Review by Jheff
This is a 48 minute documentary about Max Maven, by Canadian filmmaker Donna Zuckerbrot. It was filmed on the occasion of Max receiving a special tribute from Magicana. There are plenty of notable guests in this film, such as Eugene Burger, Stephen Minch, and Michael Weber. And, as you might suspect, no secrets are revealed. This is not the next Videomind or Nothing. However, since mentalists require a thorough knowledge and mastery of stagecraft in order to be effective and successful, this film provides performers of all levels with invaluable insight from one of mentalism’s masters of the art. Of course, I always find it a joy to listen to Max talk about the art of mentalism, so I may be a bit biased. Besides the conversations with Max, this film also provides a generous amount of glimpses into Max’s current one man show, Max Maven: Thinking In Person, An Evening of Knowing and Not Knowing. It’s a show that many may be surprised about because his stage persona has evolved into something, that so far as I noticed, is different than what I had seen before. I saw one of the early performances of the show a year or so ago, and though that performance was still a bit rough, it was an amazing experience.
Now, this is a documentary that’s designed for laymen. So this is a great piece of film that the whole family can enjoy. Because of that, much of the valuable information you’ll get will be simply by watching Max and seeing just how he handles certain effects and situations. His handling of the Seven Keys to Baldplate, for instance, is sheer genius. You won’t get an explanation and experienced mentalists don’t really need one. They know. It’s his presentation that will have you grinning with delight. The real quibble that I have with this is that it’s too short. That, of course, is not a drawback, just an indication of how good it is and how much more you’ll want. It’s still one of the best mentalism DVDs to come out this year, or in the past few years.