Hadji Ali and David Blaine’s “Beyond Magic”

I spent this morning of the US Thanksgiving weekend eating leftovers, watching David Blaine’s “Beyond Magic” TV special, reading Jarrett and learning about Hadji Ali. First, I’d like to congratulate Mr. Blaine, Enrico de la Vega, Danny Garcia, Asi Wind, Brett Loudermilk and so many involved in this project for their superb work. The shamanistic, superhuman, yet also very human, themes in Blaine’s choice of material were compelling. Focusing on the space between magic and bizarre variety acts (sword swallowing, water spouting, bullet catching, mouth sewing and more) created ethically challenging moments. The special took exciting, disgusting and troubling risks. It also inspired me to spend part of the day researching one of the vaudeville era’s most mysterious and fascinating performers: Hadji Ali from Egypt.  Here is a wonderful clip of him drinking kerosene and breathing fire in a Spanish Laurel and Hardy remake called Politiquerías. Enjoy:


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>