Inspiration - Volume 2
Bebel and Jean-Pierre Vallarino
French card legends Bebel and J. P. Vallarino are the subjects of a new DVD set produced by Arteco Productions, titled “Inspiration.” Originally released in France as a single volume DVD, this set of discs (intended as a 3-volume set, but only two volumes have been released at this time) has been remastered to include the original French language version as well as an English dubbed version.
The main menu allows you to select the language of your choice. The music on this menu is deafening compared with the actual speaking soundtrack on the DVD. Not a big deal, but you may want to keep this in mind when you start the disc, so that you don’t scare the heck out of the neighbors.
The English dubbing on this set is among the best I have ever experienced. The translations are excellent and conversational, unlike some other dubbings I have heard where the translations seem forced, and the conversations struggle to keep up with the pace of the video. Obvious care was put into this project, and even the actors who provide the dubbed dialogue stay in character and make it an enjoyable experience for the viewer. My only complaint here is that I would have enjoyed the additional option of subtitles, so that I could choose to listen to Bebel and Vallarino in their native language. Nonetheless, the expert dubbing allows you to keep your eyes on the performances, making it easy to follow along.
What you get on volume two, much like on volume one, is about an hour spent as a “fly on the wall,” looking in on a card session between the two masters. This is presented as a true session, where Bebel will open up with a version of a trick that he is working on, and then Vallarino will offer a variation on the theme, followed by another variation by Bebel, and so on. Their conversation offers critical discussion of the themes they explore, and performance psychology. They are also respectfully critical of each other as they discuss why one method may be better than another. This continues for the entire length of the DVD, which I found fascinating.
Performance segments are then followed by clear and detailed explanations. Variations are offered and discussed throughout. There is obvious reverence for Marlo, Hamman, Jennings and fellow French magician Pierre Barclay, as they are referenced numerous times throughout the DVD. Quite a bit of the material on volume two is directly credited to, or a variation of Marlo. Vallarino even jokes about this, as it is clear that Marlo has had a great influence on Bebel’s work.
Broken up into four chapters, volume two covers:
Mexican 3 Card Monte
Card Controls (some brilliant card switches and color changes here!)
The Bluff Pass
Ace Leader Routines
The DVD moves along at a comfortable speed, however the abrupt end to the last chapter, where it simply cuts off and returns to the high volume music on the main menu was startling. A better final edit would have helped here.
Bebel and Vallarino have good chemistry, and are clearly comfortable sitting across from one another. The material selection on these DVDs is terrific. I enjoyed this volume every bit as much as I did volume 1, and I am greatly looking forward to volume 3 if they ever get around to releasing it.
Available directly from Arteco Productions: http://www.artecoproductions.com/inspiration-vol-two-by-bebel-and-jean-pierre-vallarino.html
Highly recommended (reservations noted above, related to minor production issues).