Steve Cohen hunts legendary magic; movie covers legendary magician

October 6th, 2012 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General

Today David Blaine gets bolted in a shocking stunt sure to conduct itself in an amped up way. Watt else would be be talking about? OK, no more electricity puns.

As David Blaine executes his latest stunt, Electrified, we’ll wish him well and thrill for his accomplishment. And watching those bolts and listening to the sounds as electricity fires from the Tesla coils is pretty hypnotic. But we’ll also wish there was more magic to go with his stunt.

Fortunately, there’s some good magic coming to film and TV that is well worth catching. One features one of magic’s top performers chasing down vintage illusions; the other is a look at a legend.

Steve Cohen: “Lost Magic Decoded”

A new special soon to air on the History Channel features one of today’s best close-up magicians exploring yesterday’s legendary tricks and effects. Steve Cohen usually performs in a tip-top tux at the luxurious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. But in “Lost Magic Decoded,” he travels far beyond the confines of the Big Apple to locations across the U.S. and around the world.

His mission is to hunt down legendary magic, such as the Turk, the light and heavy chest and the Indian rope trick. When he finds something that is just legend, he leaves it be. But where he finds truth, he re-creates and performs the effect.

The special looks brilliant and compelling, and promises a great look at the illusionists and routines of the past. It will debut from 9 to 11 p.m. U.S. Eastern on Oct. 18.

“Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay”

This film, debuting this week at the New York Film Festival, features a look into the life of another close-up magic master. Jay received lessons from trendsetters, movers and shakers in the world of magic, such as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini, Roy Benson and Francis Carlyle.

From his first performances as a 7-year-old with his grandfather Max Katz to his recent roles in TV and moves, most everything is covered. A majority of the documentary features his work in magic, from his early studies to the beautiful flourishes he performs between scenes.

Early reviews are favorable, and those are by laymen. We’re excited to see this for ourselves.


  1. chris sharpless on:

    i saw the lost magic decoded special on history and it was an awesome show to watch it was interesting and downright entertaining