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I've added another essay to the site (all previous articles can be accessed at any time via the 'Latest Essays' box on the right hand side of the page) - the most recent addition is titled "The Masonic Foundations of America", and looks at the Masonic and Deist influences which shaped the founding of the United States of America. As I point out in my book The Guide to Dan Brown's The Solomon Key (available from Amazon US), this subject looks likely to be explored in the sequel to The Da Vinci Code. It's worth exploring in any case, as it's truly ironic that politics in the U.S. in recent times has been shaped by Christian fundamentalist groups, when the nation was originally founded as a refuge from such ideological thinking.
This essay originally appeared in Issue 3 of Sub Rosa magazine, along with a number of other great articles on various 'alternative' topics - including a brilliant piece from Mark Oxbrow on the real history of Rosslyn Chapel. All issues of Sub Rosa are freely available as a PDF download from the website, so I encourage everyone to go download Issues 1 to 3 for some great reading (Issue 4 is due out in March).
The Da Vinci Code movie website has had a lot of new additions, including new puzzles to solve (which may be some great treasure hunt, or maybe just a trivial waste of time). In any case, I've posted what I've found so far as an update to my Deciphering the Da Vinci Code Movie Trailer essay (warning - spoilers!). If you're trying to solve it as well, I'd love to hear your thoughts - please feel free to leave a comment! Also on the movie site, you can find some fun games of anagram solving and also a sudoku-like symbol logic game which is a bit addictive (21 seconds is my best time).
While on the topic of the movie, it has also been announced that it will premier at the Cannes Film Festival (as a showcase, not a contestant), shortly before it comes to theatres around the world on May 19th. Not too far away now...
As an addendum to my recent essay on the 'Seek the Codes' cipher in the movie trailer for The Da Vinci Code, there has been an update to the Cryptophile website (which appears to be a 'viral marketing' outlet for the movie). A coded message is within the last update, a cipher based as capital letters, which says "Did you seek the dials". This seems to refer to the different versions of the cryptex image which appear on the movie trailer page of the DVC movie website. Each of the different sized movies has a different word revealed on the cryptex - grail, cross, blade and lisas. Whether these form an anagram, or are keywords to something else, I'm not sure yet.
For those interested in the upcoming movie version of The Da Vinci Code, make sure you take a look at this feature from Newsweek. The article has a few stills from the movie, and includes input from Tom Hanks, Audrey Tatou, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. The movie is slated for release on May 19th.
The New York Times is reporting that Dan Brown's publisher plans to release a paperback version of the best-selling novel a week before the release of the movie version (mid-May). Sales in the U.S. have been so strong that there has been no need to offer the cheaper version, as the more profitable hardcover version has remained high in the charts for the past three years. However, Brown's publisher is expecting a big response to the cheaper paperback - in conjunction with the movie release - and is printing five million copies (to go with the other 40 million copies or so currently in print!).
Noticed the little code at the end of the trailer for The Da Vinci Code movie? How far have you traveled with it? I've written an essay logging where the breadcrumbs have lead me thus far - take a look at what I've found, and feel free to let me know what I've missed. Wonder if this is all just some trivial viral marketing, or if it's leading somewhere...
The official first full-length trailer for The Da Vinci Code has been released, and is available over at the Apple website devoted to movie trailers. Looks pretty darn good too, kind of exciting to see some 'flesh' laid on the bones of characters which exist only in our imaginations. The use of architecture to set the mood also seems to work well - look forward to seeing the movie.
An essay I wrote on the Masonic and Utopian thinking which was prevalent among the Founding Fathers of the United States has been published in one of my side projects, Sub Rosa Magazine. Sub Rosa is a free, professional-quality PDF magazine available to download from the aforementioned website (the first three issues are currently available to download).
I'll eventually add the essay to this website, but for now go download Issue 3 of Sub Rosa and see it in a pretty graphic environment. Also to read in the latest issue is an essay on the truth behind Rosslyn Chapel - one of the primary locations used by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code - an interview with visionary artist Alex Grey, and the latest on research into reincarnation and 'rational spirituality'. Why not take a look (it is free after all!)?
The UK's Independent has a small report saying that industry speculation about an Autumn 2006 release for The Solomon Key looks to be off-base:
Meanwhile, Transworld plays down speculation that Dan Brown's new book, The Solomon Key, will appear next autumn. To think that the health and wealth of so much of the book trade is conditioned by the actions of a reclusive ex-teacher.
So when should we expect it? A Xmas 2006 release perhaps, or will the release be pushed right back into 2007?
Seems like there's plenty of people making a a living out of debunking Dan Brown these days. The latest is David Carr of Beantown Productions, who says his documentary is a hipper, funnier look at the claims in The Da Vinci Code. I wonder how many people have 'debunked' the Priory of Sion now without understanding barely 1% of the history of that particular mystery? Interesting too is how the article mentions the hexagram 'engraved' in the floor of Rosslyn Chapel...which actually doesn't exist! Perhaps someone should start debunking the documentaries and the articles written about them?