Close Up, Mathieu Bich...

Jun 10, 2008
Newcastle upon Tyne

I've been waititng to watch this DVD for a while. It was something I dearly fancied but I am always hesitant to purchase without knowing something about the product. All I had for this was a list of the names of the pieces presented.

Thena friend, after witnessing my hunger to learn a little more about this DVD, said... "Oh, I have it... you can have it if you like?"

'Hurrah', I cried!

So let's get down to business...

I popped the disc in and was greeted with the option of either Frence or English language... I don't speak Frence so I chose English... It seemed like the right thing to do!

I selected the play all option and watched in shock as Mathieu Bich fooled his audience, and myself a handful of times!

I'll detail some stand out effects...

-Perrier... This one LOOKS amazing. Inspired by a routine Lee Asher showed Bich (the two are friends), the effect looks fantastic. A prediction is rolled up and shoved into the mouth of a perrier bottle... a message in a bottle. The deck is spread on the floor and the spectator places it on any card they wish- an actual free choice. When the card beneath the bottle is isolated from the mess of cards and flipped, it is seen to match the prediction. All cards are flipped over to show different faces.
While the effect is amazing, the method left me a little cold. Not BECAUSE of the preparation involved, but because of the type of performing area's this set up leaves the effect open for. it is definitely marked out as a 'do once' performance piece. In a parlour setting this would kill. I can see stage workers or stand-up magicians using this to great effect but not myself.

Overall, discounting the fact that I myself won't perform this, I'd give it a 5/10.

-Double club sandwich. A very clean, very open looking sandwich effect. It takes time to construct the necessary gimmick to enable the cleanliness of handling, but I feel it's worthwhile. This really is one of the cleanest looking sandwiches I've seen in a long time. What impresses me her is Mathieu's ability to fuse novel gaffs with smooth sleight of hand chops.
I have performed this a couple of times and I can see myself doing it again, more than once. 8/10

-Fickle. The effect is simple- A card is peeked, and the decki s squared. with an interesting little flourish, the cards seem to seprate and freeze. Then one card shoots out from the deck... the selection!
While this is a simple card production, it is interesting enough in method to get the creativity flowing. Also, the Martin Gardner flourish employed looks hella cool! 5/10

-The force. A very smooth force inspired by the Futagawa elevator move. Looks fair, quite natural in the right context and would be most at home (in my opinion) in a gambling based effect (indeed, it has already replaced a move in a pseudo gambling based routine of my own). 7/10 (for versatility)

-Heat. A nice little cutie of an effect. The performer shows a match box, pushes the tray out and we see that all the matches are burned out. He closes the box and shakes it. The spectator now opens it to reveal all matches have restored themselves to an unburnt condition. The gimmick will be fiddly to construct, but will last ages. Overall... 7/10

-Strike it. This could be done stand alone or as a follow up to Heat. The performer invites a spectator to remove five matches from the box. He has her now select one of the five. He explains that only one match in the deck is in workling order, the rest are 'duds'. Every one of the remaining four is struck against the strip on the box-edge. They do not ignite. The one isolated match is struck and it flares up. Although the presentation offered here is a little dry, I think with a good patter, and perhaps a comedy pseudo-monte routine, this could play quite well. preparation is simple. 8/10

-Leverage. A nice routine with some cool visuals. A card is selected and lost in the deck. The performer uses his pen to 'magnetize' the cards, first one card sticks to the end, then two, then a small packet. The performer then tries to attract the remainder of the deck, but only gets a few. However the top card of the packet left on the table is the selection. The magnet pen cut right to it.
This is nice. Very novel, with some nice visual moments and I'd say it could be played straight or for laughs. The work invovled relies on a cheap product you will probably already have, and a phenomena of physics. 9/10.

I believe that Bich's purpose with this video was to promote and encourage creativity. With the techniques taught, I have added or embellished many routines and effects of my own. He is very fun to watch too. With a quirky sense of humour and some very off beat presentations, he seems to enjoy the magic as much as his spectators!

As well as the material we learn, there are also a sprinkling of performance only clips of three of his most esteemed effects. This addition only strengthens my belief that this DVD was intended to inspire creativity in the viewer.

Overall, I like this DVD. It is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but with interesting effects, interesting methods, nice presentations and the layout and production of the video itself (Top notch- Bravo, Mr. Bertrand!), it's a joy to watch.

At a pinch... 8/10.

Sep 1, 2007
I have it, the effects ARE AWESOMe but they need gimmicks :(

I think that is on that dvd where he slowly vanishes the deck is AWESOME..
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