Hot Docs 2014: An Honest Liar

Honest_Liar During his career, magician James “The Amazing” Randi was known as the greatest escape artist since Harry Houdini.  Randi always started his shows by describing himself as a “liar, cheat, and charlatan” and describes magicians as the most honest people, since they tell you that they are going to fool you.  This is why Randi doesn’t like so-called psychics, who use the tactics of magic specifically to fool people.  An Honest Liar recounts Randi’s fights against the likes of spoon-bender Uri Geller and faith healer Peter Popoff, while also going into some of the deceptions in Randi’s own personal life. James Randi grew up in Toronto and joined the carnival as a magician as a teenager.  At the height of his career, Randi was doing stage illusions for Alice Cooper and made an appearance on Happy Days.  When he decided to retire from magic, following a botched escape routine that nearly claimed his life, Randi moved on to debunking people, who claimed to be psychics.  Randi would often use his frequent appearances on The Tonight Show to prove that the so-called psychic acts are merely just simple magic tricks. An Honest Liar also touches upon Randi’s personal life, with him having come out as a homosexual in 2010, at the age of 81.  The film reveals a final deception towards the end, which really hits close to home for Randi and even leads to a bit of an ethical dilemma for the filmmakers.  All together, An Honest Man is an interesting and enjoyable story about a man, who wants to make sure that the tricks of magic are only used for the purpose of entertainment. 8 | LIKED IT Screenings:

  • Wed, April 30, 9:15 PM – Hart House Theatre
  • Thurs, May 1, 7:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
  • Sat, May 3, 6:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).