Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
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Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
Ricky Jay is a world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor (often a mischievous presence in the films of David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson) -- and a performer who regularly provokes astonishment from even the most jaded audiences. DECEPTIVE PRACTICE traces Jay's achievements and influences, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to such now-forgotten legends as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Featuring rare footage from his 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show) and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film offers all manner of mind-blowing tricks, as well as a colorful history of the evolution of magic and illusions, especially through the 20th century."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"A documentary portrait of the magician, author and actor who is known as one of today's preeminent practitioners of close-up magic."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"The filmmaker is annoyingly passive and star-struck,as Ricky Jay, speaks only to his chosen agenda."
‑ Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse
"Magic and Magical"
‑ Jean Lowerison,
"It's not the tightest Documentary I've ever seen, but it offers a rare look into the life of that charismatic, mysterious character that is Ricky Jay. If you're a fan of magic, card tricks, or Jay.... definitely check it out."
‑ Austin Kennedy, Film Geek Central
"Jay's own personality and intellect steer the film, and he's such a finely honed performer that he easily carries it off...What we get here, simply, is time spent with Ricky Jay, and that's time well spent."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"For heaven's sake! Another documentary I didn't know I was waiting for-and am equally glad to see."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"The splendid feats and dazzling card magic direct our attention away from the inner life of a large, glowering and cryptic figure. You learn a lot from Jay, and yet he keeps his mystique."
‑ Richard von Busack, MetroActive
"Offers us a peek into a fervent force of creativity - as with many great artists, it's one of which we have limited understanding though all the more appreciation."
‑ Matthew Sorrento, Film International
"If you like magic, I bet you'll love it. I don't, and even I had fun."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein's film works first and foremost as a showcase of Jay's skills, but he's also an ideal interview subject ..."
‑ Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail
"The magic in this documentary portrait of actor and stage illusionist Ricky Jay comes mainly from his fond recollections of old performers."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"I happen to love magic tricks. Deceptive Practice gave me a healthy dose of them, plus a good bit of history as well, and I appreciated it."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Ricky Jay only lets you see what he wants you to see when he's on stage. Doesn't it make sense that a film about him would be similarly elusive? And sometimes even magical?"
‑ Brian Tallerico,
"Ricky Jay is the master of a discipline he created: trickster, archivist, showman and raconteur rolled into one."
‑ Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper