Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

Director: Molly Bernstein
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 2.5

Master magician Ricky Jay - who has also appeared in a fair number of films - talks a bit about his past, growing up and learning from older magicians (including his grandfather Max Katz, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller). Jay's storytelling ability is refined - he knows how to keep the audience's attention - and his dedication to his craft is impressive: while the film doesn't go into actual methods and techniques (magicians are a close-knit and closed-mouth group ... it's all about keeping the mysteries intact), it's nice someone is painstakingly cataloguing the history of magical acts the way Jay has been. With the lack of revelatory knowledge about tricks-of-the-trade, however, this does come across as being (willfully) elusive.