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May 26, 2013 | By Cristy Lytal
The hand is quicker than the eye, according to David Kwong, magic consultant for the upcoming film "Now You See Me" from Summit Entertainment. But that's not the only trick behind how the film's central characters - a gang of four magicians played by Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson - pull off multiple bank heists. Kwong, 32, got his introductory abracadabra when he was about 7. He was at a pumpkin patch, where a magician performed a trick involving a disappearing and reappearing red sponge ball.
May 16, 2013 | By Susan King
Renowned sleight-of-hand magician, actor, author and historian Ricky Jay learned his craft from the best in the field, including Al Fosso, Slydini, Cardini, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. These men never made a lot of money during their long careers, and in the case of Cardini, he didn't appear on television for fear of having his act exposed and copied. But to Jay, these master magicians were superstars. "I think the thing about these people who are so good is that they are perpetual students, as well as masters," said Jay, 65, in a recent phone interview.
March 20, 2013 | Patt Morrison
Milt Larsen is a master of two kinds of magic. There's the abracadabra kind that his magician parents brought him up on, and the sort he began practicing with his late brother, Bill - the magic of preserving buildings, including the Variety Arts Theater downtown and the Mayfair Music Hall in Santa Monica. The capper is the Magic Castle. Here, 50 years ago, the Larsens - presto-changeo - turned a banker's home into a members-only clubhouse for grown-up magicians and their fans. Larsen has three cable radio shows (old comedy and even older music)
February 5, 2013 | By Wesley Lowery
Albie Selznick's career has been a long, tiring and, at times depressing trip through comedy, music and acting. But Selznick hopes his story - or at least the version of it he performs each weekend - is a hero's journey. The 54-year-old actor-magician takes the small, intimate stage at the Road Theatre Co. in North Hollywood each weekend to perform a show that draws heavily from this childhood struggles to cope with his father's death by using magic. PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures "When I was a kid my friends used to ask me why I wanted to be a magician," Selznick says at the beginning of his show, "Smoke and Mirrors.
February 2, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times
Penn Jillette isn't one to shy from controversy. In his new book, "Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday," the highly opinionated, talkative half of the long-running magic duo Penn & Teller takes on atheism, racism and the plight of the underclass. But perhaps his most shocking personal view is about Donald Trump. Jillette likes him, mostly for the real estate mogul's determination to be himself. "It's an important part of our culture," Jillette said over a cup of hot tea in West Hollywood one recent afternoon.
January 12, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
The eyebrows are dyed. The well-coiffed wig is in place. Even the chest hair has been shaved. It's early March on the Warner Bros. lot, and Steve Carell is hard at work, channeling Burt Wonderstone, a famous Las Vegas magician whose livelihood is being threatened by the new, more outrageous illusionist played by Jim Carrey. The 49-day shoot is close to wrapping up, filming a small scene during the production's final days between a desperate Wonderstone and his reluctant assistant Jane, played by Olivia Wilde ("Cowboys and Aliens")
January 3, 2013 | Matt Cooper
Click here to download TV listings for the week Dec. 30, 2012 - Jan. 5, 2012 in PDF format This week's TV Movies   CBS This Morning The latest news. (N) 7 a.m. KCBS Today Warren Buffett; looking younger and thinner; Alison Sweeney; Dick Wolf; Tempestt Bledsoe. (N) 7 a.m. KNBC KTLA Morning News (N) 7 a.m. KTLA Good Morning America (N) 7 a.m. KABC Good Day L.A. 7 a.m. KTTV Rachael Ray Guy Fieri. (N) 8 a.m. KCAL Live With Kelly and Michael Pauly D. 9 a.m. KABC The View Guest co-host Cee Lo Green; Tyler Perry; chef Emeril Lagasse.
August 16, 2012 | By Gary Goldstein
"The Magic Life" is an underdeveloped, though largely engaging documentary profiling a trio of magician hopefuls as they attempt to turn their unique avocation into a profitable career. Producer-director Nelson Cheng shows clear respect for his movie's intriguing topic, but the newbie filmmaker's lack of technical and narrative proficiency makes this an underwhelming first effort. On the upside, Cheng has chosen his charming lead subjects wisely. They include the ebullient Yang Yang, a 17-year-old from Beijing who visits America to attend magic school; Matthew Noah Falk, a mid-20s L.A. street magician hamstrung by his high apartment rent; and 30-ish New Yorker Michael Friedland, who exits the business world for a shot at performing at Hollywood's Magic Castle.
June 28, 2012 | By Julie Makinen
A Mormon man's effort to rescue, preserve and share 20,000 volumes of ancient Tibetan text, the annual Scottish Prison Service hairdressing competition and the struggles of people with bipolar disorder are among the stories that will unspool onscreen at the International Documentary Assn.'s Docuweeks screening series in August. Seventeen feature films and 11 shorts from 19 countries will play between Aug. 10 and 30 at the Laemmle NoHo 7. Tickets for individual films at the Laemmle NoHo 7 are $11 for general admission, $8 for IDA members and $8 for seniors and children.
March 11, 2012 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
If only these stage sorcerers could reach into a black top hat and pull out a home for their magical paraphernalia. Short of cash and abracadabra moments, the Society of American Magicians is struggling to find a public venue for its vast collection of antique stage illusions. After a freak accident forced the closure of the group's Hall of Fame and Magic Museum in Hollywood, the society moved its trove of tricks into a Pico Rivera self-storage center. "We'd love to reopen the museum.
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