June 14, 2008

CHICAGO VOICES: An excerpt from Michael Burke’s introduction of Michael Caplan, director-producer of the new documentary, “A Magical Vision.”

"I am delighted to welcome you to Columbia College's Film Row Cinema and to this preview screening of 'A Magical Vision' ... Tonight, we are really celebrating storytelling and some amazing storytellers.

"When three of Michael Caplan’s early videos featuring the master magician Eugene Burger were repackaged and reissued as a DVD set in 2004, Eugene Burger said this in an accompanying interview: 'I think stories are important for humans generally because that’s how we tell people who we are and where we come from and how all of this happened … Without stories,' Eugene concluded, 'we would have no self-definition and I think we would probably go crazy.'

"For those of you who know Eugene, you can imagine how that sounds even more profound in his barritone voice. Eugene can be seated at a restaurant table, look up at a waiter and say, 'I’ll have a Cosmo' – and make it sound like a religious experience.

"Michael Caplan uses film for the same end. His documentaries tell us who we are, where we come from, how all of this happened – and his work also keeps us from going crazy. Please join me in welcoming Michael Caplan."


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