Ricky Jay (b. 1948) is an American professional sleight-of-hand artist, actor, and author. He is considered an expert on the history of magic and oddball, unusual entertainment.
He was born Richard Jay Potash in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish-American family. Ricky Jay is considered one of the most knowledgeable and skilled sleight-of-hand experts in the United States. He is notable for his signature card tricks, card throwing, memory feats, and stage patter. At least two of his shows, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants and On the Stem, were directed by David Mamet, who has also cast Jay in a number of his films. Jay has also appeared in productions by other directors, notably Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights and Magnolia, as well as The Prestige and season one of HBO's Deadwood as card sharp Eddie Sawyer.
Until recently, Ricky Jay was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for throwing a playing card 190 ft at 90 miles per hour (the current record is 216 ft, by Rick Smith, Jr.). Ricky...
Created by dipity on Jan 24, 2008
Last updated: 03/11/10 at 11:23 AM
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The Prestige is a 2006 period film directed by Christopher Nolan, with a screenplay adapted from the 1995 World Fantasy Award-winning novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. The story follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, rival stage magicians in fin de siècle London. Obsessed with creating the best stage illusion, they engage in competitive one-upmanship with tragic results.The film features Christian Bale as Alfred Borden, Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier, and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla. It also stars Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo, Andy Serkis, and Rebecca Hall. The film reunites Nolan with actors Bale and Caine from Batman Begins, and returning cinematographer Wally Pfister, production designer Nathan Crowley, and film score composer David Julyan.Priest's epistolary novel was adapted to the screen by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan using Nolan's distinctive nonlinear narrative structure. Themes of duality, obsession, sacrifice, and secrecy pervade the...,
Last Days (2005) is a film by director Gus Van Sant, and is a fictionalized account of the last days of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. It was released to theaters in the United States on July 22, 2005, and was produced by HBO. The film stars Michael Pitt as the character Blake, based on Kurt Cobain. Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth), Lukas Haas, Asia Argento, and Thadeus A. Thomas (real-life Yellow Book salesman) also star in the film. Director and friend of Van Sant's, Harmony Korine, appears in a brief club scene as well, playing a character similar to one in the movie Kids.
Van Sant said he thought about the project for nearly a decade. At one stage, he wanted to do a Cobain biopic, but decided against the idea out of fear of being sued by Cobain's widow, Courtney Love. He was not sure how Cobain's fans and family would react to the film. He spoke to Love several times over the years about his project and recently expressed his concern that it may be painful for her to see the film....
Incident at Loch Ness is a film starring Werner Herzog and Zak Penn. The small cast film follows Herzog and his crew (Gabriel Beristain, Russell Williams II) while working on the production of an abandoned movie project on the Loch Ness Monster entitled Enigma of Loch Ness. It won the New American Cinema Award at the 2004 Seattle International Film Festival.
After a mysterious shot of a body floating in Loch Ness, Incident at Loch Ness begins as an entirely different documentary called Herzog In Wonderland being directed by John Bailey with an overview of Herzog's work as he himself begins work for a separate documentary to be called Enigma of Loch Ness, in which he is exploring the Loch Ness Monster myth. Throughout the film, Herzog asserts the Loch Ness Monster is merely a creation of a collective psychological need in society.
As the film continues, Herzog hosts a dinner party to kick off film production. In attendance are his wife (Lena Herzog), several Hollywood celebrities (Jeff...,
Heartbreakers is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by David Mirkin. Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee and Gene Hackman make up the lead cast. Weaver was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for her performance in the film.
Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play Max and Page Conners, a mother and daughter who share everything with each other: relationship advice, hair and makeup hints, and the money they win in costly divorce settlements with rich men. When the film opens, the Conners are putting the finishing touches on conning Dean (Ray Liotta), an auto-body shop owner, with Max marrying him and Paige posing as his secretary. When the dust from that scam clears, Page announces she's ready to move away from her mother and set up shop on her own- but in order to clear an outstanding debt (Which, as it turns out, was set up by Max's old mentor to stop Paige striking out on her own), Max insists they bankrupt one more bachelor together.
Heist is a crime thriller written and directed by David Mamet, and released in November 2001. The film's cast includes Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Sam Rockwell, Ricky Jay, and Rebecca Pidgeon.
Tagline: Love makes the world go 'round... Love of Gold.Joe Moore (Hackman) heads a group of professional thieves, which includes Bobby Blane (Lindo), Don 'Pinky' Pincus (Jay), and Joe's wife Fran (Pidgeon). During a mid-morning robbery of a jewelry store, Joe's picture is captured on a security camera, leading him to choose an early retirement. That doesn't sit well with Bergman (DeVito), Joe's fence, who, after accruing a number of expenses in setting up another robbery, denies Joe and his crew their payment and presses them into taking on the other job -- the hijacking of a Swiss airplane carrying a large shipment of gold. With Bergman's hotheaded nephew Jimmy Silk (Rockwell) reluctantly brought into the fold, Joe and his crew agree to pull off the caper, but a series of...,
Magnolia is a 1999 drama film, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It interweaves nine separate yet connected storylines, about the interactions among several people during one day in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles, California. The film was financed by New Line Cinema.Of the ensemble cast, Tom Cruise was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards, and won the award in the same category at the Golden Globes of 2000.Magnolia starts with an introduction (narrated by an uncredited Ricky Jay) describing three events that set the mood for the movie by urging the audience to think about supposed coincidences which occur "all the time." The events, which are well-known urban legends, are:The movie then goes on to introduce the main characters:The movie ends with the narrator urging the audience to think again about the coincidences mentioned in the intro, implying that the unlikely connections between the characters in the movie are similar.Many of the...,
State and Main is a 2000 comedy film, written and directed by David Mamet, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rebecca Pidgeon about the on-location production of a film in Waterford, Vermont called The Old Mill. The actual film was shot in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts; Dedham, Massachusetts; and Waltham, Massachusetts.
State and Main centers on the havoc wrought on the inhabitants of a small town by a troubled film production. After its leading man's propensity for teenage girls gets them banished from their New Hampshire location, a film crew relocates to the small town of Waterford, VT, to finish shooting "The Old Mill." As its title suggests, the film depends on the presence of a genuine mill, something the town is reported to possess. Unfortunately, with only days before principal photography begins, it becomes apparent that the mill in fact burned down decades ago. Unfazed, the film's director, Walt Price (William H. Macy), places his faith in the ability of first-time...
Mystery Men is a 1999 comedy film directed by TV commercial director Kinka Usher. It starred William H. Macy, Ben Stiller, and Hank Azaria as a trio of lesser superheroes with fairly unimpressive superpowers who need to save the day. The film's two great strengths were considered to be the art direction and the dialogue, much of which was improvised by the cast. Despite its list of stars, Mystery Men was widely considered to be a flop with a final box office gross of just $29,762,011 domestic and $3,699,000 foreign.
It has since been developing something of a cult following. The soundtrack prominently featured the Smash Mouth song "All Star" and clips from the film form the basis of the song's video.
The movie opens in Champion City, a metropolis in a slightly altered comic book-style reality, where costumed crime fighters of varying skill levels are fairly common. Three such individuals are 'The Shoveler' (William H. Macy), who can wield a shovel very well; 'Mr. Furious' (Ben...,
Boogie Nights is a 1997 film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly and Heather Graham.
The film follows a young porn star as he enters the industry in the late 1970s in California, and deals with the highs and lows of success into the 1980s. It also follows several other characters involved in the industry, and their downfalls.
The film depicts the pornographic film industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s as seen through the life of a young porn star, Dirk Diggler, played by Mark Wahlberg. This film details his discovery by porn director Jack Horner (based on William Margold), played by Burt Reynolds. The story concerns Diggler's entry into the business, his rise to stardom, and his eventual downfall due to cocaine and methamphetamine-induced paranoia and impotence, having become an arrogant "star". It ends with his reconciliation with Horner.
Dirk Diggler's rise and fall serves as...,
The Spanish Prisoner is a 1997 feature film, written and directed by David Mamet. It stars Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, and Rebecca Pidgeon and tells the story of an elaborate confidence game.
Joe Ross is a corporate engineer who has recently invented a very lucrative industrial process that has not yet been patented. While on a corporate retreat at an island resort, Campbell befriends a wealthy stranger, Jimmy Dell, and one of the company's new secretaries, Susan Ricci. Back in America, Jimmy suggests that Joe's company might not give him fair compensation for his work. Susan also makes vague suggestions that Joe cannot trust anyone. Jimmy convinces Joe to show him the process and find him legal counsel, but Joe learns that Jimmy is actually a confidence man who is attempting to steal his process. He meets with FBI agents who enlist him in a sting operation, but eventually learns that the FBI agents were part of Jimmy's confidence game, and he has allowed them to steal the process....
Tomorrow Never Dies is a 1997 spy film. It is the 18th film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as MI6 agent James Bond. Bruce Feirstein is credited as writing the screenplay, although it received input from several writers, and it was directed by Roger Spottiswoode. It follows Bond as he tries to stop a media mogul from engineering world events and starting World War III.The film was produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and was the first Bond film made after the death of veteran producer Albert R. Broccoli. After GoldenEye had reinvigorated the series, there was pressure on its follow-up to be equally successful. This pressure caused tension and there were reports of creative disputes on set; official sources denied that this occurred. Although not achieving the same level of success as GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies performed well in the box office and received many positive reviews; this drop in performance is usually...,
House of Games is David Mamet's 1987 motion picture directorial debut. Mamet wrote the screenplay from a story he devised with Jonathan Katz. The film's cast includes Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna, Ricky Jay, and J.T. Walsh.
Margaret Ford (Crouse) is a psychologist, among the most preeminent in her field. She has just published a book, Driven: Compulsion and Obsession in Everyday Life, which has made her financially well-off. One day, she's in a session with Billy, a compulsive gambler who informs her that his life is in danger. He owes several thousand dollars to a criminal figure - money he doesn't have - and if he doesn't pay, he will be killed.
Margaret visits a bar called the House of Games and confronts Billy's creditor, Mike (Joe Mantegna). After a brief conversation, Margaret sizes Mike up as a con man, not a violent gangster. Mike agrees to forgive the debt if Margaret accompanies him to a high-stakes poker game as his girlfriend, using her to help identify the tells of his...,
Ricky Jay was born