A Local Exploration of the Magic of Movies

NAFFRecently I was invited to appear with Jason Pankoke and Luke Boyce on UPTV’s series, Art Now!, to discuss preparations for an upcoming annual film festival, the New Art Film Festival. There is such a flourishing culture of locally-produced cinema in my area, and it was only natural that I wanted to help spread the word about this special event. When I arrived at the taping, I learned that I was also going to have the opportunity to talk about my company, Psychic Joker Entertainment, whose goal is to rekindle public enthusiasm for the art of stage magic. It’s worth noting that Georges Méliès, one of the earliest and most prolific pioneers of early filmmaking, was first a stage magician before exploring this emerging medium, so there is a natural friendship between magic and film due to similarities both in methodology of creation and in reactions from audiences. A more recent film, Hugo, is a loving tribute to Méliès and his work through the lens of Martin Scorsese. So while the focus of this particular segment of Art Now! was the New Art Film Festival, it was nice to be able to touch on work I do year-round as well.

You can see the full episode online at http://urbanaillinois.us/residents/public-arts/art-now-uptv-program/episode-32. Big thanks to Jason for the invitation, and to host Greg Chew for taking the time to thoughtfully explore a subject very dear to me. And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t put in a plug for the upcoming New Art Film Festival, happening at The Art Theater Co-op in downtown Champaign on Friday, April 12 from 4pm-midnight. Admission is free, and if prior festivals are any indication, there will be a wide assortment of wonderful cinematic goodies to enjoy, all produced right in our area. Hope to see you there!

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