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Snowpocalypse Strikes Albuquerque! Three Inches Of Snow Brings City to Its Knees!
Everyone Taking Day Off, So I Am Too!

It’s true. I swore to myself that I was going to get the next movie review up, but to hell with it. Gail didn’t have to work today (it’s the first time they’ve closed the libraries in the 12 years she’s worked for the city) so I’m taking the day off, too.
But first, a couple of things I should really deal with.

First, the contest in my last post: Thanks to all who entered. All non-winners (though, of course in my book you are ALL winners) will be entered in the second-chance drawing which I’ll hold some time in the near future. I’m not sure what you’ll actually win, but be assured that it will be some swell swag. There were some interesting and imaginative replies regarding the trick question of the contest, but to keep you all in suspense for awhile before I announce the winner, I’ll recount why the photo surfaced from my scrapbook after so many years.

I was reading an article about Colonial Williamsburg in the latest issue of ARCHEOLOGY the other day and the first line mentioned the name of the head archeologist, Ed Chappell, and I thought, wait a minute, Ed Chappell? The next sentence mentioned his soft Virginia accent and I thought, it IS the Ed Chappell I know. The next page had a photo, and it clinched it. He looked just the same he did way back in the summer of 1974 when we were working for the York Archeological Trust in England, except now his hair’s all white. We were pretty good friends that summer, though we haven’t been in touch since. It’s good to know that Ed has done well in his career. This picture was taken by the fourth member of our expedition where we spent a weekend following Hadrian’s Wall. Ed’s the tall guy in the photo, to my right. I’m the one in the middle. The “trick question” part comes from the fact that the guy standing to my left is an English archeologist also named John, John Clarke.

Roslee is the contest winner. Everyone else gets entered into the second chance drawing, and thanks to all for taking the time to peruse Cheese Magnet.

Second, in lieu of an actual review, I’d like to kick off (or try to anyway; this will also entail audience participation) a discussion about a movie we watched last night. The movie in question is Roman Polanski’s THE NINTH GATE starring Johnny Depp. It’s based on the excellent novel THE CLUB DUMAS by Arturo Perez-Reverte; not so much based on, actually, as torn from. There are two major sub-plots in the novel. This movie rips one of them out of the novel and ignores the other.

Anyway, this is a beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted, but fairly enigmatic movie that’s open to several interpretations. I don’t really want to give away details in a summary. I’ll just say that Depp is a rare book dealer specializing in early and expensive editions who gets hired by Frank Langello (a millionaire publisher) to authenticate a book he’s recently purchased from another collector who committed suicide just before selling it to him. There are only three copies of this book in existence; the author was burned at the stake right after the book was published and most copies were destroyed. The book is supposed to be based on another book actually written by Lucifer. It is said to have significant occult significance, but no one has ever been able to get it to work, Langello wants him to go to Europe to compare the other copies to his to make sure his copy isn’t a forgery. Depp does, and all sorts of interesting things happen, which as I said, are enigmatic and open to interpretation.

I don’t want to go into any more detail because I don’t want to influence anyone unduly, though I must say that particularly in this movie, the devil is in the details, and you must watch it closely.

I have two theories: 1. Depp has been chosen by Lucifer (in female form) to become his/her mate, and possibly the AntiChrist. 2. About 4/5 of this movie is actually a dream of Depp’s.

I’m really interested in hearing other opinions. I realize that this is a subtle and difficult movie to interpret, so maybe no one else has a theory regarding it at their fingertips, but, go ahead and speculate. Or, if possible, watch the movie again and we can take our time and spin out the discussion as long as we have to to come to some kind of conclusion.

Waiting to hear to from the legion of Cheese Magnet readers out there on this.

By the way, I’d give this movie a 10, maybe a 10+. I’ll have to watch it again, myself.

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