‘What the Bleep Do We Know!?’: The pseudo-scientific oddity that became a cult favourite

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Trying to predict which movies are going to be remembered as cult favourites, curiosities, and endless sources of fascination is a hard thing to do ahead of time, but from the outside looking in, there was no other plausible outcome for What the Bleep Do We Know!?, based entirely on how bizarre it was in origin, construction, and execution.

Co-written, co-directed and co-produced by William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, and Mark Vicente, the first sign that this wasn’t going to be cinema in the conventional sense came through the way the trio met. They were all students of J.Z. Knight, who established Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment in 1988 and claims he’s the human conduit for the titular 35,000-year-old being. It may or may not be a cult, but that’s up to any given individual to decide.

Somewhere between a narrative feature, a verité-style documentary, and a complete mindfuck, What the Bleep Do We Know!? suggests through the means of Marlee Martin’s photographer character Amanda that there’s a direct spiritual tie between quantum mechanics and human consciousness.

Thanks to talking head-type interviews and computer-animated sequences, Amanda encounters and overcomes a series of existential roadblocks on her way to personal, professional, and spiritual enlightenment, operating under the increasing assumption that individual consciousness and the power of the hive mind can impact the real world.

Is much of the content scientifically accurate? No, not really. Unsurprisingly, then, the film was heavily criticised for peddling and perpetuating pseudoscience. Sure, many of the subjects interviewed are professionals in such fields as physics, chemistry, and biology, but their words are twisted to fit the story being crafted by the filmmakers.

Content retrieved from: https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/pseudo-scientific-oddity-became-a-cult-favourite/.

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