An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America, documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.
Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice (#2801H) Duration: 56:47 STEREO TVPG
This documentary is a journey into the world of modern magic and the small circle of eccentrics who were its perpetual devotees. At its center is the multi-talented Ricky Jay, a best-selling author and historian, an acclaimed actor, a leading collector of antiquarian books and artifacts, but above all a conjurer capable of creating a profound sense of wonder and disbelief in even the most jaded of audiences.
Told largely in Jay's own voice, it traces the story of his achievements, from his early apprenticeship, beginning at age four, with his grandfather Max Katz, an accomplished amateur magician, as well as Al Flosso, Slydini,Cardini, Francis Carlyle, and Roy Benson, all of whom were among the best magicians of the 20th century. The film weaves together performance footage from his one-man shows and classic TV appearances,and also includes friends and collaborators such as Steve Martin (who joins him in a hilarious turn on a '70s vintage Dinah Shore TV show) and David Mamet, who says of Jay: "He's devoted to that theater that he alone sees. He has the ideal of magic in his mind to which he's devoted his life: to teaching it, to performing it, to perfecting it, to researching it."
Althea (#2901H) Duration: 1:25:16 STEREO TVPG-L
Discover the story of Althea Gibson, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win Wimbledon and the US Nationals. Features Billie Jean King and David Dinkins.