|8:30PM||Live magic by Vinny DePonto|
|10:45PM||Q&A with filmmaker Justin Weinstein|
Upper West Side
334 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY
By Subway: 1, 2, 3, B or C to 72nd Street | By Bus: M7 or M11 to 75th Street
Celebrated magician James “The Amazing” Randi has made it his life mission to demystify the claims of modern-day charlatans and to reveal the truth behind their trickery.
An Honest Liar (Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom | 93 min.)
By his own admission, James “The Amazing” Randi is a liar, a cheat and a charlatan, but only in the name of entertainment. After leaving home at the age of 17 to join the carnival, Randi carved out a career as one of the most daring and celebrated magicians of the last century, amazing audiences with his inmitable sleight of hand and impressive feats of escapism. Yet as he grew increasingly disdainful of psychics, gurus and chanellers, he took it upon himself to debunk their supernatural claims, unveiling the simple trickery borrowed from Randi’s cherished art form which enabled them to dupe the masses.
From exposing the impiously deceptive methods behind the ‘healing’ of one evangelical priest to his ongoing rivalry with Uri Geller, whose outlandish claims of telekinetic spoon-bending powers Randi has sought tirelessly to denounce, An Honest Liar brings together a remarkably detailed survey of his achievements. A sprightly figure despite his 86 years, Randi remains staunch in his commitment to fostering a scientific view of the world, continuing to fight relentlessly against those who wrongly appropriate the techniques of magic. With pointed access, directors Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom chart the progression of Randi’s career from a young magician—blending rare archival footage of his performances and interviews with fellow magicians, as well as with Randi himself who appears with extraordinary candor.
Through recounting Randi’s strange and wonderful life, An Honest Liar ultimately reveals how we are all susceptible to the powers of deception, even—in an unexpected twist—Randi himself. Yet despite how easy it may be to succumb to falsehood, if there’s one thing to be learnt from “The Amazing”, it’s that we should question what we see, in order to reveal the truth we all too often choose to ignore.
- Cressida Greening
Magician Vinny DePonto
Mr. DePonto is many things. A surgeon, a pilot, a physicist, a billionaire, but mostly he’s a damned good liar. This Brooklyn based magician and mind-reader has been deceiving audiences now for over a decade. From his critically acclaimed Off-Broadway show, to the private events of New York City’s elite, Mr. DePonto orchestrates an evening of delight and mystery that will linger with you well after his briefcase shuts. With a glass of whiskey in one hand and your attention in the other, he’s a modern day showman like no other. And that’s the truth.