What the

What the "Bleep" Do We Know!?

3.9 50
Director: William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente

Cast: Marlee Matlin

     
 

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Part narrative, part documentary, and part animation, What the #$*! Do We Know?! was filmed with the intent of expressing the neurological processes and so called "quantum uncertainty" of life. With the help of a directorial triumvirate consisting of Betsy Chasse, William Arntz, and Mark Vicente, Marlee Matlin stars as Amanda, whose uninspired daily routine isSee more details below

Overview

Part narrative, part documentary, and part animation, What the #$*! Do We Know?! was filmed with the intent of expressing the neurological processes and so called "quantum uncertainty" of life. With the help of a directorial triumvirate consisting of Betsy Chasse, William Arntz, and Mark Vicente, Marlee Matlin stars as Amanda, whose uninspired daily routine is abruptly altered into a chaotic, Alice in Wonderland-style reality, complete with quirky characters and wildly different perspectives on life. As Amanda falls deeper into the experience, she's forced to drastically reconsider her perceptions of interpersonal relationships, men, and the fundamental principles of life. What the #$*! Do We Know?! is supplemented by a host of mystics and scientists, who are interviewed intermittently throughout the film for their wisdom and knowledge concerning religion, science, the thin line between them, and the consequences of blurring that line. ~ Tracie Cooper

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This hard-to-describe movie, which combines talking-head documentary footage with a fictional narrative, attempts to explain quantum physics in terms most audiences can understand. The extent to which it succeeds will largely be the extent to which a viewer grasps the complex theories being addressed in those terms. Does matter exist? Does time flow in one direction? Have we determined that there really is a universe, or could it just be a construct of our feeble minds? A procession of physicists, philosophers, and medical professionals grapple with these questions, but their answers are often obtuse, elliptical, and far from conclusive. Intercut with their musings is the story of Amanda (Marlee Matlin), a photographer with many questions about her own existence. The simple act of attending a wedding reception makes her uneasy: are all these people dancing in a hall, or are they simply bouncing through space and time? They seem to be enjoying themselves, but are they? There's no point in pretending that everybody will find this movie equally engaging and provocative; the constant musing and speculation will make some viewers restive. But the filmmaking team of Mark Vicente, Betsy Chasse, and William Arntz has succeeded in crafting a movie that is wholly original, and those who possess patience and intellectual curiosity in equal measure will be mesmerized by it.
All Movie Guide
At its best moments, What the Bleep Do We Know?! is like Richard Linklater's Waking Life, sans the watercolor visuals -- a high-level intellectual discourse on states of being and life possibilities. At worst, it's like a recruitment video for a new-age cult. Fortunately for the trio of filmmakers, their ambitious project has more good moments than clumsy ones, and no one has ever been accused of brainwashing someone with discussions of subatomic particle theory. What the Bleep Do We Know?! exists in a strange middle ground between documentary (interviews with talking heads) and narrative film (the story that illustrates their ideas). Clearly the directors are more comfortable with the former, leaving it up to Marlee Matlin to breathe truth into a series of stagy incidents from the life of a frustrated photographer. While Matlin's naked performance involves acting out a bunch of self-loathing, she can't overcome the stiff execution of the novice screenwriting team. They do shine during a funny wedding sequence, in which Matlin's character sees the cells of the drunken guests anthropomorphized as colorful blobs, interacting according to their behavioral tendencies. If that description seems silly, it's just one of the ways the film must be seen rather than explained. It's rich with notions about alternate dimensions, the spatial uncertainty of objects, the impact of thoughts on organic cells, and being "in the mystery" rather than "in the know." A standout among the generally interchangeable interview subjects is Ramtha, a kooky spiritual guru who's a mix between Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Jennifer Coolidge. Despite some clunky moments, What the Bleep is a thought-provoking life manual that should hold interest for all but the most obstinate cynics.
Philadelphia Inquirer
As a piece of filmmaking, What the Bleep isn't exactly transcendent stuff. But as an entryway into new ways of thinking about the self, the universe, and the vast infinite whatnot of whatever (you know what we mean, oh wise one), this little movie is big. Steven Rea

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/15/2005
UPC:
0024543170884
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:48:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marlee Matlin Amanda
Elaine Hendrix Jennifer
John Ross Bowie Elliot
Robert Bailey Reggie
Armin Shimerman Old Man
Barry Newman Frank
Larry Branderburg Bruno
David Albert Actor
Joseph Dispenza Actor
Amit Goswami Actor
John Hagelin Actor
Stuart Hameroff Actor
Michael Ledwith Actor
Daniel Monti Actor
Andrew B. Newberg Actor
Cadace Pert Actor
Ramtha Actor
Jeffrey Satinover Actor
William Tiller Actor
Fred Alan Wolf Actor
William Joseph Elk Shaman

Technical Credits
William Arntz Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Betsy Chasse Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Mark Vicente Director,Cinematographer
Jim Baer Sound/Sound Designer
Tim Bomba Musical Direction/Supervision
David Bridges Cinematographer
Christopher Franke Score Composer
Matthew Hoffman Screenwriter
Robin Lane Choreography
Ron Leamon Costumes/Costume Designer
Eugene Mazzola Asst. Director
Valerie McCaffrey Casting
Antonia Nava Production Designer
George Nemzer Sound/Sound Designer
Shandy Ray Set Decoration/Design
Francesca Serra Associate Producer
Jonathan Shaw Editor
Danny Stoltz Casting
Straw Weisman Associate Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Feature
1. Opening Sequence [:16]
2. What Is Reality? [:32]
3. Seeing the Ships [5:46]
4. Duke Reginald's Court of Unending Possibilities [:21]
5. Radical Thinking [3:42]
6. Affecting the Reality We See [4:21]
7. A Strange Day [4:33]
8. Concepts of God [3:14]
9. Who Is in Control? [3:01]
10. Emotional States [4:40]
11. Addicted to Emotions [:04]
12. An Upsetting Reflection [7:49]
13. New Perceptions [:21]
14. Losing Track of Ourselves [5:36]
15. Down the Rabbit Hole [:55]
16. End Credits [5:14]

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