Cinematic Convergence

The 11th Annual Austin Film Festival

Cinematic Convergence

The Hot Shoe

D: David Layton

When faced with the overwhelming odds of the blackjack table, practitioners of the art of card counting use everything at their disposal to discover the key that will tip the odds in the little guy's favor – and what could be more American than that? The heroes of David Layton's The Hot Shoe use intellect, play-acting, instinct, guts, arithmetic, and a healthy arrogance as the tools of their trade, risking reputation, litigation, and even life and limb to beat the big casinos and their stacked cards. Concentrating on the "how" rather than the "why," Layton introduces us to Ed Thorp – mathematics professor and author of the seminal card-counting book Beat the Dealer – and his ''high/low" method; the MIT Team, a group of students from Boston who have distilled 21 to its most basic mathematical premises, to the tune of thousands of dollars in winnings; and to himself, a neophyte card counter, who puts up his film's $5,000 music budget to stake his own weeklong, hands-on training in Las Vegas. Cheating, intellectual manipulation, violence, con men, and mathematics: a true tale of America.

Sunday, Oct. 17, 7pm at Texas Spirit; Thursday, Oct. 21, 7pm at the Arbor

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More by Josh Rosenblatt
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