The face of Gemini’s duality on display.
I wish Stanley Kubrick could have lived another ten years, so that he could have directed at least one of Dan Brown’s illuminating works of fiction. Kubrick would have turned “Angels and Demons” into something so unnerving that there wouldn’t have been any chance to tie a neat bow on it’s ending like the imminently agreeable, Ronnie Howard, who has been rumored to have risen quickly up the Masonic chain of command. I know it’s a little tacky, but Howard usually casts his lesser known and rumored scientologist brother, Clint in his films, but alas he was AOL. The least he could have done was cast him as some sort of Rahphelite statuary that resembles a gargoyle. Okay, I know it’s a cheap shot, but Brown’s book deserved better than the company hatchet job performed on it by Opie. If you really want to to have a look at the real deal regarding secret societies, I would advise having another go at “Eyes Wide Shut,” Kubrick’s masterpiece and expose of sex rituals, programmed slaves and dark orders. Rumor has it that Kubrick got a little too close to the truth and got his Directors Guild card punched for good. There’s some pretty decent analysis on the web regarding “Eyes Wide Shut” and programming. But back to the subject at hand.
Angels and Demons represents duality, a quality often associated with Gemini. It’s about good and evil, light and dark, catholic versus illuminist, matter vs anti-matter, angels vs demons. You get the picture. From the checkerboard tiled floor in the pivotal assassination scene in “The Manchurian Candidate” to the larger than life chessboard, with human pieces in “The Prisoner” duality plays a huge role in the occult symbolism of the esoteric intelligencia. It represents Hegellian dialectic (problem/solution/synthesis), but also the demarcation of humanity apart from God. “Angels and Demons” is rife with this sort of thematic memes, but the real, dualistic throwdown comes between science and faith and illuminati vs catholic church (at least on the surface).
Harvard professor. Robert Langdon, is called upon to use his powers of deduction and vast knowledge of ancient symbolism to help uncover the theft of an anti-matter canister that is stolen from CERN. The anti-matter was not absconded without brutal symbolism, like an eyeball plucked out for it’s use in retinal scanning and the requisite illuminati brand upon the chest of a murdered scientist. Yes, this has all the markings of that evil, secret order, ancient, all seeing, all knowing, controlling the affairs of man. It appears that their hatred of God and faith, plus a long standing grudge against the inquisition has finally come to a head. Langdon is dispatched to Vatican City, where four bishops have been kidnapped and are going to be ritually sacrificed, while the canister of anti-matter is set to go off at midnight and reduce Vatican City to a pile of holy dust. But the evil order didn’t take into account, the brilliant Professor Langdon and his lovely companion, a bio-physicist from CERN. Langdon can discern (pun not intended) esoteric imagery and it’s significance in about the same time I can unscramble Word Jumble.
Following the esoteric trail left by the illuminati through sculpture and small churches throughout Rome, Langdon tries to stop the ritual murders of the four bishops, all of whom were in the running to be the new pope. Oh yeah, he had been murdered as well and need a replacement.
Uncovering the trail of elemental procession (death by earth, air, fire, and water), Langdon gets closer to the truth as he uncovers symbol after symbol, until finally, he finds the hidden anti-matter, where the fate of not just Vatican City and Rome rests in a precarious balance between matter and anti-matter, but the catholic church itself with all it’s leaders gathered for “Conclave” and it’s rich history (not too mention wealth) would be obliterated.
But Langdon saves the day . . . of course and exposes the real, evil, mastermind, who had appropriated all of the illuminist symbols, artifacts, etc, but wasn’t really illuminati. So much for the big showdown. In the end, faith wins out over science, with of course help from the man of science (Langdon) and The Illuminati is nothing more than an ancient and defunct order, resurrected by a mad catholic with all kinds of resources and money to masquerade as “the illuminati.” All is well in the end and as harmony reigns once again in Vatican City, as the new pope greets his minions from that famous, clerestory window, the camera pulls back and shows the great obelisk that stands opposite The Vatican, like a giant, middle finger. So what’s the moral of the story?
The moral of the story is here we have an exploration of duality, in the spirit of Gemini, during the month of Gemini (even though Angels and Demons opened on May 15th), opposites playing off one another, threatening to blow the lid off of the greatest conspiracy of all time and when it’s all over, it’s Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Sirhan Sirhan all over again. It’s wing nut. It’s the lone gunmen. It’s odd man out. No conspiracy here folks. just move along and go back to your lives, nothing to see and oh yeah, when some wing nut does something out of the blue and mostly tragic, remember, they acted alone.
It’s time to see this series (a sequel is already being planned) as a device that gives the public a sense of the curtain being pulled back, only to see what they reveal.
4 thoughts on “Angels And Demons, Duality, Gemini And More . .”
I saw Angels and Demons a few weeks ago – I’m struggling to remember it – (your piece reminded me, in part.) So that has to say something about the quality of both plot and movie. Dan Brown doesn’t impress me much, the Roman Catholic church doesn’t impress me much – I should have known better than going to see this one. 😉 It was better than Da Vinci Code though – that was such an old chestnut dusted down for the new generation.
I think you’re trying to tell us, Robert, that those events you refer to at the end of your piece were not perpetrated by wingnuts or other nuts “acting alone”.
You like conspiracy theories, I recall. I don’t much care for them, for the simple reason that anything – any event or adventure is capable of being turned into a different story – like one of those optical illusion drawings – it looks like one thing from one angle – screw up your eyes (or mind) and it looks like something else. This being so – where is the line ever drawn? And in the end, does it really matter?
Your mention of the black and white floor reminded me of a line from Omar Khayyam (roughly – from memory)
“It’s all a chequer-board of nights and days, where destiny with men for pieces plays, matches them one by one, then mates and lays, then one by one back in the closet lays”.
:-)Good post though!
I thought the Da Vinci Code was horrible. This was better, but not by much. I actually enjoyed the book. Brown’s pacing was crisp, language was fairly evocative and of course, the grasp of the esoteric symbolism is fluidly on display (even though Brown himself might not be responsible for it). There was also the smattering of a love interest for Langdon, which actually worked. In short, the book was readable, especially on a long flight.
As far as the “conspiracy” goes, I just find it hard to believe that a film like this gets made without some sort of agenda in place; Give people the promise of seeing behind the curtain, a film that exposes the secrets that nutty uncle Ron used to yammer on about it. It looks good, looks real, the signs are all there and poof! It really doesn’t exist. Just some renegade monk with all the money in the world and enough illuminist relics and knowledge in order to masquerade as the evil order, and guess, what? It’s all a fake. A shadowplay at best. Puppetry with arcane props.
The real message? The extremist lives in the church. He’s the same guy that pulled the trigger on the abortion doc, or the holocaust museum guard. Strip him of his frock and he’s just another fanatic, one of the lunatic fringe.
The only chaos that exists in the world takes place at the hands of lone derangers. Everything else is here to protect us from this radical and extremist element.
I also think that Tom Hanks is a poor choice for Langdon, simply based on his sign. I think Cancer makes a lousy cryptographer. Tom should be at home, doing some sort of family comedy.
I’d rather have a Scorpio or Sag or even a Gemini actor in the role of Langdon. I know it’s type casting, but signs translate. My choice would have been Scorpio, Mark Ruffalo, but I doubt he’ll work for a while, since his brother was mysteriously murdered once Ruffalo became critical and vocal about 911.
Ah – thank you for the clarification, Robert.
I agree that the role of Langdon might be handled differently and to much better effect by a less “family friendly” actor. Nicholas Cage, maybe. Paul Giamatti ?
I could even see Nick Nolte, with spectacles, doing it.
I love your term “lone derangers” – classic!
[..] A bit unrelated, but I totally liked this site post [..]