It’s hard to know what kind of story first-time documentary film-maker Benjamin Berman was expecting to tell when he set out to make a film about John Edward Szeles, better known as comedian and magician the Amazing Johnathan. The hapless Berman found himself hopelessly out of his depth wrangling Szeles, a terminally ill meth addict with a taste for bandanas and gore, who, despite having been given a year to live in 2014, hauled himself out for a mini-tour of farewell performances in 2017. It would spoil the fun of this shambolic picture – and it’s an enjoyable, dizzying spiral of a story – to give away the film’s revelations. Suffice to say that Berman becomes almost as central a focus in the documentary as Szeles and neither covers himself in glory.
The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is out on 19 November