‘Bleep’s’ deep questions require pre-viewing aspirin

Talking heads team up with animation to tout New Age theories.

“What the Bleep Do We Know?”
Rating: No MPAA rating
Stars: Marlee Matlin
Director: William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente
Length: 1 hour, 51 minutes
Theater: Varsity

(Ratings are on a 5-star scale)

An intricate knowledge of quantum physics isn’t required to enjoy the unusual “What the Bleep Do We Know?/a> ” but a glass of wine or bottle of aspirin should be mandatory.

Otherwise your head will throb from this peculiar combination of dramatic scenes, animation and talking heads that asks a lot of really, really deep questions.

Many of the answers, we’re told, might be found in quantum physics – “the science of possibility.” The film never says so, but I suspect it also feels that Transcendental Meditation plays a big role, too.

There’s still so much to learn about the human brain that it’s an acceptable thesis that the mind holds untapped abilities.

“What the Bleep” tries really, really hard to make all of this mildly entertaining, so we get a number of silly scenes starring Marlee Matlin as Amanda, a depressed photographer who draws on herself with a marker. In a different context, that could have been entertaining.

But not with animated peptides dancing to “Disco Inferno” and talking heads like Fairfield’s John Hagelin, who has run for president a few times on the Natural Law Party‘s ticket. Hagelin’s latest initiative is to “train 8,000 students as peace-creating experts at a new University of World Peace, to be established in Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa.”

Many of Hagelin’s arguments are interesting and thought-provoking, even if you are skeptical that meditators really did lower the crime rate in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1993.

It’s the New Age hooey that starts to wear thin.

“What I thought was unreal now for me seems in some ways to be more real than what I think to be real, which seems now more to be unreal,” says physicist Fred Alan Wolf.

Then there’s the extended chats with “Ramtha,” which the film’s literature describes as “a mystic, philosopher, master teacher and hierophant.” (The last is someone who interprets secret knowledge.) She sells nine-day ” reginning retreats” to teach you about the mystery of mind over matter.

Operators are standing by.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Des Moines Register, USA
Sep. 24, 2004
Jeffrey Bruner, Register Film Critic

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday September 24, 2004.
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