Renowned magician Ricky Jay is also a historian of magic — and an actor featured in the films of David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson. The documentary film Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay, directed by Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein, delves into Jay’s world of magic and some of its eccentric master practitioners.
In the film Jay pays tribute to little known legends Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini, and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Deceptive Practice also features rare footage from Jay’s 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show), with the magician providing his own deadpan humorous narration.
In a recent interview with the Forward, Curt Schleier asked Jay about the many great Jewish magicians — Houdini, et al. “I think the reason there were so many Jewish magicians — and some of the greatest magicians of the 20th century were — is the standard thing we say about Jews and entertainment: It was one of the few professions open to them. Max Malini [born Max Katz Breit], Nate Leipzig — great sleight-of-hand artists who died before I was born, but their legacies were incredibly strong,” responded Jay. You can read the entire interview HERE. Deceptive Practice opens Friday, May 31 at the Lagoon Cinema in Uptown. Here’s the movie trailer:
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