According to the official website, Joe Gold's film "Desperate Acts of Magic" was inspired by his experience as a professional magician, performing over 500 kids birthday parties, and entering numerous magic competitions. Joe wanted to make an authentic magic movie, showing great magic performed by a cast of professional magicians. Like a great musical where the songs and the story are seamlessly intertwined, Desperate Acts of Magic wants to do the same, mixing story and magic as one. In spite of numerous hurdles faced during production, the first official trailer for the film is now online and you can see it here:
From Vanity Fair Daily we hear of an effect performed by David Blaine for the audience attending the Woody Harrelson directed Broadway Show "Bullet for Adolf.":
David Blaine, the illusionist known for stunts like encasing himself in blocks of ice and Plexiglas, performed a special magic trick for the New York opening of Woody Harrelson’s play Bullet for Adolf. A hush fell over the crowd in the lobby at New World Stages when Blaine pulled out a deck of cards and held them high. Photographers cocked their cameras, and Blaine, with one hand, spewed the cards all over the floor.
Laughing, Blaine told VF Daily that he had prepared the stunt “just for this.”
An interesting article from BroadcastNow.co.uk talks about the on again off again relationship between magicians and television. Using Dynamo and Derren Brown to kick off the piece, it discusses the varied success of magic themed programming on British TV.
From Tommy Cooper to Paul Daniels, David Blaine and David Copperfield, magic has been a perennial of television. But like the magicians themselves, TV needs to move with the times and constantly revise how it presents their craft to the viewing public.
Derren Brown has set the bar high with his psychological games and high-profile, sometimes controversial, stunts; while on the big screen, the Harry Potter franchise and films like The Illusionist and The Prestige demonstrate an appetite for magic and its ability to capture an audience.
But while Dynamo’s popularity has boosted a small channel, some recent attempts at capturing magic’s sparkle have fallen flat, most notably the more traditional Saturday primetime formats. Penn And Teller: Fool Us on ITV1 and BBC1’s The Magicians will not be returning, leading some to question whether magic’s appeal is sustainable.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in which hi discusses his role in the new Bourne Legacy, The Avengers and other projects, actor Jeremy Renner dropped this interesting tidbit:
I just did a movie with James Gray directing, and Marion Cotillard, who is one of my favorite actresses (again, some of my favorite actresses. Marion Cotillard and Rachel Weisz. I got to work with both of them right in a row, and that was a real treat for me). And Joaquin Phoenix, who is one of the best actors out there, in my mind. And I got to play a magician. It was great. It’s a beautiful story about the early 1900s in America when all the immigrants were coming through Ellis Island. Marion plays the immigrant, and she sort of gets sold out or pimped out by Joaquin’s character. It’s a terrible way to describe it, but in the simplest way, it’s about a pimp, a whore and a magician. But it’s a little bit more complex than that.
A British children's entertainer says that he may be forced to change his name to avoid being having his children's show tainted by the blockbuster success of the recnt blockbuster movie about male strippers. According to an article in the Telegraph:
Michael DeFreitas has delighted youngsters for years with his magic show and ventriloquist's act with Oscar the Parrot, Chuck the cheeky teenager, and Brazilian tourist Carlos.
But now when he turns up in his purple van - emblazoned with 2ft wand and Magic Mike in 1ft tall golden letters - audiences expect he is about to bare all.
He has begun to receive inquiries about 'adult entertainment' and is often asked: 'Are you the stripper?'
In this episode of the Magic Newswire's "Spirit of Magic" podcast, we talk to two of the featured performers, and the director of the new documentary film "The Magic Life." "The Magic Life" chronicles the journey of three magician hopefuls: a 17-year-old from Beijing who travels to the U.S. to attend magic school, a 25-year-old trying to make rent by performing on Hollywood Blvd for tips, and a 32-year-old New York University MBA graduate who moves to Los Angeles to perform at the world famous Magic Castle. The film depicts the challenges of following an unconventional career path. Forget about parents, family, or friends who may not understand or support your choices – there’s almost an invisible societal pressure in terms of what types of jobs are acceptable. “The Magic Life” is about those who are willing to risk everything to take the road not normally taken.
LISTEN TO "THE MAGIC LIFE" INTERVIEWS :
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A new display was recently unveiled at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, celebrating Copperfield's recent award from the Society of American Magicians naming him as "Magician of the Century." The award is accompanied by a new bust of David. According to Vegas Chatter:
But it's the bronze statue that'll first catch your eye. It cleverly pays tribute to Copperfield's most iconic magical stagings, including vanishing the Statue of Liberty, walking through the Great Wall of China and his much missed, "Flying" illusion. We have to say, it's a really well created piece. But, you will have to ignore the joksters working the table games in front of the statue. We heard them comparing the bust to Bill Clinton, Steve Lawrence, Mitt Romney and a cascade of others. No respect for a King. Tut, tut.
Read the complete article to get the full and mysterious back story on the award as well.
I love Magic Documentaries. I know. I'm a magic Nerd. That's ok, because some of my magic friends are involved in a project that I want to bring to your attention.
The Magic Life is a film by Nelson Chang featuring Juliana Chen, Jonathan Levit and Richard Turner. The film chronicles the journey of three magician hopefuls: a 17-year-old from Beijing (Yang Yang) who travels to the U.S. to attend magic school, a 25-year-old trying to make rent by performing on Hollywood Blvd for tips (Mathew Noah Falk) , and a 32-year-old New York University MBA graduate who moves to Los Angeles to perform at the world famous Magic Castle (Michael Friedland). The film depicts the challenges of following an unconventional career path. Forget about parents, family, or friends who may not understand or support your choices – there’s almost an invisible societal pressure in terms of what types of jobs are acceptable. “The Magic Life” is about those who are willing to risk everything to take the road not normally taken. Sometimes the risk pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.
For more than 35 years, Penn & Teller have redefined the magic genre, specializing in gory vaudeville-like tricks, exposing frauds and performing inconceivable stunts live in front of sold-out crowds. And now, they're partnering with the designers at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights to infuse their brand of entertainment in a complete haunted house environment – something they have never done before.
Best known for their satirical humor, outrageous antics and mind-blowing magic, including their famous "The Magic Bullets" trick (where the duo catch bullets in their teeth), the pair has entertained guests at Las Vegas' Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino for more than 10 years, making their act one of the longest running and most-beloved shows in Las Vegas history.
This fall, Penn & Teller invite Halloween Horror Nights guests to step into a dark, dilapidated and radioactive version of "Sin City," as if one of their magic tricks has gone terribly awry and the city has been covered in nuclear ooze. Concepted by the duo themselves, the maze will feature the best of Vegas – showgirls, slot machines, little white wedding chapel, all-you-can-eat buffet, and more – all glowing with a toxic green hue.
"Universal Horror Nights can scare the living Elvis out of you, and me & Teller, well, we've been known to take things a bit too far. Now we're working together on showing you what it would be like to live in a post-nuclear explosion Sin City. C'mon by, but remember, you're not playing with children here," said Penn Jillette, the larger, louder half of the duo.
"We've done more than just tap into the wildly creative minds of Penn & Teller, the most influential illusionists in the world. We've been working really closely with them. You are literally going to hear Penn directing you through this toxic wasteland before coming face-to-face with both Penn & Teller in this jarring 3D experience," said Jim Timon, Senior Vice President of Entertainment at Universal Orlando Resort.