The Magician

  • Film
  • Drama
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This micro-budget debut feature by Scott Ryan  – of which he’s also the writer and star – almost redefines the comedy-thriller. It’s framed as a faux documentary, as guileless student filmmaker Max (Max Andrighetto, who doubles as cinematographer) films the working day (and night) of volatile neighbour and freelance hitman Ray (Ryan) in and around the mean streets of Melbourne and the dreary Victoria suburbs.  This – presumably conscious – riff on Belvaux/Poelvoorde/ Bonzel’s ‘Man Bites Dog’ kicks off with a cold-blooded killing to establish Ray’s psychopathy, but soon eschews the Belgian film’s philosophical concerns in favour of its own brand of dark satire, drole observation and lengthy (and overly self-conscious) Tarantino-esque dialogue. A little over-extended – it has its origins in a festival short – and only partially successful in developing the bizarre, humanising bond between filmmaker and subject, as well as suggesting the moral quagmire of Melbourne’s social underbelly, it’s nevertheless memorable for its spasmodic moments of sublimely black humour.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Thursday May 4 2006
Duration: 86 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Scott Ryan
Screenwriter: Scott Ryan
Cast: Scott Ryan
Ben Walker
Massimilino Andrighetto
Kane Mason
Nathaniel Lindsay
Adam Ryan
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