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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

SYNOPSIS:
A variety of "experts" speculate about how recent theories of quantum physics and other scientific fields offer new models of spirituality. Their thoughts are intercut with the adventures of Amanda (Marlee Matlin), a deaf photographer who's fallen into depression after the failure of her marriage.

Review by Jake Wilson:
For anyone interested in both modern science and spirituality, What The Bleep Do We Know!? raises some of the deepest and most fascinating questions, from the relationship between mind and body to the true nature of time. What a shame it's a load of garbage. Call me cynical, but I just can't believe higher consciousness can be successfully promoted by the same gimmicks used in Microsoft ads - sub-Philip-Glass music, digital morphing effects, and vapid rhetoric about "endless possibilities". As for the soundbites on quantum physics and neuroscience, while some of the more fanciful ideas are interesting to ponder, I'm doubtful anyone has yet proven that love particles can be found in ice, or that mass meditation can lower a city's crime rate.

After I got home from this movie I was curious to know more about its makers, so I looked them up on the Web. It turns out all three are students at something called Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, run by a woman named J.Z. Knight who claims to be channelling a 35,000-year-old warrior sage from Atlantis. While many of the "experts" here come off as obvious phonies, Knight is possibly the least convincing of the lot - close to a parody of the exotic medium, flashing her kohl-ringed eyes and italicising half the words in every sentence. I wouldn't want to spend much time in the same room with her, or with the toothy, wild-haired scientist Fred Alan Wolf, who babbles on about the "wacky world" of quantum physics but seems rather too pleased about resembling a Disney cartoon of a nutty professor.

Like the film as a whole, these smiling gurus are relentlessly positive but almost entirely humourless - and when that's the case, both spiritual seekers and cinephiles would do best to run the other way.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!? (M)
(US, 2005)

CAST: Marlee Matlin

DIRECTOR: William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente

RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hopscotch/Polyphony

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 14, 2005

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment/Hopscotch

VIDEO RELEASE: October 20, 2005







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