The Norman Rockwell Code - 'Da Vinci' Spoof Rocks The Web

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While the novel and film The Da Vinci Code continue to shatter records worldwide, writer-director Alfred Thomas Catalfo and producer Marc Dole are rocking the web with their short film spoof, The Norman Rockwell Code. The 35-minute film made The Must List ("Ten Things We Love This Week") in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly which hails the "whimsical Web-based parody". The film's website -- http://www.TheNormanRockwellCode.com -- has had more than half a million hits since The Norman Rockwell Code became available for free viewing there on May 19, the same day the film version of The Da Vinci Code was released.

We already have the decoder ring so what the heck

While the novel and film The Da Vinci Code continue to shatter records worldwide, writer-director Alfred Thomas Catalfo and producer Marc Dole are rocking the web with their short film spoof, The Norman Rockwell Code. The 35-minute film made The Must List ("Ten Things We Love This Week") in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly which hails the "whimsical Web-based parody". The film's website -- http://www.TheNormanRockwellCode.com -- has had more than half a million hits since The Norman Rockwell Code became available for free viewing there on May 19, the same day the film version of The Da Vinci Code was released.

Like that "other" story, The Norman Rockwell Code involves a famous museum, a shocking murder, a distinguished (well, sort of) symbologist and secrets written in code. But, in the parody, the museum isn't the Louvre -- it's the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. And the symbologist isn't Robert Langdon of Harvard -- he's Professor Langford Fife of Stockbridge Community College, the son of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife of Mayberry, North Carolina. The film is dedicated to Don Knotts, who memorably played Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, and includes references to Opie Taylor, the character played by Da Vinci Code director Ron Howard on the same show.

Equipped with an Ovaltine Secret Decoder Ring, Langford Fife and cryptologist Sopha Poisson of the Quebec Secret Service set out to uncover the clues hidden in the paintings of Norman Rockwell... clues that will lead them to a secret society, a legendary bloodline and a battle with sinister forces.

"After reading The Da Vinci Code, I wondered what would happen if you took that very European-oriented, controversial storyline and infused it with classic Americana," Catalfo says. The low (actually, no) budget film was shot over four consecutive weekends in late February and early March in seacoast New Hampshire, where Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown also lives. There has been talk about expanding the short film into a feature and the filmmakers are interested. "We already have the decoder ring so what the heck," laughs Catalfo, an attorney who plays a detective in the film. The Norman Rockwell Code will be screened at the real Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, on Sunday, June 25, at 2:00 p.m.

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Alfred Thomas Catalfo

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