Trailer for “They Shall Not Grow Old,” by Peter Jackson
Behind ths scenes on how the old footage were converted and given new life.
Well past midnight, everyone gathered around a coffee table as Jay, at Baron’s request, did closeup card magic. When he had performed several dazzling illusions and seemed ready to retire, a guest named Mort said, “Come on, Ricky. Why don’t you do something truly amazing?”
Baron recalls that at that moment “the look in Ricky’s eyes was, like, ‘Mort—you have just fucked with the wrong person.’ ”
Jay told Mort to name a card, any card. Mort said, “The three of hearts.” After shuffling, Jay gripped the deck in the palm of his right hand and sprung it, cascading all fifty-two cards so that they travelled the length of the table and pelted an open wine bottle.
“O.K., Mort, what was your card again?”
“The three of hearts.”
“Look inside the bottle.”
If you’re a member of Kanopy, you can watch the Ricky Jay documentary “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.” It’s free to sign up for Kanopy.
I’m always curious to learn how the best of the best practice. It’s one of the questions I always asked guitar players for GUITARKADIA. At 41:02 min of the film, Jay says the following which I absolutely loved.
“Charlie [Miller] was inclined to work on the specifics of one particular move and the finest points and finest subtleties of this particular move. Spending eight or 10 or 12 hours a day practicing, you can just get into a rhythm where it just feels so wonderful that you do it without really spending an awful lot of time thinking about doing it. And it’s not the best way to practice. I probably learned from Charlie Miller more about how to refine practice. The concept instead of just getting into the rote and the rhythm and this wonderful things of how nice it feels when you hit a move when you’re working on your chops to actually to make the move better each time you do it.”
- Ricky Jay
My favorite part of the film comes at 1:09:26 as Ricky tells the story of a Malini trick, followed by a story by The Guardian writer Suzie Mackenzie. Goosebumps!
Jordan Orlando’s story about the book’s adaptation. For The New Yorker.
“Woodward was a fabulous help to me,” Goldman said. “What was tricky was trying to make the story hold. . . . This was just two guys plodding along. The whole movie was risky; nobody had any idea the movie would work.” But despite the temptation to glamorize the story, Goldman insisted on trying to be accurate. “I was terrified because you knew that everybody who was going to talk about this film had, at one time or another, been in a newsroom. Every power on television—they all began in newsrooms. And we knew if we Hollywood-ed it up, we would be in terrible trouble,” he said.
In Widows, some of what interested me was delving into Veronica’s past and the tragedy that’s at the heart of her character. You’ve got the classic thing of a heist movie, in which all the ingredients are slowly coming together and accelerating toward the big night. You’ve built all that momentum, but you’re also cross-cutting it with more poetic investigations of how the characters got to where they are — and we chose to reveal that non-linearly; it created suspense.
The order in which we discover things did change so that the audience didn’t know things too far ahead of the characters. There was also the benefit of a small amount of new material shot while we were in post, to shore up some ideas. For example, a little beat where a child picks up a weird toy. It’s something that goes past so quickly and you may not see where it’s leading but it clicks into place down the line. One of the most delightful things I’ve heard is people seeing the film a second time. They see it differently.