that narration.