An Honest Liar

An Honest Liar

Truth and Deception in the Life of James "The Amazing" Randi

DVD - 2014
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Publisher: [Culver City] : Flim Flam Films, 2014.
Branch Call Number: DVD 364.163092 Randi-H
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (93 min.) : digital, sound, colour ; 12 cm
Language Note: Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.


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Jan 29, 2017

This documentary about magician and fraud buster James Randi begins with the usual elements of his life story: lonely childhood, discovery of his homosexuality, rise in the entertainment industry, and various charlatans he uncovered. One illusion I hadn't heard about is the psychic kids, who fooled parapsychology professors though Randi sent the researchers detailed guidelines on testing psychics beforehand -- which they mostly ignored. Turns out the kids were Randi's assistants, who pulled a very long con to make a point. But then Randi himself is revealed to have been conned -- or was he? Either way, it must have been extremely painful to be exposed in a way that touched intimately on his personal and professional life. As Randi puts it: anyone can be fooled.

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