The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria has recently introduced a new series which is running through January 1st, 2012 called Magicians on Screen.
In the 1890s, stage magicians were the world’s most popular entertainers. And then the cinema was invented. Always eager to incorporate new technologies, magicians quickly embraced the moving image, using it to create astonishing new illusions. Magician/filmmakers like Georges Méliès furthered cinema’s potential to make the impossible appear possible through their innovative use of editing and special effects in the genre they invented, the trick film. Unfortunately, as audiences fell in love with the movies, they abandoned the stage magicians, and the grand old magic halls disappeared or were converted to movie palaces.
There will be a screening of The Great Buck Howard (A film based on the life of the much acclaimed mind-reader, The Amazing Kreskin) on December 31st, free with admission. Along with the museum exhibit, the Wall Street Journal interviewed magic legend Ricky Jay on the history of magic in film, a very interesting read and definitely worth checking out.
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue
Astoria, NY 11106