Ricky Jay

review ricky jay deceptive

Magic, like many of the arts, seems to ebb and flow through our culture with its impact and essence growing and shrinking in importance from year to year. Of course, magic probably does far more of the latter. There was a brief resurgence a few years ago with the likes of David Blaine and Criss Angel, but both men quickly became well-deserved punchlines, leaving magic to hole up in the last place on Earth that still sees it as, well, magical. But outside of Las Vegas? Ricky Jay is one of a very select few who’ve not only made a living from their magic-related interests but also found success beyond the stage. (Penn & Teller are two more, but after that I’m stumped unless you count David Copperfield’s brief foray into acting with Terror Train. Which you shouldn’t.) Jay’s incredible sleight-of-hand skills, fascination with history, sharp sense of humor and distinctive voice have kept him working, educating and entertaining us for decades. A new doc offers a glimpse up Jay’s metaphorical shirt sleeves for a better look at what makes him tick, but unfortunately it does so by pointing the camera outwards.

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