Hot Docs 2016: Magicians: Life in the Impossible

The passion of those who dedicated themselves to a career in magic is explored in Magicians: Life in the Impossible. For many people, it can be hard to comprehend a career in magic as a way to make a living. However, there are a number of individuals who are prepared to make enormous sacrifices in their lives in order to commit themselves to a life in the world of illusion.

Magicians: Life in the Impossible takes a behind the scenes look at four magicians, who each have their own challenges in their lives. Jon Armstrong is somewhat socially awkward geek, who also happens to be one of the best card tricksters today. Brian Gillis was once a featured performer on The Tonight Show, but now focuses on booking any gig he can to pay the bills. David Minkin is a master of levitation, who aspires to be the best next big TV magician. Then there is Jan Rouven, a German Las Vegas magician managed by his partner Frank Alfter.

There are many references in Magicians: Life in the Impossible to the eye rolling response these magicians would get when they tell others that magic is their career. The world of magic is not an easy one to break into and it often requires giving up a normal life and even interpersonal relationships. Magicians: Life in the Impossible focuses a bit more on the men behind the magic, than the magic itself, however there are quite a few amazing tricks shown on screen, particularly those performed by David Minkin. Overall, Magicians: Life in the Impossible is a very interesting and entertaining behind the scenes look at the world of magic.

8 / 10 stars


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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).