Pulling a rabbit out of Ricky Jay’s hat

In “Deceptive Practice,” Ricky Jay is careful not to reveal his magic secrets.
In “Deceptive Practice,” Ricky Jay is careful not to reveal his magic secrets.Lara Jo Regan/Kino Lorber

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DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

Fittingly, there’s a lot to try to keep track of in “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.” A big part of what’s made Jay a world-renowned card magician (and David Mamet troupe member) is the brisk visual flow he uses to steer an audience’s attention here, there, and anywhere he chooses. Delivering a documentary equivalent, directors Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein intercut their subject’s interview and performance footage with a full program of flashbacks to Vaudeville-era and vintage-television acts. All are performers that influenced Jay, a true historian of his craft. But a certain amount of this background flits by too quickly to leave a fully detailed image.

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