Review: The Paul Is Dead Documentary “Who Is This Now?”


Who Is This Now? is a short documentary on the “Paul Is Dead” conspiracy theory which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube. Standing out in an increasingly crowded subgenre of a subgenre, the film takes a fresh approach not only to the subject matter but—importantly to me—the way it is told.

If you need a brief refresher on the Paul Is Dead theory (and my post “Better Call Paul: The Mystery of the Winged Beatle” goes into this in far more detail), here goes: basically, it’s that Beatles singer Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a double. “Clues” to the existence of the “fake Paul” (“Faul”) can be found throughout Beatles album covers and lyrics—as well as playing the records backwards.

who-is-this-now-posterIn Who Is This Now, the documentarian, Mitch Fillion, visits various friends and shares his increasing knowledge of the conspiracy theory with them. This occasionally gets into the realm of cringe, as you can almost catch some of these hapless individuals sort of “glazing over” as Fillion gets into more and more obscure detail.

But I really loved the way Fillion approached the narrative here, shaping it around these visits; relying far more on him just telling the information to others (and getting their natural reactions) rather than just voiceovers over footage.

There are also some weird visual choices here that I wonder if Fillion had made consciously, as in the first sequence when he’s telling a friend about the “hand over the head” symbolism on the Beatles album covers while at the same time there is a painting of a hand directly in the background over his own head.

paul-is-dead-magazine.jpgAbout 2/3rds in he gets far more into wider conspiracy theory—”metatheory”—regarding Paul is Dead, involving Masons, Aleister Crowley, and LSD. Fillion’s final conclusion (spoilers) is that Paul McCartney indeed never died and was replaced by a double in ’66, but that rather the idea of a “Paul impostor” reflected more of a significant personality change within Paul during that time period (possibly triggered by LSD use).

And that’s very close to the conclusion I myself have made on this topic. (though I’m also open to the possibility that Paul was straight-up channeling stuff)

So if you are interested in an alternative take on an “alternative history” topic such as Paul Is Dead—you can watch the documentary, made by Near Death Films, below:

More to read about on Butterfly Language:
Better Call Paul: The Mystery of the “Winged Beatle”
AI Creates Beatles-Like Song “Daddy’s Car”
Playing Those Mind Games: John Lennon And UFOs