James Randi Documentary

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
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James Randi Documentary

Postby James » October 13th, 2013, 4:02 pm

This looks, well, Amazing...


A documentary on the life and work of James Randi.

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Brad Jeffers
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Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: James Randi Documentary

Postby Brad Jeffers » October 14th, 2013, 12:12 am

I saw Randi perform at a local college about 35 years ago. I arrived early and brought along a copy of the Geller book, which had just come out in paperback. Randi came up to where I was seated (I was the only one in the theater) and introduced himself. He signed the book and gave me an envelope which contained a prediction, to be used later during the performance.

The Amazing Randi was a one man show. He did however, have with him a young man, who in addition to assisting him with the props, did his own turn with the linking rings. I remember thinking how cool it would be, to travel with a veteran professional such as Randi, and to also get the opportunity to perform. I realize now, that the young man was probably performing more than I had imagined.

Randi patterned his career after Houdini, doing many of the escapes and stunts that we associate with him (jail breaks, straight jacket, milk can, etc.). Then came the debunking faze. Where Houdini had Margery, Randi found his great nemesis in Uri Geller. Although I am a fan of Randi, I have always had negative feelings about his exposure of Geller's methods. Unlike many, I admired Geller. I consider him to be a performance artist who took his act to it's highest level, by refusing to break character (which admitting to trickery would have done).

Anyway, I think that if you take the path of patterning your career so closely with that of such an iconic figure as Houdini, you run the risk of becoming just another Elvis impersonator. But there's nothing wrong with that. One could do worse. As I said, I am a fan. I look forward to the Penn Jillette biography.

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