THE MAY 12 SCREENING IS PART OF THE RATED Y SERIES. BOTH SCREENINGS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A FILMMAKER Q&A.
NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED. OPEN TO YOUTH UNDER 18.
PG (Coarse language)
Wizard Mode is the story of Robert Gagno, a pinball champion who has overcome a few extra obstacles; Gagno is autistic and did not speak until he was almost 10 years old. Through home movies, tape recordings, and interviews with his parents, we see Gagno’s childhood, where milestones such as walking and communicating proved challenging. Even in his twenties, Gagno seems more like a friendly, funny teenager who just happens to be a little on the awkward side. At his annual pinball birthday party, which includes a dozen or so pinball machines, cake, and laughter, Gagno holds court. He isn’t simply an aficionado of the game, he is one of Canada’s top pinball players and among the very best in the world. As Robert and his dad travel to pinball competitions across North America, his little tics become more noticeable, and the additional challenges he faces become evident. But Gagno’s determination, as well as the love and support of both family and friends, are his secret weapon. He’s learned how to give hugs, but he’s also begun to figure out what kind of hug is appropriate. (Best not to hug your boss in a work situation.) Next to such complexities, his ability to stay cool and focused in a room full of noisy pinball games is a snap.
Gagno knows his pinball skills are unparalleled, but outside of the competitive tournament world he must struggle for genuine independence. After years of being taken care of by his nurturing and patient family, Gagno is ready to face the rest of the world. -KR