I was going to review this for Magic Magazine, but alas, the magazine disappeared a bit too soon. So as the movie gets its release on itunes and elsewhere this week, I had to say a couple things about it.
Magicians: Life in the Impossible by Marcie Hume and Christoph Baaden is a wonderful film and easily the best documentary about magic I have ever seen. I recommend this to magicians and non-magicians alike - it's fun, charming, entertaining and fascinating. In some sense, it is not about magic at all -- it is a very personal and revealing peek into the lives of a handful of magicians. They are all terrific performers and fascinating characters, but I have to give special shout out to Jon Armstrong and Brian Gillis for an act of generosity and bravery in allowing us to see them at their most vulnerable. This has a huge impact on allowing us to root for them and join in their failures and triumphs.
And huge props to directors Hume and Baaden for creating portraits that are very intimate without ever being awkward or exploitative - you can feel the directors' love for their subjects in every scene. They've pulled off a remarkable trick of their own, allowing honest human stories to unfold naturally while managing to keep the pace moving and the stories engaging. They've distilled five years worth of filming into a remarkable whole where no story seems forced, yet every cut between stories seems meaningful.
Beautifully shot and scored, this is the real deal.