Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Da Vinci and the Code He Lived By |
Actor: Leonardo Da Vinci
Genres: Television, Documentary
Renowned as the "Mind of the Renaissance," the genius of Leonardo da Vinci reaches beyond the centuries. Painter, sculptor, engineer, and scientist, in each field Leonardo da Vinci was both master and pioneer. Creator of s... more »
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Painfully De-Gayed, but Generally Good
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 12/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The title of this work clearly references Dan Brown's hyper-successful novel. However, the work never mentions Mr. Brown and people need to learn that Da Vinci was an amazing man in his own right. Rotten Library Page starts off saying, "He didn't have a [expletive] code!"
I usually hate, hate, hate cheesy historical reenactments. This work is made entirely of reenactments, but they are not bothersome. There are more actors than usual. They were ornate clothing. When giving their lines, they speak Italian (though a boy Leonardo says "Mother" when I am so sure that's not how "mother" is said in Italian). It was more gory than what is usually portrayed in this cable channel's productions. Truthfully, it would have been boring just to see Renaissance paintings and the narrator mentions that no one knows for sure what Da Vinci looked like.
Too many people assume that artists are separate from the world and don't care about the power struggles taking place outside their windows. I applaud this work for contextualizing the times in which Da Vinci lived. History buffs may appreciate this work just as much as art or invention fans.
This work is de-gayed in a cowardly manner. The narrator says, "Da Vinci was accused of sodomy, but acquitted." Homophobic viewers could misconstrue this to mean that Da Vinci didn't love other males. The work never points out that Da Vinci never had girlfriends, wives, or children. Later, the narrator calls Salai and Melzi "assistants," rather than "lovers" or at least eremenos. Notable Names Database and Wikipedia clearly indicate that these males were Da Vinci's lovers. Perhaps the documentary makers were also squeamish about the cross-generational dynamic of these couplings, given present and necessary concerns about child abuse. It also stands out that one modern interviewee is a man with an earring in his right ear, but he never speaks about himself.
In all fairness, the work covers a lot within a limited time. They mention Da Vinci's anatomical studies, that he might have had ADD, and that he may be the subject of the Mona Lisa painting. In general, I loved learning more about this important genius and gay historical figure."
Da Vinci Review
Susan Scripts | 06/09/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had hoped to use this in an advanced glass for gifted students, grades 2-6, but couldn't--too much violence, did not focus enough on Da Vinci's art."
Good History - But don't look for DaVinci Code Here!
Edward J. Barton | Mill Creek, WA | 12/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a well done historical work in typical History Channel fashion. I agree with the other reviewer that there is enough violence and blood that it is probably best left to a PG audience. Having said that, this work does a nice job of discussing DaVinci's life in a 90 minute movie - and there is little in the way of speculation, conspiracy theories or ancient secrets - unless you are a Medici or a Borgia. Worth the 90 minutes."