Robert Gagno is a brilliantly talented pinball wizard, he is also autistic. And amidst the flashing lights, electronic sounds, and crowds of people, he comes of age as he travels to Pinburgh, the pinball competition mecca of the world.
Wizard Mode introduces us to Robert, a young man, with an easy smile, a knack for playing, and hopes and dreams to be his own person.
Drillot and Petry give us an unflinching look at this young Canadian, one of the top players in the world, and show us both his highs and his lows. As he tries to hold even in the games, he pontificates on what it would be like to be a father, how he is going to survive in the world, and wondering if he’ll kiss a girl again.
Revealing all of his humanity, Robert’s story is laid out for us, showing us his youth, his supportive family, and all that he has done and hopes to do. And his journey to Pinburgh is one of the first giant steps out on his own. For the first time, he is going to be on his own, his parents are staying at home, and he is traveling on his own.
Surprisingly emotional, and resonating with honesty, this one is sure to inspire, and amaze, as Robert follows his heart, his path, and his dreams. A wonderfully enjoyable film that was so much more than I thought it would be.
Stunning in both its simplicity and its content, this one is bound to enlighten, and entertain. You can check it out at Hot Docs this week! It has its premiere this evening at 7:15 at Scotiabank, has its second screening at Hart House on Wednesday at 1, and a third screening back at Scotiabank on Saturday at 6:15, which will also serve to accommodate those on the spectrum in a lights up, sound down environment.
What are you seeing this year at Hot Docs?