13 items from 2013
For fans of legendary comedian Richard Pryor, eight years removed from his death in 2005 is as ripe a time as any for a thorough cinematic retrospective. The task falls to Marina Zenovich, following up documentary Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, to burrow into the stubborn psyche of a man who defied simple categorisation. Over the course of his life and career, Pryor went from one of the most subversive and popular comedians of all time to a tragically constrained figure burdened by multiple sclerosis, his years in between marred by multiple marriages, heavy drug use and the infamous incident whereby he imitated a burning monk on the television, dousing himself with rum and bursting into a ball of flames.
Needless to say, there is plenty enough backstory on the plate that would enable Zenovich to, by default, offer up a shocking, provocative and moving curio for fans and newcomers. The »
- Ed Doyle
Chicago – One of the most remarkable and influential elements of Richard Pryor’s groundbreaking stand-up comedy was how completely bare he laid himself on stage through his art. He held nothing back. He shared not only jokes but personal stories, including the dark stuff. And so when Shout Factory named their massive tribute to the comedian “Life in Concert,” they got something absolutely right. You do get a glimpse into Pryor’s life through these seven CDs and two DVDs, capturing eight of his hit albums, three concert specials, and compilation appearances. “No Pryor Restraint” also includes two hours of previously unreleased stand-up performances and rare recordings. It’s a gift to comedy fans.
Shout Factory really knows how to do these CD/DVD tributes right. They produced an amazing one in “The Incredible Mel Brooks” and this gorgeously packaged (it’s like a hardcover book) set is nearly its match. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
“When we went to the . . . (Tribeca Film Festival), one of the first things Jennifer said was there was going to be a sequel. I wish she would have told me that (during production); I would have made the film differently.” Words from director Marina Zenovich in a Columbus Dispatch interview on her latest film - the new Richard Pryor feature documentary, Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, which premieres on Showtime tomorrow, Friday, May 31st at 9pm Et/Pt. She's referring to Richard Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, who's a producer of the film - one that she has long referred to as a definitive documentary on Pryor's »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Controversial figures apparently attract Marina Zenovich. After her celebrated docu “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” and its less acclaimed follow-up, the documentarian tackles the rococo ups, downs and reincarnations that marked a brilliant comedian’s career in “Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic.” Though the film features a number of fellow comics praising Pryor’s genius, from Bob Newhart to Whoopi Goldberg, Zenovich concentrates on those lawyers, agents, wives and collaborators most central to the different stages of his highly eventful life. Skedded for a May 31 Showtime airing, this straight-ahead docu, like its subject, packs surprising punches.
Zenovich generously samples bestselling comedy LPs, early TV appearances and film clips representing the different Pryors on display, from the Bill Cosby-like crossover comedian who enjoyed great initial success, wowing Vegas only to utterly sabotage himself, to the phoenix that rose from the ashes of near-fatal self-immolation. In between, she taps any number »
- Ronnie Scheib
There is something about Richard Pryor’s face and expressions that go beyond his risqué comedic acts and punch-lines laden with the words "motherfucker" and "nigger". There is a transparent vulnerability apparent in his eyes, shown in images and footage shown throughout the documentary Omit The Logic, directed by Marina Zenovich (Roman Polansky: Wanted and Desired) and produced by Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor. Along with personal diary excerpts and testimonies from those closest to and influenced by him, including Paul Mooney, Mike Epps and Whoopi Goldberg, Logic mounts to an intimate expose´ of the entertainer – his ingeniousness, insecurities, unflinching and self-deprecating »
- Vanessa Martinez
Exclusive: Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23 and Showtime has now set Friday, May 31 as the debut air date. The documentary, directed by Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired helmer Marina Zenovich, and written by P.G. Morgan, chronicles Pryor’s life from his troubled youth in Peoria, Illinois, to his meteoric rise as one of the most respected comic actors of the 20th century. Jennifer Pryor exec produced. The film is the second in Showtime’s new docu series, Sho Focus, which kicked off with R.J. Cutler’s The World According To Dick Cheney in March. Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic features interviews with Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Quincy Jones, Lily Tomlin and Jesse Jackson. Check out some exclusive footage below: Click here to view the embedded video. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Stop me if you.ve heard this one before: A big-screen biopic of late comedian Richard Pryor is moving forward, only this time with an Oscar-winning talent leading the charge to push this project up the hill of production and into theaters. Yes, we know that you.ve heard similar news, from the time Eddie Murphy expressed interest in stepping into the legendary stand-up.s shoes to the moment Mike Epps said he.d play Pryor in a Nina Simone project (with Zoe Saldana cast as the singer). This time, however, it.s Forest Whitaker confirming his role as a producer on a long-gestating Pryor biopic, which Deadline says will receive valuable input from Pryor.s widow, Jennifer Pryor. Whitaker will produce through his Significant Productions label, settling down to fine-tune a new script and kickstarting the search for a new director and actor to play Pryor in his prime. »
Several years ago, Bill Condon was set to direct a biopic about comedian Richard Pryor with Marlon Wayans in the lead role. However, when Condon jumped to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—a move that will give him power in the long-run to get more personal projects made—the Pryor biopic languished. According to Deadline, the project has found new life with Forest Whitaker taking over to co-produce with Pryor's widow, Jennifer Pryor. Forest will develop a new script in an attempt to finally bring Pryor's story to the big screen. A biopic of the comedian has been attempted for years with black comedians such as Damon Wayans, Eddie Griffin, Mike Epps, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock all circling the role. Hit the jump for why Whitaker's film may finally get Pryor's biopic in front of cameras, and the unlikely actor who could be a possibility for the juicy role. »
- Matt Goldberg
For years and years, various directors and actors have been trying to get a biopic following iconic stand-up comedian and actor Richard Pryor, but none have stuck. From names like Martin Scorsese and Damon Wayans (who were trying before Pryor passed away in 2005) to Bill Condon and Marlon Wayans' most recent attempt before The Twilight Saga lured the director away, there have been plenty of iterations. Comedians like Eddie Murphy (who has an amazing Pryor impression) and Chris Rock were once linked to the project, but to no avail. Now Forest Whitaker is behind the most recent effort, but not as the star. Whitaker is instead teaming with Jennifer Pryor, the late comedian's wife, to produce the film by way of the Phone Booth actor's Significant Productions banner. Whitaker will oversee development of a new script with input from Pryor's widow, and maybe this time it will actually work. »
- Ethan Anderton
Forest Whitaker has signed on to produce Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, a biopic centering on the life of late comedian Richard Pryor. The actor will produce alongside the comedian's widow, Jennifer Pryor and his Significant Productions partner Nina Yang Bongiovi.
The actor-producer will oversee the development of a new screenplay, although it isn't known if a writer has been attached yet. Forest Whitaker recently produced the indie hit Fruitvale, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Bill Condon was previously attached to direct Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, which had Marlon Wayans poised to play the comedy legend. The project fell apart when Bill Condon signed on to direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. Since Forest Whitaker is developing a whole new screenplay, it seems unlikely »
The saga of the constantly-in-development Richard Pryor biopic could fill pages upon pages but we'll try and keep it brief. At one time called "Is It Something I Said?," Martin Scorsese was linked way back in the day while Pryor was still alive and over the years it continued to kick around with Eddie Murphy at one point attached (though he recently said his involvement never really got past initial meetings), and a couple of years ago, it seemed like it was really going to happen with Adam Sandler producing (seriously), Bill Condon directing and Marlon Wayans taking the lead role with a fall 2010 shoot lined up. But then the bloody vampire money of "Twilight" lured Condon away and it's been in purgatory ever since. But someone else is hoping to bring it back to life. Forest Whitaker is now taking over producing duties on the movie, working with the comedian's widow Jennifer Pryor, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Exclusive: Fresh from producing the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award winner Fruitvale, Forest Whitaker has taken over the nearly 20-year effort to bring the turbulent life of stand-up comedy legend Richard Pryor to the big screen. Whitaker is teaming with the late comedian’s widow, Jennifer Pryor, to produce the film through his Significant Productions shingle. Whitaker will develop a new script with input from Jennifer Pryor, and Significant Productions’ Nina Yang-Bongiovi, will also produce. The Pryor biopic has been attempted numerous times, and the most recent version had Bill Condon poised to direct Marlon Wayans in the starring role for Sony Pictures, where Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison had set the project. Condon was certainly passionate about Pryor, but everything took a back seat when he signed on to helm the final two Twilight Saga installments. The project languished. This was just the latest of many prior incarnations. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
What has been dubbed a definitive documentary on the man's life, the upcoming Richard Pryor feature documentary, directed by Marina Zenovich (known mostly for directing the multiple award-winning 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired), will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month. Richard Pryor's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, is a producer of the film, and she's the one who calls it a definitive documentary: "It's a definitive documentary... It's authorized by the estate. I've never cooperated with any of the others." It's been reported that director Marina Zenovich was given access to estate photos and other materials, and many of »
- Tambay A. Obenson
13 items from 2013
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