MMS Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay DVD
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Top Customer Reviews
Truly a fascinating film about a fascinating character. The director has promised lots of "extras" on the DVD and I can't wait to see them.
If you are a magician, a lover of magic history, or just a fan of Mr. Jay, this is a must have.
"Deceptive Practice" begins with the career of 7-year-old Ricky Potash and the great influence of his grandfather, amateur magician Max Katz. Ricky Jay fondly recalls his grandfather and his grandfather's friends, accomplished magicians of the day who were the basis of his education in magic: "Cardini" or Richard Valentine Pitchford, Francis Carlyle, Tony Slydini, Al Flosso, who sparked Jay's interest in the history of magic, and Roy Benson. Jay also has a lot to say about Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller, to whom he was effectively apprenticed after Jay's career was well underway and he had achieved some notoriety from television appearances. All of this information about these great artists is wonderful, but there is a good deal less about Ricky Jay than about other people.
Through interviews with friends, we get a couple of insights into Jay's personality and some great stories that demonstrate his wry sense of humor and extraordinary slight of hand. But the insight into Jay's character is limited.Read more ›
The film itself is well done, scripted, and directed. Not a dull movement.
colorful artists who mentored Ricky Jay into arguably the foremost card magician of our time. It's a lineage we learn that is handed down very personally, from generation to generation and then only in bits and pieces. Jay tells great stories of the men who inspired and tutored him. And we occasionally see terrific glimpses of them performing in some great found old footage.
The second full third are the wonderful, if all too brief times we to watch Jay's amazing artistry with cards and card tricks. Slight of hand at this level is truly beautiful -- a dance of illusion. There's a silky smoothness to Jay's movements that works in powerful tandem with this spikey, off-beat, almost dangerous on stage persona.
The third that's missing is a deeper exploration of the man himself. By his own admission Jay keeps the world at bay. We hear a very few tantalizing bits about his boyhood family life away from magic, but then that's put aside (even his manager of 20+ years admits he knows better than to ask Ricky about his childhood). Only near the very end of the film do we even learn that Jay is married, and that his wife seems to be a huge part of his life. Then this too is moved on from. I can accept that Jay and perhaps director Molly Bernstein wanted to keep the film focused largely on Jay's titular mentors, but, for my taste, they took the `mysteries' part of the title a bit too seriously. It's frustrating to watch a truly striking human being talk about their life and craft for 90 minutes, and realize you know little more about them at the end than at the beginning. It leaves a very entertaining and well made film feeling a touch incomplete.
That said, this is still very worth seeing. I was never bored, sometimes astonished by what I saw, and heard amazing stories I don't think I'll soon forget.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great DVD for those who love magic or really for anyone who would like to learn about one of the greats of magic. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. Taylor
The life of a genuine master, and a beautiful documentary to boot. Recommended for anyone interested in art, what it is, and how powerful it can be.Published 7 months ago by M. Smith
I would have preferred having a couple of his shows on the disc. That would have been worth another star.Published 10 months ago by ofdutton
I'm the same age as Ricky Jay and a fellow magician. I am familiar with the greats in magic history and I studied with some of the people mentioned. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Robert Van Voorhees
An excellent coverage of close-up magic. This DVD does not reveal any secrets but does give pointers on how to learn magic for yourself. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Robert R White Jr