Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) - News Poster

News

Why Sidney Poitier’s ‘Stir Crazy’ Is Still the Most Successful Movie Ever Made By a Black Director

  • Indiewire
Why Sidney Poitier’s ‘Stir Crazy’ Is Still the Most Successful Movie Ever Made By a Black Director
In the history of black filmmaking, “Stir Crazy” is rarely cited as a groundbreaker or an enduring high point. However, Sidney Poitier’s 1980 comedy sold more tickets in North America than “The Fate of the Furious,” or any other film by a black director.

Poitier’s career has included multiple breakout moments. He was the first black lead acting Oscar winner with “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner;” he starred in two blockbuster films in 1967 with “To Sir With Love” (over $300 million, adjusted gross) and “In the Heat of the Night” ($177 million, adjusted gross). He was, more than even Denzel Washington or any other black actor-turned-director, an icon of cinema when he made “Stir Crazy.” And it was this film, more than any other, that found access to all domestic audiences.

That said, it’s a film that doesn’t have the resonance of other historical blockbusters like “Gone With the Wind,
See full article at Indiewire »

Steve Blauner, Who Helped Bring ‘Easy Rider,’ ‘Five Easy Pieces’ to Screen, Dies at 81

Steve Blauner, Who Helped Bring ‘Easy Rider,’ ‘Five Easy Pieces’ to Screen, Dies at 81
Steve Blauner, who was Bobby Darin’s manager and a partner with Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson in Bbs Productions, which produced classic films including “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “The Last Picture Show,” died June 16 at his home in Marina Del Rey, Calif. He was 81 and was suffering from the complications of a broken hip.

After working for Screen Gems, where he was involved in sitcoms such as “Bewitched,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Hazel” and “The Monkees,” Blauner joined “Monkees” producer Schneider and director Rafelson, who had already formed a company called Raybert, in forming Bbs in the mid 1960s. Over a span of several years, the company produced the Academy Award-winning 1974 documentary “Hearts and Minds” and New Hollywood films “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “The Last Picture Show,” “The King of Marvin Gardens” and “A Safe Place.”

Rafelson said, “Steve was the most beloved of three partners, he
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Steve Blauner, Who Helped Bring ‘Easy Rider,’ ‘Five Easy Pieces’ to Screen, Dies at 81

Steve Blauner, Who Helped Bring ‘Easy Rider,’ ‘Five Easy Pieces’ to Screen, Dies at 81
Steve Blauner, who was Bobby Darin’s manager and a partner with Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson in Bbs Productions, which produced classic films including “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “The Last Picture Show,” died June 16 at his home in Marina Del Rey, Calif. He was 81 and was suffering from the complications of a broken hip.

After working for Screen Gems, where he was involved in sitcoms such as “Bewitched,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Hazel” and “The Monkees,” Blauner joined “Monkees” producer Schneider and director Rafelson, who had already formed a company called Raybert, in forming Bbs in the mid 1960s. Over a span of several years, the company produced the Academy Award-winning 1974 documentary “Hearts and Minds” and New Hollywood films “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “The Last Picture Show,” “The King of Marvin Gardens” and “A Safe Place.”

Rafelson said, “Steve was the most beloved of three partners, he
See full article at Variety - Film News »

R.I.P. Producer J. Mark Travis

  • Deadline
J. Mark Travis, producer of theatre, film and television and former chief of staff to pastor Dr. Gene Scott of University Cathedral, died at age 61 after a short illness. He passed away Christmas morning at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where he served in a leadership role or on the Foundation Board for over 20 years. Travis began his career as an agent representing a number of prominent music composers, including Don Ellis and Jack Nitzsche. His interest in music led him to convert a Mormon Church in Salt Lake City into a state of the art recording studio, where his client Jack Nitzsche recorded the Academy Award winning score for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Travis then segued into film production 1975, teaming up with Bill Sargent and film producer David Permut. Together they video-taped a one-man stage production, Give ‘em Hell Harry!, in front of a live audience. The
See full article at Deadline »

Mark Travis, Producer of Richard Pryor Hit Concert Film, Dies at 61

  • The Wrap
Mark Travis, Producer of Richard Pryor Hit Concert Film, Dies at 61
J. Mark Travis of Calabasas, who co-produced and released the hit concert film  "Richard Pryor: Live in Concert" along with many other independent projects, has died. He was 61.  Travis produced projects across theater, film and television, and was also former chief of staff to pastor Dr. Gene Scott of University Cathedral. He passed away after a short illness on December 24, a representative for the family told TheWrap. Travis was best known for producing independent films in the 1970s, including "Richard Pryor: Live in Concert," which after being rejected by the major studios, Travis released
See full article at The Wrap »

Stay Up Late with the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Summer Midnight Movies Series

  • Dread Central
If you're a New Yorker who stays up late, this news is for you. The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the lineup of its new Midnight Movies series running every Friday night in June, July, and August. Most are horror films, but even those that aren't deserve attention.

The voracious maw and mysterious subversives of horror and sci-fi are let out after dark in what's sure to be the most terrifying program of the summer. Here's the full schedule; for more info visit the official Film Society of Lincoln Center website.

Star Wars Uncut

Casey Pugh, 2012

Fri Jun 1: 11:59 pm

Galactic Premiere!

For this crowdsourced, shot-by-shot fan-film remake of George Lucas’ Episode IV – A New Hope, 473 volunteers reshot or animated their assigned 15-second sections as they saw fit. The result is one of the Internet’s true cinematic wonders.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Tobe Hooper, 1974

Fri
See full article at Dread Central »

The 10 most innovative stand-up comedy specials of all time (with video)

  • IFC
The 10 most innovative stand-up comedy specials of all time (with video)
Stand-up comedy is one of the most beloved art forms there is, and it's also one of the most difficult to master. For every Louis C.K., there are a hundred Jeff Dunhams. People often make lists of the best comedians of all time, or the best comedy albums, but when it comes to actual comedy TV specials, which is what every comedian strives for these days to get into heavy rotation on Comedy Central, it's a different story. There's a million of them - some are good, some are decent, some are iffy, and some are awful. Here, however, are some of the most innovative, groundbreaking comedy specials that have ever been made - shows you should really see if you're a fan of comedy at all (Note: specials are listed chronologically).

[#1-5]   [#6-10]   [Index]

George Carlin at USC (1977)

Any mention of innovative comedy specials has to start with George Carlin, who forged
See full article at IFC »

Richard Pryor: 1940-2005

Richard Pryor: 1940-2005
Richard Pryor, one of the most groundbreaking comedians of the late 20th century, died Saturday morning of a heart attack at his home in the San Fernando Valley; he was 65. Pryor had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for years, and according to his wife Jennifer Pryor, passed away very quickly with little suffering. Born in Peoria, Illinios, Pryor reportedly grew up in a brothel run by his grandmother, and was performing at as young an age as 7, when he played drums for a nightclub. After graduating high school and serving two years in the army, Pryor began his comedy career in the 60s, working in nightclubs and earning a reputation for himself. Soon talk show and variety show appearances led to small parts in movies throughout the late 60s and early 70s, with a noteworthy supporting role opposite Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues (1972). He also wrote for a number of television shows, including Sanford and Son, and worked on the script for Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. Pryor skyrocketed to fame, however, on the strength, appeal, and hilarity of his stand-up performances, which challenged the establishment at a time when censorship laws still held sway, and his explicit, profane routines, centering on racial and sexual topics and everything in between, won him both controversy and fame. He also became a highly popular (and highly paid) actor in the 70s, with hit films such as Silver Streak to his credit and a controversial TV show on NBC. His biggest film success, though, was with a concert film of his stand-up routines, and Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) remains one of his best and one of the most influential comedy films of all time. Just as his fame reached its zenith in 1980 (the year the hit film Stir Crazy was released), Pryor almost lost his life in a notorious drug-related accident, as he suffered burns on over 50% of his body while freebasing cocaine at home. The incident began Pryor's long road to recovery, and he talked and joked freely about it in his next concert film, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip. Free to make whatever films he liked, Pryor signed a $40 million, five-year contract with Columbia Pictures in 1983, which took him from cult hero to mainstream star, though the movies, including Superman III, The Toy and Brewster's Millions, diluted his considerable talent. He had more critical, if not commercial, success with two autobiographical-influenced films, Some Kind of Hero and Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling, a thinly fictionalized biopic. By the late 80s, though, Pryor's films were becoming bigger and bigger failures, and he all but retired from performing in the 90s, after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; in 1990 he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery. He made a brief appearance in the film Lost Highway, and did a guest stint on Chicago Hope, which earned him an Emmy nomination, but rarely worked; in 1998, he received the first Mark Twain Prize for humor from the JFK Center for the Performing Arts. He married six times, and had two sons and three daughters, including actress Rain Pryor. Pryor is survived by his wife Jennifer, who was his fourth wife and whom he remarried in 2001. --Prepared by IMDb staff

Comedian Richard Pryor Dies at 65

  • WENN
Richard Pryor, one of the most groundbreaking comedians of the late 20th century, died Saturday morning of a heart attack at his home in the San Fernando Valley; he was 65. Pryor had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for years, and according to his wife Jennifer Pryor, passed away very quickly with little suffering. Born in Peoria, Illinios, Pryor reportedly grew up in a brothel run by his grandmother, and was performing at as young an age as 7, when he played drums for a nightclub. After graduating high school and serving two years in the army, Pryor began his comedy career in the 60s, working in nightclubs and earning a reputation for himself. Soon talk show and variety show appearances led to small parts in movies throughout the late 60s and early 70s, with a noteworthy supporting role opposite Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues (1972). He also wrote for a number of television shows, including Sanford and Son, and worked on the script for Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. Pryor skyrocketed to fame, however, on the strength, appeal, and hilarity of his stand-up performances, which challenged the establishment at a time when censorship laws still held sway, and his explicit, profane routines, centering on racial and sexual topics and everything in between, won him both controversy and fame. He also became a highly popular (and highly paid) actor in the 70s, with hit films such as Silver Streak to his credit and a controversial TV show on NBC. His biggest film success, though, was with a concert film of his stand-up routines, and Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) remains one of his best and one of the most influential comedy films of all time. Just as his fame reached its zenith in 1980 (the year the hit film Stir Crazy was released), Pryor almost lost his life in a notorious drug-related accident, as he suffered burns on over 50% of his body while freebasing cocaine at home. The incident began Pryor's long road to recovery, and he talked and joked freely about it in his next concert film, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip. Free to make whatever films he liked, Pryor signed a $40 million, five-year contract with Columbia Pictures in 1983, which took him from cult hero to mainstream star, though the movies, including Superman III, The Toy and Brewster's Millions, diluted his considerable talent. He had more critical, if not commercial, success with two autobiographical-influenced films, Some Kind of Hero and Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling, a thinly fictionalized biopic. By the late 80s, though, Pryor's films were becoming bigger and bigger failures, and he all but retired from performing in the 90s, after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; in 1990 he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery. He made a brief appearance in the film Lost Highway, and did a guest stint on Chicago Hope, which earned him an Emmy nomination, but rarely worked; in 1998, he received the first Mark Twain Prize for humor from the JFK Center for the Performing Arts. He married six times, and had two sons and three daughters, including actress Rain Pryor. Pryor is survived by his wife Jennifer, who was his fourth wife and whom he remarried in 2001. --Prepared by IMDb staff

See also

Showtimes | External Sites