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Cinematheque's Aero celebrates the comedy genius of Richard Pryor

June 12, 2013|By Susan King
  • A still from '"Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic.'
A still from '"Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic.' (Showtime )

Pioneering African American comic and actor Richard Pryor has been dead for eight years but his influence and legacy are as strong as ever.

Last month, Showtime aired a new documentary on this turbulent life, "Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic." On Tuesday, Shout! Factory released "No Pryor Restraint: Life in Concert." The set features seven CDS and two DVDs of his stand-up work spanning the years 1966-1992.

And on Friday, the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica will present two of his landmark performance films: 1979's "Richard Pryor: Live in Concert" and 1982's "Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip."

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Praised by New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael as "probably the greatest of all recorded-performance films," "Live in Concert," directed by Jeff Margolis, was shot during a performance at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach.

"Live on the Sunset Strip" marked Pryor's comeback from the freebasing accident that nearly ended his life.  Broadway director Joe Layton helmed the film and the legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler shot it.

Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski ("Ed Wood") is hosting the program, which will also feature a discussion with the comic's widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, and producer David Permut.


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