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I Believe That This Man (Dan Brown) Was This Man (Dante Bruno)

Profile of Dante Alighieri, one of the most re...

Profile of Dante Alighieri, one of the most renowned Italian poets, painted by his contemporary Giotto di Bondone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2007 I had a revelation about Dan Brown.  I had a rebirth revelation about Brown, not because I met him but because I read him.

After reading his bestseller The Da Vinci Code and even better his earlier book Angels and Demons. The  trailer  is available for Angels and Demons directed by Ron Howard, starring Tom Hanks. Thus I became a part of Dan Brown’s astral family. In a rebirth sense I am also related to Tom Hanks. Why? Because he is a direct ancestor of Nancy Hanks-Lincoln, mother of Abe Lincoln.

Yes, I know it gets complex. I tried to explain it in my book Dinner With da Vinci  (which I’ve made available, however this chapter is not a part of it). In order to find a person’s past life you have to in some way become a part of their current life. One reveals the other, and so it was in the case of Dan Brown.

How does one name contain another name? 

And what does it tell us about its owner? I use something I call and created:  name recognition pattern and it garners high marks. One is often limited to obtaining identities simply because you have not met the person in the life. So you place another person in their stead until you do. It’s not a mistake but rather an application. But before one can make and apply one life to another one must become a part of the other person’s life.

It can happen on the astral plane, mental plane or the physical plane or all three. But somewhere there must be a meeting of the minds, so to speak.

In the case of Dan Brown it turns out that we were astral twins of sorts. I was actually writing about experimental physicists I was working with at the time in 2000.  in my book, had a chance to visit Fermi Lab in Switzerland and both Dan Brown and myself were writing about Da Vinci in the year 2000. I did not discover all of this until I read his book Angels and Demos, which in some ways is better than the DaVinci Code.

After getting into Dan Brown’s mind I saw the light of Dante ‘s life flashed through Dan’s life. I compared their history and their names and voila–it was a rendezvous with Italy.

I started researching and writing about this find. It was not published with my book Dinner With Da Vinci  wherein I do include other famous people such as Sylvia Plath whom I identify now a biracial English writer/author: Zadie Smith, who was almost named Sylvia as the reborn Sylvia Plath, just one of many in my book.

I asked the question was Dan Brown reborn Dante Bruno? The answer was most intriguing because few know that Dante’s step father’s name was Bruno. And had he accepted it his name would be in history as Dante Bruno, instead of Dante Alighieri.

Read it for yourself. The chapter I wrote can be found here .



Movie Review: Frost/Nixon–updated

What director Ron Howard has wrought in Frost/Nixon–riveting. Hands down this movie is best-picture-of-the-year material. Howards’ handling of the film adaptation from the Peter Morgan screenplay will be studied for years to come. Frank Langella’s Richard Nixon is a study in the flawless character presentation of a deeply complex man. David Frost is the perfect foil to the face of evil that Nixon continually presents to the public and to the man he hopes to trump and outwit. Frost/Nixon retells the historical interviews conducted by David Frost and subject Richard M. Nixon. Nixon is a ticking time bomb of information waiting to explode, but will he?

The film opens with the hapless career of David Frost. Michael Sheen’s Frost is believable, loveable and cunning. He can’t get enough good exposure in England so he settles for bad exposure in Australia. Enter Nixon and the 43 million audience share who watch his televised farewell. The biggest names in network TV are chomping at the resigned-presidential interview bit. According to the film, Frost is frankly the last man with the credibility to pull off any media coup let alone this one.

Frost’s goes into overdrive to secure an interview with Nixon before the big dogs of journalism snag him first. But is he credible? David’s first task is to buy Nixon’s interview. The tension and conflict inherent in this decision consumes Frost and the first half of the film. Sheen’s acting sags in these critical scenes. He is not clear on how to handle the inner Frost. Who is David Frost the man, talk-show host and bon vivant? We are not really certain. Frost’s character and what drives him is not fleshed out. Conversely there is no doubt about Langella’s Nixon, he is the former president for the duration of the film.

Frost has his chance to fall up the media ladder when Nixon’s gay/effeminate agent calls him in the middle of the night to accept the offer that has been booted up to a cool $600,000—the most ever paid for an interview.

Nixon is giddy with greed over the prospect of taking easy media money. He and Kevin Bacon who plays his aide and confidante Jack Brennan have plans. This is fascinating stuff.

Since the film is THE retelling of the making of the famous Nixon/Frost interview–a re-enactment of the taping sessions is in order, making up the second half of the film. The Frost “crack team” of researchers watch in horror as their plan goes suddenly awry in the hands of a cavalier Frost. He becomes enthralled, and who wouldn’t, with exotic arm candy Caroline Cushing (Rebecca Hall). The realists that make up the Frost team see early on that it is pointless to talk him down from his love nest. They ignore the tryst, but at the same time have to buoy a weary Frost as he endures many Khrushchev moments.

Nixon playfully walks all over Frost just as Jack Kennedy reported about his Russian meetings with Nikita Khrushchev. How did that happen? Nixon wrestles away the interview from Frost with wild reminiscing and anecdotes that fill the time with talk and trash. He will not shut up. The audience however wants to know if the plan, now shot full of holes and hubris, will succeed. Nixon’s strong personality creates unexpected tension threatening the interviews’ success. 

The cast of Frost/Nixon is a wonderful ensemble who gives Frost the weight he needs with network bosses. They don’t give in nor get in the way of the story that would flatten its impact. And in any historical or documentary film that’s important.

America, David Frost and company all want to hear the truth from Nixon’s own lips. Hot is hot, cold is cold and criminal is criminal and Langella’s Nixon demonstrates time and again that he may never learn this moral lesson. Will America be treated to long-awaited capitulation and contrition or just the hot air of “Tricky Dick” Nixon? You be the judge. But whatever final verdict is rendered do not miss this bad-ass film. 

It is up to Ron Howard to move this two-hour biopic forward–he gets the pace just right. The real director’s cut.

If practice makes perfect then Howard’s ability to keep this movie on nimble toes is evidence of that perfection. This film talks, but not aimlessly. No words, looks or theater was wasted. Nixon’s waterfall of words could have bogged the film down but Howard’s strong direction keeps apace with the intensity of the subject matter. He does not drop the drama from the first frame to the last. Ron Howard has made another great film that we want to watch and reward.

Updated: Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon has been nominated for best pic and for best director.

Heloise  originally published at 


I predict Ron will win best director. He has stiff competition though from the Slumdog director. Gotta think about that one.