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Topic: James randi - an honest liar
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Mar 21, 2015 10:19PM)
Just saw the movie with my wife and loved it. Not a lot of magic in it, but a lot of food for thought for magicians. Didn't know you could fool a scientist? Lots of ethical questions in there ... eg would you create a hoax to expose one? It actually made me respect Houdini more than ever. Cameos galore, including Uri Geller (ugh). Lynn
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Apr 6, 2015 07:55PM)
Did they interview the FBI?
Message: Posted by: CHRousseau (May 3, 2015 11:52PM)
As this thread was started by lynnef to discuss the film, I hope it will not be sidetracked by malcontents with alternate personal agendas.

I just saw this film this afternoon at the Grand Cinema in Tacoma. A bittersweet experience, but definitely thought-provoking. I will want to see it again, but only after I have had some time to digest what I found to be and unexpected and multi-layered message. I came away from the movie with a totally different set of reactions than I expected going in after viewing the trailer and some of the reviews which characterized the movie as two different films spliced together because the director did not know which story he really wanted to tell: that of Randi the dynamic Houdiniesque magician/debunker or Randi the private man, aging and viewed in the twilight of his life as very, very human. For myself, I thought the two strands were necessarily and successfully intertwined.

Mundus vult decipi never seemed a more fitting phrase than at the point in the film where a vitriolic television audience denounces Randi for trying to debunk their delusions and tell them some simple truths. It is also ironic that some of his principal targets of exposure recovered to become more popular than before and actually seem to have benefited financially from the extra attention Randi garnered for them, hardly the resulted I suspect he wanted.

Ultimately, it seemed to me that Randi's own epigrammatic warning about how even an educated person can be deceived, spoken both at the outset and conclusion of the film, come back to haunt even him by the closing credits. And at a personal level, the off-hand words of one talking head--"we end of believing what we need to believe"--will be the source of some serious soul-searching in the days ahead.

Early in the film Randi describes how as a child he saw Blackstone perform in Canada. The film shows HB Sr on stage with his buzzsaw set-up, then Randi talks about how the performer made a woman float, how he was unable to see any wires or supports and this made him want to become a magician.

I am looking for someone of my generation (in my 60's) to confirm one misfire I thought I spotted in the production. I would swear that at this point the director or film editor inserted a clip of Kalanag levitating Gloria de Vos in front of his trademark multi-armed idol backdrop, but it was so brief and unexpected I can't be sure. I think that in the 60's Don Ameche hosted a program on Saturday evenings called International Showtime which mostly focused on European circuses but occasionally had extended segments of magicians such as Kalanag, the Russian Kio and Richard Ross among others. As multiple popular consumption books on magic have images of Blackstone's own levitation in them, and I think I have seen at least one video clip of the same, I am not sure why footage of another performer would have been inserted.

If anyone else agrees about that segment, please comment here or by PM.

Lakewood WA
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Jun 5, 2015 07:18PM)
I live in Canada and would like to purchase/rent the download of the movie An Honest Liar, along with the Bonus features.
I see a link on the honestliar.com site that takes me to a page that offers the bonus footage at $1.99US I believe this means the full length documentary is NOT included in this purchase.

Does "all Episodes" mean the bonus clips plus the full length documentary?

Can someone please post the link(s) for Canadians to purchase both the download/rental of the full length documentary, an Honest Liar, plus the Bonus clips?

Many thanks.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Jun 26, 2015 04:47PM)
Found it and bought it. Great film. Very insightful and entertaining to boot.

Message: Posted by: tophatter (Jul 5, 2015 12:56AM)
I just watched it on Netflix Excellent !
Message: Posted by: Duderino (Jul 11, 2015 05:55PM)
Just watched this and I loved it. I can't review it any better than CHRousseau did above so I'll just leave it at that.

If you have the chance see it.
Message: Posted by: donsmagic (Jul 15, 2015 10:06PM)
It was a Kalanag clip.
Message: Posted by: Alex McInroy (Aug 20, 2015 10:24AM)
Wonderful film and there was even some suspense towards the end. I think the highlight of the film was the refining of cheating that Banachek and Edwards did. Seeing how they eventually realized the scientists were less villainous and more naive was really interesting and humanized everyone.
Message: Posted by: ULockJustice (Aug 20, 2015 12:24PM)
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I actually saw it as part of a documentary week at an independent cinema in Columbus, OH. The theater asked me to host a panel discussion of it afterwards with a few other magicians. We were presently surprised when the entire theater (about 25 people) stayed for the discussion.

The interview with Banachek and Edwards was also very well done and gave us more insight into the Alpha Project.
Message: Posted by: terryisaacs (Aug 25, 2015 04:00PM)
I also watched this via Netflix. I thought it was very enjoyable. I think it was very well done and my mind was completely blown by all the Alpha project stuff. I have a new respect for James Randi and Banachek.
Message: Posted by: princehal (Aug 26, 2015 01:52PM)
The very human moments near the end left me sobbing. I thought I knew Mr. Randi. I know him a lot better now, and he did not have to allow that to happen.

To the haters... forget it. You are not worth my time or attention.
Message: Posted by: Bittertalker (Sep 1, 2015 03:30PM)
No pun intended, but the film is nothing short of amazing! It's definitely my favorite movie of the year.
Message: Posted by: MickNZ (Dec 22, 2015 10:24PM)
Fascinating watch.
Message: Posted by: Charles Gaff (Dec 28, 2015 01:36AM)
With myself a magician and my girl an immigration lawyer/ equal rights activist, this was quite the surprise for both of us. The history and honesty(and dishonesty) was quite inspiring. Well done.
Message: Posted by: chiartguy (Mar 17, 2016 10:20AM)
I enjoyed this documentary on so many levels -- Randi's trajectory as a magician/escapologist, his tireless skepticism pursuits (including the extraordinary Project Alpha), and the touching story of his personal life.

There have been some really great films lately like this one and "Deceptive Practice" which I think are vital to the younger magicians coming along who need to know these modern masters and learn some context about where they fit within the history of magic.
Message: Posted by: MikeMgc (Oct 22, 2020 08:43AM)
So very Sad to hear the news of James Randi. His Obituary has just appeared in the UK media today.

I true legend and a massive inspiration to all Magicians and Mentalists.

I will be watching an Honest Liar again this weekend a brilliant, thought provoking and inspiring film.