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Jim Henson

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There are some entertainment disciplines that have fallen slightly out of favor, thanks to new distractions. Puppeteers and magicians don’t get the attention they once did, unless they’re part of Jim Henson’s crew or have a wild gimmick.

But practitioners of fading arts keep going forward, even though they face a more difficult path now than ever. The Magic Life documents a number of would-be stage magicians as they struggle to make a life in the discipline. As it follows three aspiring illusionists (a 17-year-old from Beijing, a 25-year-old LA resident, and a 32-year-old businessman) we see the performers trying to perfect their craft, and deal with their own hopes and expectations as they reach for a career many people think foolish.

Check out the trailer below.

Based on this trailer, Nelson Cheng‘s doc may not be the most polished one, but he seems to have good subjects, and it is a topic that translates well to film. If the film gets under the skin of the three aspiring magicians, it might have something special to offer. [FSR]

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With the release of the newest Muppets Movie, a few conversations about my foggy memory of a Cosby Show episode featuring Jim Henson's muppets came up. No one knew what I was talking about, and for a little while, I thought I had imagined the strange and surreal episode. Thanks to Youtube, I found the episode, titled "Cliff's Nightmare". It is still as terrifying and amazing as when I saw it for the first time!

"Cliff comes back from the hospital at three am in the morning and decides to eat a sausage sandwich. Unfortunately that sandwich was responsible for the weirdest dream Cliff had."

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Short, silent, but priceless color footage of Jim Henson working at his animation stand in Bethesda, MD around 1961.

(Thanks, Floyd Bishop for the tip and the Henson Company for posting the film)

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