At this moment there is a fantastic documentary available on Netflix Instant entitled Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay and for those of you out there that are interested in the art of Sleight of Hand you owe it to yourself to put this documentary in your queue right this second. You might know Ricky Jay from his incredible live performances or his numerous TV appearances throughout the years…or like me you might have first seen him in the Mystery Men or the seventh season X-Files episode “The Amazing Maleeni”.
The documentary as stated by the title focuses on Jay but it also shines a spotlight on the mentors of the Art that he was fortunate enough to have been influenced by as well as taught. In this trailer for it you will see not only some of those mentors but some of his jaw-dropping work.
One of those mentors that I was most impressed with went by the name of the Great Slydini, who was born Quintino Marucci in Foggia, Italy on September 1, 1900. I mention that fact because when you watch this episode of the Dick Cavett show from 1977, look at how supple and quick Slydini’s hands are and then remind yourself he was 77 years at the time of this taping.
[Via] Vintage Magic Archives
Now this clip from an earlier Dick Cavett show from the 1970s we see Slydini perform “The Helicopter Card”
[Via] Kevin Courtney
Now this last clip comes from the personal collection of Christian de MIEGEVILLE and features Slydini on French TV from 1960.
Incredible stuff from Slydini and Ricky Jay, when I watched the documentary my heart hurt from the absolute beauty of both these artists and I think you will have a similar reaction when you have a chance to watch it yourself.