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Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

A crash course in one influential thinker's wide-ranging concepts, docu is neither an ideal introduction nor a particularly skilful piece of filmmaking. Still, the film by Lance Bauscher retains interest through the liveliness of subject's personality -- even if they're captured in what amounts to 82 minutes of talking-head interviews and old lecture footage.

A crash course in one influential thinker’s wide-ranging concepts, “Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson” is neither an ideal introduction nor a particularly skilful piece of filmmaking. Still, docu by Lance Bauscher retains interest through the liveliness of subject’s personality and musings — even if they’re captured in what amounts to 82 minutes of talking-head interviews and old lecture footage. Home-format sales are logical outlet.

Now in his 70s, widowed and infirm from post-polio syndrome, the Brooklyn-born author and philosopher remains provocative. As much contrarian as advocate, he’s debunked quantum physics and organized religion — indeed all systems of belief — insisting that our own “reality tunnels” prevent arriving at objective truths. “Any model we make does not describe the universe, it describes what our minds are capable of describing at the time,” he says. Yet he also admits attraction to mysticism, and at one point believed he’d been abducted by aliens. Whirlwind of ideas — from pragmatic to abstract to whimsical — can be overwhelming, but Wilson’s own prankster charm (at a medicinal-marijuana rally, he addresses the crowd as “Ladies, gentleman, and narcs … “) keeps it engaging despite barely-adequate packaging.

Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

  • Production: A Deepleaf production. Produced by Lance Bauscher, Robert Dofflemyer, Cody McClintock. Executive producer, Timothy F.X. Finnegan. Directed by Lance Bauscher.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV), Bauscher, Robert Dofflemyer, Katherine Covell, Ivan Stang, Amanda Dofflemyer, David Allen; editors, Bauscher, Robert Dofflemyer, Cody McClintock. Reviewed at San Francisco Indie Festival, Feb. 7, 2004. Running time: 82 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Robert Anton Wilson, Tom Robbins, Douglas Rushkoff, Ivan Stang, R.U. Sirius, Valerie Corral, Paul Krassner.