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The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019)

What begins as a documentary following the final tour of a dying magician—"The Amazing Johnathan"—becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion.

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Reviews

★★★★★

"It’s hard to know what kind of story first-time documentary film-maker Benjamin Berman was expecting to tell when he set out to make a film about John Edward Szeles, better known as comedian and magician the Amazing Johnathan. The hapless Berman found himself hopelessly out of his depth wrangling Szeles, a terminally ill meth addict with a taste for bandanas and gore, who, despite having been given a year to live in 2014, hauled himself out for a mini-tour of farewell performances in 2017."

★★★★★

"For 91 tiring minutes, director Ben Berman sort of tells a story that is sort of interesting but maybe not really, padding the film with selfie footage of his own chaotic production problems. It is about the veteran Vegas comedian-slash-magician Johnathan Szeles, AKA the Amazing Johnathan, who once had a cult following for his gonzo act – like appearing to eat his own eyeball."

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