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What on Earth? (2009)

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"What on Earth?" chronicles Suzanne Taylor's interactions with a lively community of visionary artists, scientists, philosophers, geometers, educators and farmers who have been profoundly ... See full summary »
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"What on Earth?" chronicles Suzanne Taylor's interactions with a lively community of visionary artists, scientists, philosophers, geometers, educators and farmers who have been profoundly touched by the crop circle phenomenon, one of the greatest mysteries of our time, and who gather every summer in southern England to engage with it. Filled with stunning circle imagery, it presents evidence that the circles come from elsewhere and speculations about how accepting that -- which is hampered by our scientific materialistic worldview -- could help us think as a planet to solve the pressing problems that challenge us now. Written by Suzanne Taylor

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Taglines:

Inside the crop circle mystery

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Mighty Companions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3 Letterbox
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User Reviews

 
Crop Circles: Doorways to Another Reality?
26 August 2013 | by heyesfilmSee all my reviews

Being of generally open mind, I'm always a bit startled to find hidden pockets of prejudgment in my thinking. So it was when I first approached Suzanne Taylor's surprisingly superior "What On Earth? – Inside The Crop Circle Mystery." When the film was first recommended to me, I remember thinking, "Didn't they prove that was all a big hoax? Weren't there a couple of guys who even showed how they 'made' those circles?" Even before I saw a frame of this film, I was predisposed to be skeptical, with a decided lack of a factual basis for my opinions.

In its engaging, accessible, good-hearted way, "What On Earth?" takes us on a journey of discovery striking in its depth, surreal in its beauty, and profound in its implications. With filming primarily on location around Wiltshire, England – the epicenter of worldwide crop circle activity -- filmmaker Suzanne Taylor also serves as our guide to the wonderful circles, and to the fascinating community of scientists, philosophers, physicists, artists, visionaries and just plain folks whose lives have been indelibly imprinted by the circles. They come from all over the world, drawn by the mystical, transformative power of this place. What is the connection of these formations to the other spiritual sites of southern England? What intelligence created them? What is the meaning of their intricate geometry and mathematics? What do they suggest about our place in the cosmic order? And if they are, at the very least, evidence that we are not alone, how must that recognition influence our world view? The film exposes the credibility gap of the so-called "hoaxers", who got a frenzy of media attention when they claimed credit for creating the crop circles. The inordinate amount of attention given these hoaxers points to a larger practice of public disinformation on the subject of extraterrestrial or paranormal activity which systematically seeks to discredit any kind of evidence. But even the clumsy footwork of the hoaxers and the full compliance of the media machine can't conceal the gaping holes in the hoax narrative.

Revealing evidence comes from the plants themselves. When "stomped" into place, the stalks of the plants exhibit breaking and scarring caused by a mechanical apparatus. In the real circles (the ones that spontaneously "drop" into place) there is no mechanical damage to the plants. Instead, we observe the phenomenon of bent or blown nodes –a physical change in the cellular structure of the plants themselves, where the tiny "knuckles" of the plant stem simply bend or explode as though from some internal force. We see that the plants "lay down" in symmetrical spirals and patterns. We learn of the tremendous electromagnetic influence of these formations, that cameras, electronic equipment and cell phones which function perfectly outside the circles become inoperative and useless inside them. We understand that the circles, though concentrated in this region of Southern England, are a global phenomenon with examples dating back hundreds if not thousands of years – centuries before the hoaxers ever set foot in a cornfield. The same two guys who claimed credit for making the crop circles later admitted they'd never made a crop circle in Wiltshire, which is where most of them have historically appeared.

Taylor has crafted a wonderful, deceptively rich, compelling film. Beyond the interviews and information, "What On Earth?" provides us with an experience of the awe and majesty of these marvelous mysteries. Perhaps the most subtle and satisfying part of the film is when the camera settles back without commentary and allows us to simply contemplate the spectacular circles in all their strange cosmic glory. Suffice it to say that I was not only divested of my skepticism by this thought provoking film, but also led into an examination of some basic questions about the nature of our reality here on Earth. Are we truly not alone? Are the circles evidence of another reality altogether? Is a higher-order intelligence trying to tell us something? Are these designs solutions to the problems of our existence and sustainability as a species? Are they being presented by teachers who are trying to reach us, to stretch our minds, to open ourselves to the possibility of a reality of which we have not even dreamed? The film deftly poses the questions and then allows us to ponder the answers offered in stunning detail by the crop circles themselves.

Kudos to the filmmaker and to the architects of the circles. You've all done a most impressive job.


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