Kickstart This: Biopic 'An Honest Liar' Looks at The Amazing Randi

January 18, 2013

An Honest Liar

Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool indie projects that need your help to become a reality. This week, we're taking a look at a magical biopic called An Honest Liar: The Amazing Randi, which chronicles the incredible true story of the titular magician as he continues his quest to debunk psychic nonsense, disprove paranormal fakers, and squash claims of pseudoscience in order to bring the truth to the forefront. Take a look at their pitch video below, and don't forget to toss these filmmakers a few extra bucks if you can spare it. Check it out!

If you're into magic at all, you definitely need to do some basic research into the life of James Randi. The dude has performed some pretty stunning feats (even breaking a record that Houdini held at one point), and when he retired at age 60, he devoted the rest of his life to disproving all sorts of crackpot swindlers that were becoming popular at the time. Ever see the movie Red Lights with Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, and Robert De Niro? Well, Mr. Randi's life was essentially the basis for that film (I actually wouldn't be surprised if he received some sort of compensation for it because it's so eerily similar).

But this documentary isn't only about magic. It also touches on some complex issues involving gay rights (Randi came out of the closet at age 81), immigration, persecution, deception, truth, fiction, reality, religion, and more. With interviews taking place at the famed Magic Castle in Los Angeles and featuring the famous faces of Penn & Teller, Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Adam Savage from "Mythbusters," and more, An Honest Liar comes from the writer and editor of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, so even if you've been completely uninterested up until this point, perhaps all of that will be enough to get you to check out the An Honest Liar pitch video below:

For more on An Honest Liar: The Amazing Randi, and to help support the project, visit its Kickstarter page. Directors Justin Weinstein & Tyler Measom are hoping to raise $148,000 by Friday, February 15th, so please donate if this is something you're interested in, and let's see if we can help them reach their goal quickly. If you can't spare the cash right now, maybe you could still help them out by spreading the word to other friends who like magic or you think would be interested in hearing more of Randi's life story.

That's all for this week's Kickstart This. Be sure to keep suggestions coming to for cool projects you see that might need an extra push. My inbox is always open, and if you send in any Kickstarter or IndieGoGo film project, I can't always guarantee we'll feature it here, but I will definitely take a look at it. I'll be in Utah with Alex and Ethan covering the Sundance Film Festival next week, so I'm going to take a week long break from this column, but feel free to still send submissions in and I'll take a look at them whenever I can. Thanks for your support of these projects, because they absolutely couldn't be completed without without the help of film lovers just like you. For our full archives, visit here. Look good?

Find more posts: Documentaries, Indies, Kickstart This



Already had me at exposing douches like Geller, but it kept piling on more interesting stuff. Hopefully it gets the money. I suppose people get angry because they don't like the truth?

Carpola on Jan 18, 2013


I had the opportunity to meet and interview Mr Randi years ago, he's a great guy and has quite a lot to say.

Lando on Jan 18, 2013


Ha ha - the irony of a man hell bent on exposing fraud who is now fighting on behalf of his fraudulent partner. Pot, kettle?

Johan Rioux on Jan 18, 2013


There's a critical difference between harmless deception to protect oneself and purposely taking advantage of the credulous public by selling false hope and snake oil.

Lauren Duggan on Jan 19, 2013


shut up and take my money!

Pierre on Jan 20, 2013


I'm surprised this project needs private donations - I would've thought Mr Randi's story would appeal to the general thinking public and a large production company would have jumped at the opportunity to fund it.

BeastmanAIDS on Jan 20, 2013


Randi will be at the Daytona Magic Convention this year. I'm going just for the opportunity to meet him.

Bob on Jan 20, 2013

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