Women in Boxes

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This documentary pays homage to a well-known but seldom-discussed subject: the everpresent "magician's assistant" in magic acts, a role typically filled by young women. As the program acknowledges, many of these women are supposedly chosen at random out of the audience, but in reality are plants - they have to be, as their behind-the-scenes roles often require more advance rehearsal, participation, and careful timing than the magician himself. On the surface, they may be subject to any number of indignities commonly dismissed by the audience as illusion - from being sawed in half to immolated; in reality, the role is absolutely dangerous and may entail putting one's safety on the line, especially if large knives and fire are involved. As co-directed by Phil Noyes and Harry Pallenberg, the film intercuts extensive footage of magic acts with conversations featuring magicians and magician's assistants. Participants include: Teller of the magic act Penn & Teller; Criss Angel; Lance Burton; and many others.


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