The life of Israeli psychic Uri Geller explored in new documentary

A new documentary on Uri Geller is set to hit Israeli TV. In addition, check out the new seasons of Minx and Only Murders in the Building.

 URI GELLER in 'Uri Geller's Secret Treasures.' (photo credit: HOT 8)
URI GELLER in 'Uri Geller's Secret Treasures.'
(photo credit: HOT 8)

“Just to think that the largest bent spoon in the world is in Jaffa – wow!” says Uri Geller in the new documentary about him, Uri Geller’s Secret Treasures, which premieres on Hot 8 on August 8 at 9:15 p.m. and will also be on Hot VOD.

Governments rise and fall, but Geller is a likable huckster, gifted psychic and mentalist, or brilliant magician, depending on your point of view, and he keeps finding creative ways to get himself into the limelight, as he has been doing for over 50 years. The New York Times, of all places, recently featured one of the longest and most flattering profiles of him that I’ve ever seen that newspaper publish on anyone. It detailed how he has made peace with some of the most prominent skeptics who criticized him throughout his career and who have now decided that since he is such a genial showman, what does it really matter how he does it?

This documentary is very much an authorized version of Geller’s story and it is a kind of extended commercial for his museum in Jaffa, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. Geller, a self-proclaimed and proud hoarder, takes viewers on a tour of the museum, pointing out memorabilia such as gear owned by US astronaut Edgar Mitchell, whom Geller describes as the man who had the most influence on his life, because he put the CIA in contact with him, so its agents could conduct experiments to see how he did what he did.

He tells other stories about his life, such as the fact that he was introduced to the Mossad at an early age, because the Mossad began using his stepfather’s house in Cyprus as a safe house. He knew he’d made it when then prime minister Golda Meir was asked about the future of Israel and she said, “Don’t ask me, ask Uri Geller,” but he is also willing to admit to his failures, such as an underwhelming appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson that he feared would end his career. To his delight, it did just the opposite, and anyone with anything to promote should take a lesson from Geller, who says, “I just go with the flow of the universe and I let things happen. You know what? I’m a master publicist, and I’m saying this shamelessly. I have no managers. I have no agents. I have no image makers. I have no makeup artists. My wife does the little makeup on my face when I’m being filmed.... It’s harmony that formed this museum, and that’s it... and I just let it move and go and flow.”

As his reputation grew, he found to his delight that it was easy to meet all kinds of famous people. “I discovered that as much as I wanted to meet them, they wanted to meet me. Because they had money, they had fame, but they couldn’t bend a spoon.”

 URI GELLER stands beside his 1976 Cadillac covered in over 2,000 bent spoons and other cutlery, many of which he claims once belonged to famous figures. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
URI GELLER stands beside his 1976 Cadillac covered in over 2,000 bent spoons and other cutlery, many of which he claims once belonged to famous figures. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Less amusing is his chronicle of his friendship with Michael Jackson, whom he describes as a troubled person, but doesn’t address the child molestation accusations that have tarnished the singer’s legacy.

But Geller certainly put spoon-bending on the map, and a huge statue of a bent spoon adorns the entrance to his museum.

“It’s not the spoon that bends, it’s your mind,” he says, paraphrasing a scene from The Matrix. If you can watch this with a giant spoonful of salt, you may find yourself agreeing with that statement.

What else is new on Israeli TV?

IF YOU liked the first two seasons of Only Murders in the Building – the show starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as amateur sleuths on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, who solve murders that take place in the titular building and make a podcast about it – you’ll likely enjoy the third season, which begins streaming on Disney+ (available in Israel on its own or through the Yes network) on August 8.

Reviews are still under embargo, but I can reveal that the new season features two guest stars, Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep. Streep, predictably, is quite the scene stealer. The third season continues the blend of comedy and murder mystery from the previous seasons, and the series, with its quirky New York types, has begun to remind me of Seinfeld with murder.

Another show that is returning is Minx, the second season of which is currently showing on Hot 3, Hot VOD and Next TV. While Minx is inspired by true events, it tells a fictional story of Joyce (Olivia Lovibond), a doctrinaire feminist in Los Angeles in the 1970s who discovers to her chagrin that the only way to get her ideological magazine published is to team up with a porn publisher, Doug (Jake Johnson), whose company is called Bottom Dollar and who adds page after page of male nude photos.

It’s a funny premise, and if the story is a bit over-the-top and the characters sometimes caricatures, that doesn’t detract from the fun.

Based on the early episodes released to the press, this season promises to continue Joyce’s wild ride, and it adds a new character, Constance (Elizabeth Perkins, who played Celia on Weeds), a wealthy widow who gets involved with the magazine. I think that it’s possible to start right in on the second season, even if you didn’t get to see the first.