Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 15th, 2012, 2:51 pm

February 14

(Better late than never)

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Giobbi on this list of books with but one exception: Sonata. And thats only because I have not been able to get a copy!

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 17th, 2012, 2:27 am

February 16

Two book lists in three days: Mr. Giobbi is a man after my own heart. This list is of biographies, which is my favorite type of book, and they need not be magic related. But this is on magic bios, so well stick to that. I have not read the last two on the list (being in German is a good reason for one particular book).

His list is also almost in the same order Id put them as far as favorites go. The main difference is that I place the Milo & Roger autobiography at the top.

I would also addin no particular orderthe Jay Marshall (Marshall), Servais LeRoy (Caveney/Rauscher), Charles Carter (Caveney), Germain (Stewart), de Kolta (Warlock),Thurston (Steinmeyer), Flosso (Brown), Mr. Electric (Roy), and Kodell (Kodell) biographies to my must read list (and there are more).

Did I mention that I like biographies?

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 23rd, 2012, 1:41 am

February 22

You gotta love it when a collection of quotes on card magic is anchored by one from Steven Wright.
(And you gotta love a writer who includes it.)

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 26th, 2012, 3:13 am

February 23, 24, & 26

I am combining these because these entries all share a common thread: card control. And that leads to a pet peeve of mine that I see many well-posted card magicians do. They stare at their hands when shuffling the cards when they are controlling a card or a stock of cards. But when they are just shuffling the cards to actually shuffle them, guess what? They dont look at their hands at all! (And this is true whether the shuffle is a tabled riffle shuffle or an in-the-hands shuffle of any type.) This goes directly to naturalness as taught by Dai Vernon.

Stop watching your own sleight of hand and your audience will stop watching it too. And you will hear more comments like, But he didnt do anything!

Thats music to the ears.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » March 8th, 2012, 6:43 pm

March 6 & 7

The two pieces on how to get an audience to remember shuffling the deck makes me think back to when I had the great privilege of appearing on stage to assist Juan Tamariz and his wife. I have a clear recollection of shuffling the deck for her (she was the one doing the trick, Tamariz was directing the action). I know I did because he shouted shuffle, shuffle, shuffle!

More importantly, my recollection is that she never touched the deck until after I selected a card and shuffled it into the deck. This is NOT what happened, but its what I remember. Its not a coincidence.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » March 16th, 2012, 2:59 pm

March 15

(I know; a day late and way more than a dollar short)

So, is it a pass/shift or not?

The nifty little move described here is not what I would consider a pass or shift per se since its procedure is overt. But it certainly gets the job done, just the same as a covert shift does. But if this is a pass, then so is a Double Undercut (at least to my way of thinking).

So am I wrong? Is invisibility (whether through technique, misdirection, or both) a requirement for a move to be a pass?

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » March 20th, 2012, 1:43 am

OkayDisappointed! (Movie reference.)

I was hoping that the card folks would answer my question above, but nooooo!!! (So I guess Im right!)

March 19

Procedure, procedure, procedure.

Does good magic have to have as little procedure as possible? What has this got to do with the trick offered in todays entry in Secret Agenda? A lot.

The broader lessonI thinkin Mr. Giobbis trick offering is that procedure needs to have something interesting to go along with it to take the heat off the procedure.

So many dealing, counting, cutting, and shuffling tricks are exhibited in such a way that the procedure appears to be there just for the sake of the process; which of course is the case. Thats not good magic.

Excessive procedure should be eliminated whenever possible. But what is left needs to be covered with something interesting for the audiences mind to consider. Todays trick is a fine example of how to do that.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » March 24th, 2012, 4:47 am

March 23

Did anyone else notice that todays entry is practically a mirror image of February 13s?

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 11th, 2012, 11:31 pm

April 10

Without a sincere love for magic there is no criticism. R. Giobbi

I really, really love magic. D. Stinett

April 11

I wish I had heard or read Mr. Giobbis words today 30+ years ago. It took me a very long time to learn this simple truth about the presentation of magic on my own. Do not underestimate its value.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 16th, 2012, 1:44 am

April 16

Commerce versus Art is the subject on this day in Secret Agenda.

I agree with just about everything Mr. Giobbi writes; about art. His definition of commerce, however, is seriously flawed. I respectfully suggest that it is incomplete:

Commerce is about taking. You take more money, more market shares, more work, more customers, more frequent turnover; more profit, more power, etc. [emphasis as in original]


Commerce is about value for value. When one takes money (or barters) in a commercial way, they had better be giving something in return: Whether goods, services, or entertainment. Artists who make a living through their art are giving as well as taking. Someone who simply takes, well, recent events in magic have shown us that just taking is theft, not commerce.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 20th, 2012, 12:57 am

April 19

Regarding Mr. Giobbis mnemonics tip from today: I was going to write something about it, but I cant remember what it is.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 30th, 2012, 12:05 am

April 29

Why define Magic? Well, I think, for one thing, it helps us define our character (even if it is just our self) which makes coming up with presentationsthe one thing that truly sets us apart from anyone else who does Triumph and the Ambitious Cardthat much easier. Do you need to share it here? No, I dont think so (though please do so if you like). But I think you need to discover and share it with yourself.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 1st, 2012, 1:49 am

April 30

Mr. Giobbi writes that one becomes a better magician because one has understood and interpreted a trick better than someone else.

Is that true?

Cardini interpreted card manipulations differently than Channing Pollock who was different from Jeff McBrideand so on.

Is one better that the other? Or just different?

This goes right back to yesterdays notion of defining magic.

What makes one a better magician is understanding and interpreting a magic trick differently than someone else andperhaps most importantlycorrectly so for ones self.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dave V » May 1st, 2012, 10:45 am

I can perform something differently... and badly. Certainly not better.

I think Giobbi's comment holds true. I think Cardini developed his character and interpreted his tricks so he could perform them as "Cardini" better than anyone else. I wouldn't dare try to emulate McBride. Jeff can do what Jeff does better than anyone else.

It's when you interpret a trick and make it your own so you can perform it better than someone who hasn't gone to that effort that you become a better magician.

I think that's what Giobbi was trying to get across.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby El Mystico » May 1st, 2012, 12:05 pm

I think he is basing this on Vernon's advice about taking one trick and doing it better than anyone else. and Vernon pointed to Goshman as a shining example.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 1st, 2012, 12:33 pm

May 1

Happy Birthday Mr. Giobbi. Thank you so much for all you have done for our art. May there be much more and also may it be many, many years before your April 26 entry becomes etched in stone.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 4th, 2012, 12:08 pm

May 4

This 4-Ace Production from Mr. Giobbi is a nifty looking procedure. But we are left with a challenge: How do we get the cards and the packets into the positions required?

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 22nd, 2012, 6:02 am

May 21

When all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Notice, if you will, the parallels that can be drawn with these words from Sherlock Holmes (penned, of course, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyleno tyro to the ways of deception) with the precepts of the Too Perfect Theory.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Eric Fry » May 22nd, 2012, 11:19 am

The quote isn't quite accurate. I wonder if Giobbi translated it from a non-English text. It occurs in "The Sign of the Four."

Holmes is trying to explain how criminals entered a room whose door was locked and whose windows were inaccessible from the ground and which didn't offer a place of concealment. So he says to Watson: "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

Because its subject is problem-solving, you could say the quote applies to spectators of magic. If they've eliminated solutions they know are impossible, then something very improbable might be the solution.

The problem with applying Holmes' quote more broadly is that we often don't know enough to know what is impossible, and there may be many remaining explanations that are improbable but possible.

In the context of the story, it was a very limited problem. Door locked. Window inaccessible. A confederate couldn't be concealed. Chimney too narrow. The answer, which was improbable in the context of England, was a native of India who could climb well and enter through a trapdoor in the roof. (Part of the racism of the time was to think of non-whites as having the characteristics of monkeys.)

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 22nd, 2012, 3:31 pm

For the record, the quote appears in several different forms in several different stories between the late 1800s and the early 1900s, so one can take their pick. It was a favorite notion of the detective.

This one I quote above is the closest to what Giobbi wrote, but is not what appears in Secret Agenda (he left out the word "other"). And this one is slightly paraphrased in that the opening word is not the opening word of the entire passage as it appears in the short story, The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (1912).

That it is a broad interpretation is partly the point of Mr. Giobbis exercise. My point is the relationship that the Too Perfect Theory has with what appears in Giobbis book. Though its not exactly the same thing.

Ive written about Leo here before, but hes worth talking about again.

Leo was a guy that I went to high school with. No matter what, he just had to come up with a solution to whatever magic I did and most of the time his solutions were so whacky that they were funny. Others would tell Leo he was nuts. The problem was that every once in a while, Leo would get uncomfortably close to the truth. Thankfully, because of his usual Rube Goldberg-esque ideas, my classmate audience would also dismiss the near-correct ones.

Of course people who must find a solution will be satisfied with whatever they settle on. I once had a woman very happily tell me that she knew how I did Triumph.

She said, You use sleight of hand.

A broad solution is no less a solution in some peoples minds.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Eric Fry » May 22nd, 2012, 4:02 pm

Thanks for the additional information. You are correct. I hadn't realized the same idea cropped up again. Eric

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Bill Mullins » May 22nd, 2012, 4:40 pm

The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

The Sign of the Four
Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

The Lost Special
It is one of the elementary principles of practical reasoning, he remarked, that when the impossible has been eliminated the residuum, however improbable, must contain the truth.

The Blanched Soldier
That process, said I, starts upon the supposition that when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
We must fall back upon the old axiom that when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Eric Fry » May 22nd, 2012, 5:46 pm

Sheesh. You'd think Watson would have gotten tired of hearing this. I prefer the quote about the residuum containing the truth. It seems to acknowledge that there might be many solutions that are improbable, not just one solution.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 10th, 2012, 2:50 am

June 9

So what is the lesson of todays entry?

The answer to the question, Wasnt that trick worth the price of the lecture? is Maybeplease continue.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 22nd, 2012, 12:52 am

June 22

I dont do much mentalism and dont currently do anything that requires that I peek at something written. But if I ever do I will remember the lovely little gambit described in todays offeringperhaps youll want to remember and consider it too. One thing though: if you do it once, and you have other effects that requires something being written down by a volunteer, my instincts tell me that you should be consistent and use this same procedure, or at least something very similar, each time.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby AnthonyBrahams » June 23rd, 2012, 2:16 pm

June 23. I have been awaiting this date to pose a question. As a great admirer of Mike Skinner I appreciated Roberto's comments on "Classic Sampler". However he regards "The Cutting Edge" as worth the price of the book and I could not understand it. Then I wondered, is it a spoof, an April Fool or Purim Spiel as English or Jewish people would say? The item is from Roger Klause who had a great sense of humour he like to use. If necessary I can detail my queries later.
Anthony

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Doug Conn » June 23rd, 2012, 2:42 pm

I'd guess, because Vernon wasn't really a 'mathematical' guy this revelation appeared over-impressive to Roger & Co (who were used to Vernon's more 'physical' magic.)

If Elmsley had been at that session, he likely would have yawned (heck: I wouldn't be surprised if it was Elmsley who imparted this info to Vernon.)

It is interesting... worth the price of the book? Not so much.
(Want a trick worth the price of the book? The Mona Lisa Card Trick!)

LOL@ "if Marlo or Steranko had been aware of this principle, their works would have received much greater acclaim" (p.82 of this section in Classic Sampler)

Hitting submit with hesitation (last thing I need is an online argument about Vernon.) ... glutton for punishment I suppose.
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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » August 11th, 2012, 4:56 pm

August 4 through 10 Very Ambitious Issues

August 4 through 10 focuses on the Ambitious Card plot. (And even the August 3 installment can be, in Mr. Giobbis own words, used as the climax for a card routine, such as the Ambitious Card).

August 10, however, is a problem (challenge) put forth by Mr. Giobbi. While I am rarely into working on card problems, for some reason I tackled this one. Its not really my style and I share it here for your edification. (Id be curious if there is something like this already in print somewhereIm rarely confident that I can create something original given all the stuff thats out there, but while Ive seen similar effects, Ive not seen this solution.)

Heres Mr. Giobbis challenge taken directly from Secret Agenda (I hope he doesnt mind):

You cut the deck into three approximately equal piles; let's call them one, two and three, counting from right to left. [DS: I call them A, B, and C below because Im an edgy rebel!]

We'll assume the ambitious card is the Ace of Spades. You show the Ace and insert it into Pile One.
You snap your fingers and show that the Ace has risen to the top of the pile.

You next insert the Ace into Pile Two.

Again you snap your fingers and show that the Ace has come to the top.

Finally you show the Ace and put it into Pile Three on your left.

After an adequate pause and magical gesture, you show it has once more risen to the top.

You explain that the ambition of the Ace of Spades has affected the other Aces in the deck and, turning over the top card of each pile, you reveal the other three Aces.


And now heres my solution:

Setup: On top of the FD deck, top down: Red Ace, Ace of Spades, Red Ace. Ace of Clubs anywhere in the deck.

Spread through the deck faces toward you and remove and table the AC face down to your right without revealing it. This is a special cardIll show it to you in a second.

Shuffle the deck keeping the top stock intact.

With the deck slightly neck-tied, cut about a third of the deck (Section C) from the bottom Slip Cutting one card from the top of the deck to the top of this third. Table it face down to your right.

Cut another third (Section B) from the bottom tabling it to the right of Section C.

With the last thirdSection Astill in dealing position in the right hand, pick up the tabled card (AC). While reaching for it, secure a break under the top card of Section A (the AS) in preparation for a Double Turnover. Place the AC square on the packet, but dont immediately turn the double face up. Point to someonepreferably a guyand ask, Can you guess what this special card is? (This is just a little time misdirection since it makes little sense to place a card square onto a packet only to turn it face up right away. And, by asking a guy, you chance having him name the Ace of Spades.)

Working with whatever answer received, do a DT showing the AS. Turn it back face down but leave it out-jogged to the right for half its width. Cut half of the packet from the bottom to the top, covering the out-jogged card. Hold the packet with the RH in an open Biddle Gripthumb at the inner end and the middle and ring fingers on the outerand tilt the packet face out to the audience so they can see the AS protruding.

The LH moves up to the packet into a dealers position and its fingers openly pull the AS/double square into the packet. Secure a break above the double. As the hands move down to a ready position, perform a Top Card Cover Pass. Follow this up with a sloppy-ish dribble (make this your magic move) which will allow you to secure a break under the third card from the top. Triple Turnover and show the AS on top. Deal the Triple face up and square on top of Section B and table Section A face down to your right.

Pick up Section B in LH dealing position. Turn the triple face down and square. Cut half the packet from the bottom with the LH, while holding the top half in the RH. With the left thumb, very openly pull the top cardostensibly the ASup-jogged onto the lower half and replace the top half onto the lower packet. Square the protruding card into the packet and dribble the cards. Do a Double Lift and show the Ace of Spades has appeared on top.

With the double held face up in the RH and the packet face down in the left, perform a KM Move. In one smooth motion as the LH turns palm down to execute the move, it moves over to Section C, tapping on it with the left index finger. Well do the same thing with this pack, but well do it visibly.

Table Section B face down back into its centered position. Place the AS face up on top of Section C and pick it up into a LH dealing position. Cut the packet in half burying the face-up AS keeping a break above it.

You are now in position to do your favorite pass that makes the Ace of Spade visibly appear on top of the packet.

Table the AS directly in front of you and place Section C back into its left-most spot on the table.

You are now ready to turn the top card of each packet face up showing the other three Aces. (If you followed the set up exactly, youll see that the two Red Aces are on the outer packets while the AC in centered, making a nice visual for those of us who are anal about such things.)

There you have it, with my compliments.

Dustin

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby F.Amílcar » August 12th, 2012, 7:01 am

Dear friend Dustin,

We really appreciatte these things and I think that it makes the difference between the magician and the artist of magic.

Truly yours,

F. Amlcar Riega i Bello.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Joe Pecore » August 12th, 2012, 7:53 am

Thanks for sharing Dustin!


My attempt at solving the card problem.

Get the 4 aces on top of deck with ace of spaces on top.
Cut deck into 3 piles.

Pick up first pile with all the aces on top
Get break under top 3 aces (in ready for Depth Illusion/Tilt)
Pick up top card AS and show
Do Depth Illusion/Tilt under the two cards to loose AS into pile.
Do Triple turnover to show AS is back on top.
Place this face up triple onto the next pile.

Pick up 2nd pile
Do Triple turnover to turn the 3 face up cards face down.
Pick up top card and do Depth Illusion/Tilt under the top two cards to loose what they think is the AS into packet.
Do double turnover to show AS is back on top.
Place this face up double onto the next pile.

Pick up 3rd pile
Do Double turnover to turn the 2 face up cards face down.
Pick up top card and do Depth Illusion/Tilt under the top card to loose what they think is the AS into packet.
Turn top card over to show AS is back on top and place aside.

Now show there is an Ace on top of each packet.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » August 26th, 2012, 3:51 am

August 25

Besides the lovely idea from Alex Elmsley, theres a nice photo of Mr. Elmsley with the author along with our very own Chief Genii.

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » August 31st, 2012, 9:58 am

I believe that awareness is just one of the goals of Mr. Giobbis bookand it certainly provides it. But not just awareness of magic per se. Like another artist whose work I recommendDewitt JonesMr. Giobbi expresses a philosophy of awareness of the vast world around us and how that can be used to better our magic andof a more lofty goalour lives. You wont be disappointed.

Dustin

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 4th, 2012, 2:19 am

September 2

I want to play! If you want to play, feel free but please keep the list to five only, titles only, and please, no discussions about the movies or other lists. Thanks! (And keep in mind that, like Mr. Giobbis, this is a list of those movies that are among my favorites, so not necessarily my top fivethough #1 is Number 1!)

5. Dead Again
4. Chaplin
3. Mr. Roberts
2. Some Like it Hot
1. The Great Race

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby mlippo » September 4th, 2012, 4:29 am

5. The Wall
4. A Fish Called Wanda
3. Full Metal Jacket
2. What Remains Of The Day
1. Silence Of The Lambs

mlippo

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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Doug Thornton » September 4th, 2012, 4:37 am

It's A Wonderful Life
Some Like It Hot
West Side Story
Shall We Dance? (original Japanese - 1996)
A Night At The Opera
Smiles all around
http://www.sam161.org/
SAM 161 - The David Copperfield Assembly

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F.Amílcar
Posts: 101
Joined: December 30th, 2010, 2:24 pm
Favorite Magician: J. N. Hofzinser
Location: Barcelona-Spain
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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby F.Amílcar » September 4th, 2012, 7:00 am

Top-hat
Silence of the lambs
El concierto
Cincinatti Kid
Pa Negre

F. Amlcar Riega i Bello.

AnthonyBrahams
Posts: 91
Joined: March 12th, 2008, 11:28 am
Location: Norwich, U.K.

Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby AnthonyBrahams » September 4th, 2012, 1:05 pm

1. The Third Man (could be entry for all five!)
2. Casablanca
3. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
4. Citizen Kane
5. Cinema Paradiso
Anthony

R.E.Byrnes
Posts: 105
Joined: July 18th, 2012, 1:56 pm

Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby R.E.Byrnes » September 4th, 2012, 3:20 pm

Blue Velvet
Singing in the Rain
Barry Lyndon
Manhattan
Monty Python & the Holy Grail

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Seuss
Posts: 431
Joined: July 15th, 2009, 1:04 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Seuss » September 11th, 2012, 11:00 pm

Pulp Fiction
The Shawshank Redemption
37 Steps
The Fifth Element
Duck Soup
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Dustin Stinett
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Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
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Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 11th, 2012, 11:43 pm

That was fun, but why play such a game on a magic siteor in a magic book? Its up to each of us to decide why Mr. Giobbi would create a list of some of his favorite movies in Secret Agenda. But like many of the things in this book that are non-magic from a strict point of view, I believe they are an example of our taste and perspective. These, like all aspects of our personality, are very important to us and its incredibly important to be fully in touch with them to perform good magic.


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