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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—Dr. Beitman, who developed Coincidence Studies, said “If people learn to become more sensitive to coincidences in movies, then they can learn to become more coincidence-sensitive in the movies of their own lives.”
In “Casablanca,” Rick, says, “Of all the gin joints in all the world, she walks into mine.” Beitman noted: “That coincidence … sets the stage for the entire movie.”
Many other movies include important coincidences. Another example is the 2005 movie, “The Bee Season.” A man helped his daughter practice for a spelling bee championship in Washington, D.C. He asked her to spell “origami.” The last word she is asked to spell to win the championship is, coincidentally, “origami.” She misspelled it.
The coincidence is used here to show the viewer that she intentionally misspelled it, because the viewer knows from the previous scene that she knows how to spell it. This movie was based on a novel, and in the novel there was no such coincidence. The author was able to tell the reader by other means that she intentionally misspelled it.
Charles Dickens often used coincidences in his novels. “As large as London was in those times, coincidences were a part of people’s lives,” Beitman said. “He didn’t think he was making it up.”
In the case of fiction, the author makes coincidences happen. In real life who or what, if anything, makes coincidences happen? Who is the author, who is the script-writer?
Many times, the author is yourself, Beitman said. “We notice them, and we act on them,” he said.
But there is still an element of mystery to coincidences. “Some of them, I don’t know, I can’t say it’s us,” he said. Many people believe God makes them happen. Some say it’s the “universe.”
This is the seventh and final part in a series of videos with Dr. Beitman. Check here for all parts in the series: Coincidences Video Series
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