In the game of pinball, there is no greater reward than Wizard Mode – a hidden level that is only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightning-speed challenges. Robert Emilio Gagno has dedicated most of his life to mastering Wizard Mode, and is now one of the top pinball players in the world. He also happens to have autism.
As a young boy, his parents realized they could give him a quarter and he would play on a pinball machine for hours. Refusing to believe their son was locked into a limited future, his parents supported him as he practiced non-stop, developing an exceptional talent for the game. But now Robert’s real challenge lies outside the game on his journey to shed his youth and gain independence.
Wizard Mode is a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of the current world champion of pinball.The film follows Robert as he seeks to balance his quest to become a world pinball champion and his growing real world responsibilities, culminating at the largest pinball tournament in the world, Pinburgh, in Pittsburgh, PA.
Wizard Mode is directed by ten-time Vimeo Staff Picked creators Nathan Drillot and Jeff Lee Petry of Salazar, and is a Salazar Film production.
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The astonishing, extended director's cut of the 2013 Academy Award® Nominee for Best Documentary!
Werner Herzog on The Act of Killing’s director’s cut:
"Director's cuts quite often are simply too long, but with THE ACT OF KILLING the opposite occurs. It gains in depth, taking you into a vortex of fever dreams, pulling you deep inside the nightmares of the protagonists. You find yourself drawn irrevocably into the darkest souls, and time acquires a different role, as if you and the world had stopped breathing. The shorter version is trimmed to emphasize its political content, but Joshua Oppenheimer's film is much more than a political documentary. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking, full of depth, surrealism, and stunning silences that will outlive the political message. Have patience. In half a century from now, this film will still stand out as something no one has ever seen before, and no one will ever see again. And it is the director's cut that will be the only version remaining.”