Friday, February 01, 2008

The Lost Chapter

Opening page of “Chapter 27” in the Spanish-language edition of Nowhere Man.

Acknowledging one of the fundamental flaws of Chapter 27, the film about the murder of John Lennon, starring Jared Leto as Mark David Chapman and Lindsay Lohan as Jude, a Lennon fan, the distributors of the movie’s Spanish-language version have changed the title. In Latin America and Spain, Chapter 27 is being called El Capítulo Perdido, which translates as “The Lost Chapter” or “The Missing Chapter.”

As I’ve been explaining in this blog for the past two years, and as the media has said as well, Chapter 27’s writer/director Jarrett Schaefer ripped off the title of his film from “Chapter 27” in the Chapman section of my John Lennon biography, Nowhere Man. But he did so only half understanding what that title means, or perhaps understanding what it means but seeing no need to fully explain it.

Schaefer’s film does explain that “Chapter 27” is a reference to the missing chapter of J.D. Salinger’s classic novel of disaffected youth, The Catcher in the Rye, which ends on chapter 26, and which “inspired” Chapman to murder Lennon. (Chapman, as I said in Nowhere Man, believed he was going to write chapter 27 in Lennon’s blood, and then literally disappear into the pages of the book after he shot the ex-Beatle.) But the film does not explain that 27 is also “the triple 9,” which “karmically” connected Chapman to Lennon because it was a number of profound importance to the ex-Beatle, who was obsessed with numerology, Cheiro’s Book of Numbers, and especially number 9 and all its multiples. (Lennon was born on October 9.)

Nowhere Man
is the only book that explains this numerological connection. And I’ve often wondered why Schaefer didn’t call his movie Let Me Take You Down, the perfectly adequate and understandable title of the Chapman biography he based the movie on. Why did he use a title that he doesn’t explain, or credit, and that is only understandable to people who’ve read Nowhere Man or this blog?

Apparently, the Spanish-language distributors couldn’t answer this question, either.

They also had to contend with the fact that the Spanish-language media has been analyzing Nowhere Man since it was published in Latin America in 2003, and that upon learning that Chapter 27 was being made, immediately said that that title came from Nowhere Man.

So, the distributors changed the title to one that made more sense and didn’t require any outside reading to understand.

Chapter 27
is scheduled for theatrical release in the U.S. next month, and I will post my review here as soon as I see it.

1 comment:

Robert Rosen said...

I've just noticed that the Czech distributors, too, have rejected "Chapter 27" as the title of the film and are calling it "Zavraždění Johna Lennona," which means "The Assassination of John Lennon."