Note from Liz:
What was the last movie you watched in the theater?
Did it inspire you to look within, and truly contemplate who you've become?
Did you find yourself examining the age-old question, "why am I here?"
Entertainment, be it movies, music, or art, is one of the most powerful expressions of self. What we choose to patronize and support reflects our highest commitments and the contract we’ve made with ourselves to be open, aware, loving, and forward thinking.
Think about the last time you plunked down the bucks to see a movie. Was it a film aligned with your essence of being? Did it have a message that really warmed your heart, or inspired you to be a better person?
As a reader of this magazine, chances are you’d pay to see movies that empower, inspire, and uplift. I bet you’d even welcome visionary cinema into your local movie theater.
Stephen Simon, veteran Hollywood film producer of more than 25 movies including Academy Award®-winner WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and cult-favorite SOMEWHERE IN TIME, believes the time has come for a radical shift in movie themes and messages.
Simon’s latest venture will encourage that very thing.
Along with bestselling authors Gay and Katie Hendricks Simon, launched The Spiritual Cinema Circle as a new form of distribution for a previously unknown category of films, what he calls 3Spiritual Cinema.2 (get the details about Spiritual Cinema Circle at the end of this article).
We loved the idea of Spiritual Cinema so much that we've arranged to publish Stephen's monthly film review column – The Movie Mystic – in Healthy Wealthy nWise.
This month we start off with a review of a film you heard about last month in the magazine that features our October Cover Story Guest – Real Life Legend, John Hagelin.
Here's what Simon has to say about "What the Bleep…"
What the Bleep Do We Know!?
“WHAT THE #$*! DO WE KNOW?!” is already a phenomenon in the world of Spiritual Cinema. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to find it in your area and go!
Filmed in a fascinating and utterly awe-inspiring style of combining documentary-like interviews, stylistic and exciting animation, and a dramatic storyline featuring Marlee Matlin, the movie is an innovative masterwork of spirituality. With strategic marketing, “What The Bleep” has the potential of being recognized as nothing less than a significant cultural milestone.
Filmmakers William Arntz, Mark Vicente, and Betsy Chasse deserve Nobel Prizes just for having the courage to attempt such a daredevil, high wire act! They have taken 3 years to wrestle this bracing blend of animation, documentary, and live action footage into a coherent and entertaining storyline and have succeeded brilliantly. The audience is hooked from the very first images, which are beautifully photographed by CO-Director/Producer and Cinematographer Mark Vicente (the city of Portland should erect a monument in Mark’s name!) The journey then plunges us into the ultimate questions of Spiritual Entertainment–who are we and why are we here?
We meet several fascinating and eloquent scientists, authors, innovators, and spiritual seekers who all discuss, with intricate cohesion, the basic secrets of our existence. Together, they make an inescapable and breathtaking case for the bedrock of all metaphysical teaching: each individual creates his or her own reality. There is no objective experience of the world around us. We create all of it–from our thoughts, feelings, and intentions. This is the first film in my memory to illuminate that issue in such a frank, no-holds barred fashion and I was just thrilled and amazed to see these discussions up on a big screen for the world to see.
Intercut with these fascinating discussions and insights is a poignant and deeply moving dramatic story that features Marlee Matlin as a Portland-based photographer who actually observes and experiences many of the issues presented by the personalities in the documentary aspects of the film. For instance, she experiences multiple versions of herself in different life situations where one little decision here and there can reshape an entire lifetime. It’s a wonderful way of demonstrating how deeply our own choices impact our lives. More than all that, however, her story is also one of heartbreaking honesty and vulnerability as she faces her own inner demons of feeling deeply ashamed of herself. In illustrating the debilitating effects of a negative self-image, Matlin’s performance is so naked and vulnerable that it seems more of a purging of the depths of a soul than a mere role in a movie. She also interacts with an extraordinary young actor (Robert Bailey, Jr.) on a basketball court (a great metaphor for the “game” of life) who challenges her with the penetrating question of how deeply she wants to look at both her own existence and also the depth of the mystery of everyday life. “How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?” he asks her. For me, the Matlin story is the emotional center of the film and, in and of itself, is worth the price of admission.
Blending with the documentary and Matlin aspects is some state-of-the-art animation that illustrates the very inner workings of our cellular structure as it responds to stimuli from the outside world.
“What the Bleep” is nothing less than a filmic adventure into the very nature of human existence and, as such, it has the potential of bringing these deeply spiritual questions into mainstream media and dialogue. Quibbles? Only a couple. As humans, we actually do have the capacity to know more about the illusion of life than we ever have before and a title that minimizes that aspect of our self-awareness detracts from, rather than enhances, the message of the film. I also found some of the highly technical and detailed discussions of phenomena such as “neuropeptides” to be somewhat obscure and there is a wedding scene that I experienced as being a bit too broadly farcical and out of tune with the rest of the film. These last two comments, however, are trivial matters in comparison to the brilliance of the huge majority of the film.
“What the Bleep” is now opening in more theaters. I strongly recommend that you go see it as soon-and often- as you can and alert your friends to it as well. Like Mel Gibson did with THE PASSION, Financier and Co-Director/Producer William Arntz has personally financed the courage of his convictions (here with a spiritual rather than religious theme), and he deserves to be rewarded for his vision and bravery, as do all those involved with the film. For more information, please check out www.whatthebleep.com.
(Stephen Simon has produced such films as Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come, has just produced and directed INDIGO, and wrote The Force is With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives. He also co-founded The Spiritual Cinema Circle , the world’s first and only Home Dvd delivery service that exclusively distributes Spiritual Cinema. Stephen welcomes your comments by email: Stephen@spiritualcinemacircle.com)
Movie Mystic Chakra Rating for WHAT THE BLEEP (Click Here for an explanation of THE CHAKRA RATING
CHAKRA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
RATING 4 3 3 4 3 3 3