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Make Believe
March 29, 2011 9:19 PM   Subscribe

It's like band camp, only with magic nerds.
posted by JPowers (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I almost tuned out when the guy said "some of the greatest names in magic" and the screen flashed with Criss Angel's name. Fortunately I kept watching and this looks pretty interesting after all.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:27 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hell yeah, I wanna see more!
posted by fiestapais at 9:32 PM on March 29, 2011


[insert obligatory Harry Potter joke]

*grumbles*
posted by -->NMN.80.418 at 9:37 PM on March 29, 2011


Come to think of it, being a magician is a really good metaphor for being a teenager.
posted by codacorolla at 9:39 PM on March 29, 2011


Invisible Pepsi?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:40 PM on March 29, 2011


This is exactly the kind of documentary I'm always drawn to. There are so many odd little subcultures out there, and I love seeing them through the eyes of people who are passionately devoted to things that most of us are, at best, marginally aware of. This one's going on my list of must-find-must-see films.
posted by OolooKitty at 9:41 PM on March 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Come to think of it, being a magician is a really good metaphor for being a teenager.

Socially awkward and always trying to force stuff out from behind curtains?
posted by zephyr_words at 10:05 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Socially awkward and always trying to force stuff out from behind curtains?

Not what I was going for, but that does work.
posted by codacorolla at 10:20 PM on March 29, 2011


Imagine my surprise when this had nothing to do with a Magic: The Gathering summer camp.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:26 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


i was thinking more nerds with magical powers
anyone read Peter Straub's 'Shadowland'? really creepy novel about a kid learning magic. the stage kind. at first
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:37 PM on March 29, 2011


Nice. I would definitely pay actual money to watch this.
I'd also probably dvr the hell out of a reality tv show about magic camp, so I might be in the intended demographic for this thing.

Super curious about the blond girl, too. I don't know much about the recent history of real professional magic but I've got to assume there's a lot of entrenched misogyny that she's working against. "Lady magician"? Why not just "magician"? I want to know more.
posted by Mizu at 10:46 PM on March 29, 2011


anyone read Peter Straub's 'Shadowland'?

One of my favorite books of his. Definitely creepy.
posted by OolooKitty at 11:02 PM on March 29, 2011


I've seen this and it's fantastic. Usually I find myself jaded when it comes to documentaries about teens, but I was really rooting for everyone involved in this. It was very inspiring how passionate these teens are and how magic is important to each of them in a different way.

Set your DVRs: it's going to be on Showtime in April and it will hit theaters after that.
posted by mintymike at 11:20 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


And also, there isn't much (if any) Criss Angel in the movie if I remember correctly. So if you're not a fan of him, don't worry.
posted by mintymike at 11:21 PM on March 29, 2011


I'm glad this was about magic, and not Magic the Gathering, because this said "magic nerd" and I was having a hard time imagining any sort of co-ed Magic the Gathering camp being anything like band camp... Actually, I was having a hard time imagining a co-ed Magic the Gathering camp. The camp I could believe - I know people who play Magic the Gathering - the co-ed part not so much...
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:23 AM on March 30, 2011


Interesting. I also thought this would be about MTG. Here it turns out to be about stage magic, on reddit it would have been about Pokemon.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:12 AM on March 30, 2011



Come to think of it, being a magician is a really good metaphor for being a teenager.



There is a time in every early adolescent's life when they have to choose: magic tricks or shoplifting.
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Having competitive magic nerds handling little ballot boxes stuffed with folded scraps of paper seems questionable.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:16 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


To expand a little bit on my previous comment...

Magic and Showmanship, by Henning Nelms, ranks as one of the most important books I've ever read. Apart from it's surface value as a book about magic tricks, it's more importantly about human relationships, and in particular, about an imbalance in power.

The magician is really just a normal person. That's the secret of magic, of course, that no miracle is occurring, but the magician is using fast hands and a fast mind to make you believe that there is. The main principle behind it is misdirection. The magician carefully controls the experience of his audience to make it appear as though cards are teleporting from hand to hand, that he can read minds, and (in short) that he has complete control over the world around him. He doesn't, the only thing he controls (or tries to control) is what his audience perceives.

The BoingBoing article relates this to writing fiction. Fiction is a type of magic, as you're not really doing anything but putting words in to your reader's mind, but with proper skill and craft you can create an illusion of a world. The quality of this illusion comes from how you direct your audience's attentions, and the small sleights of mind that you can apply to different results.

But I think this relates even more to human relationships. The clothing you choose to wear, and the way you talk, and the way you act don't change your physical reality, but instead are sleights to get others to perceive you differently. As a teenager, as your body and mind suddenly seem beyond control, and you spend 8 hours a day being told what to do. With no perspective for time, your short handful of years seems like an eternity, so if you're bullied, depressed and unsatisfied then it seems as though this is the way that life will always be. You can't control the world around you, so you adapt different postures to try to trick others in to thinking you can. You use the clothes you wear as the hand that distracts, saying "I determine who I am," when in reality you feel an abject loss of control.

Hopefully at some point you get ahold of your life, and the tricks stop being necessary. You find a way to spend your life that satisfies you (with another person, with a job, or with a devotion) in a way that you realize an uncontrollable life may never. Your body will always disappoint you, and you will always be one small actor in a large, chaotic production, but the act of becoming an adult is realizing what you can actually control.

Anyway, Showtime has a deal with Netflix, so I really, really hope that this is streaming at some point. I really want to watch it.
posted by codacorolla at 8:50 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is a time in every early adolescent's life when they have to choose: magic tricks or shoplifting.

wouldn't you use the same sleight of hand skills for both?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:40 PM on March 30, 2011


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