Directed by Luke Korem
Sixty-two year old Richard Turner is renowned as one of the world’s greatest card magicians, yet he is completely blind. This is an in-depth look at a complex character who is one of magic’s greatest hidden treasures.
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★★★★ review by Lately on Letterboxd
DIFF 2017 Film #2 - Really insightful documentary on the experience of a person who doesn't want to be known sinply for his impaired vision.
★★★½ review by Jason Bailey on Letterboxd
Richard Turner is one of the great card mechanics of all time – a 40-years-in performer whose performances are like magic shows, except he’s not just showing tricks, but the moves cheaters use to win at casinos and the card table. He’s spectacularly talented, a funny, gregarious dude who’s always got a deck of cards in his hands (“I have a two to three pack a day habit,” he jokes) and whose sleight of hand is astonishing even *before* you discover he’s completely blind. Director Luke Korem traces his loss of sight, which began at age nine (using effective camera tricks to visually represent his deteriorating state of vision), and his consequent resistance to labels and limits. In some ways, his refusal to be defined by his blindness is admirable, but the filmmaker savvily navigates the tricky question of whether he just doesn’t want to admit to, and come to terms with, his condition. Korem works a little too hard at the end to assure us how inspirational Turner (and by extension, the film) is, but that complaint aside, this is a compelling and frequently dazzling portrait.
★★★★★ review by pwatersnh on Letterboxd
Watched this fantastic documentary at IFF Boston - definitely one of the highlights of the festival so far. It's about one of the best card magicians (or "card mechanics") in the world, who also happens to be blind. Just watching him shuffle cards is like watching some world-class musician play Mozart.
The director and subject himself held a live Q&A after the screening - Richard Turner is just as cool in real life, and yes, he did some magic tricks for the audience! Also, he is clearly some kind of savant, because he can tell how many cards there are in any given deck and can tell if a card is "off" by some tiny fraction (the dude practices like 16 hours a day!)
Really enjoyable, funny, crowd-pleasing doc with a heartwarming message and an amazing subject - if you have even a passing interest in magic this is a must-see!
★★★★½ review by Jason Seaver on Letterboxd
Pretty delightful documentary on Richard Turner, an astonishingly good card mechanic (he can unshuffle a deck) who is also completely blind. It's a nifty little story that, in addition to featuring some really astounding close-up magic, manages to take a few nifty narrative turns.
It's impressively assembled, but the main draw is Turner himself, a charismatic guy who, nevertheless, can show an unhealthy relationship with his blindness, creating a sort of discomfort in the audience that helps draw them in, wanting a closer look.
★★★★ review by Jeff Widman on Letterboxd
My full review can be found on HorrorGeekLife here:
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