DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: THE MYSTERIES AND MENTORS OF RICKY JAY with RICKY JAY LIVE

Director Molly Bernstein
Year 2012
Starring Ricky Jay
Run Time 90min
More Info IMDb
Official Website

RICKY JAY WILL BE LIVE IN ATTENDANCE FOR A Q&A FOLLOWING THE FILM!

More than a decade in the making, DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: THE MYSTERIES AND MENTORS OF RICKY JAY is a mesmerizing journey into the world of modern magic and the small circle of eccentrics who were its perpetual devotees.

At its center is the multitalented Ricky Jay, a best-selling author and historian, an acclaimed actor, a leading collector of antiquarian books and artifacts, but above all a conjurer capable of creating a profound sense of wonder and disbelief in even the most jaded of audiences. In his extraordinary—and extraordinarily popular—one-man shows, Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants and Ricky Jay: On the Stem, he proved himself to be the contemporary embodiment of an elite lineage, offering audiences not only exhilarating entertainment, but also a rare glimpse of a secret, lost world.

Told largely in Ricky’s own inimitable voice, DECEPTIVE PRACTICE traces the story of his achievement, from his early apprenticeship, beginning at age 4, with his grandfather Max Katz, an accomplished amateur magician, as well as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini, Francis Carlyle, and Roy Benson, all of whom were among the best magicians of the 20th century. Above all it celebrates the remarkable lives of Ricky's two primary mentors of his young adulthood, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Of the latter, Ricky recalls: “For Charlie a good evening could be asking you to do the same shuffle 16,000 times … It was just endless the variations and the craziness, but it was often as close to pure joy as anything I can imagine.” The film weaves together stunning performance footage from his one-man shows and classic TV appearances, and also includes friends and collaborators such as Steve Martin (who joins him in a hilarious turn on a '70s vintage Dinah Shore TV show) and David Mamet, who says of Ricky: “He’s devoted to that theater that he alone sees. He has the ideal of magic in his mind to which he’s devoted his life: to teaching it, to performing it, to perfecting it, to researching it.”

By the end of the film, viewers not only have a deep appreciation for the arduous and arcane demands of the magician’s craft, but also for the use of language and storytelling central to the art. 

"(A) great enchanter! A reminder that deception, in the best of cases, is a pathway to transcendence."
– Keith Uhlich, Time Out NY

"A riveting look at Mr. Jay’s arduous, arcane pursuits through the prism of those who taught and inspired him to be one of the world’s great magicians. Some of his illusions are so stunning that they leave spectators teary-eyed – out of amazement, or perhaps fear."
– Robert P. Walzer, Wall Street Journal

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