This documentary shot over a four-year period follows careers and private lives of four magicians: Jon Armstrong, a master of the card trick, Brian Gillis who has to endure the death of his dog, recessionary challenges, and considerable downsizing on the home front, Jan Rouven, a German-born rising star of the Las Vegas strip, and David Minkin, a self-described “stepchild of magic,” determined to bring his more existential slant on illusion to the small screen.
Personally, I feel this documentary proved that there is no magic. You can learn some nifty tricks, organize a show, you can charm any audience, even the whole bachelorette party, but you cannot avoid financial troubles, divorces, health problems, dishonest competitors, death and taxes. There’s no magic, I tell you – otherwise magicians would be able to solve their most serious issues in an instant. That fact is a bit sad but also strangely heart-warming. We all face the same challenges and woes and here goes the proof. What a relief. ;p
The movie was engaging and quite entertaining, even though you don’t get to see tricks revealed and explained which I admit would be fun. Still the behind-the-scenes footage of magicians dealing with normal life, making a living, going shopping and so on I found endearing. Minkin expresses concern that magic loses power when viewed on screen but I liked his knack for levitating items and his simple, quiet, low-key illusions the best. By the way, Jan Rouven should no longer be called a rising star of anything – follow this link if you want to know why.
An interesting documentary that proves that there is no magic – sad but true. Still a completely recommendable film for a quiet evening.