Richard Pryor honored in new 18-film retrospective, ‘A Pryor Engagement’

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'Richard Pryor: Live in Concert' (1979)

'Richard Pryor: Live in Concert' (1979)

BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, NY has announced the debut of A Pryor Engagement, an 18-film revue about the late Richard Pryor, the comic genius credited with being one of the most influential stand up comedians of his era, from February 8th to February 21st.

“A major influence on such contemporary comedians as Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Lewis Black, and countless others, the wild and wired Richard Pryor emerged from the Midwestern Chitlin circuit, became a successful mainstream nightclub comic in the 60s, and went on to become a cultural phenomenon, ushering stories and voices from the black underclass into the public eye. In addition to regularly releasing epochal, smash-hit comedy albums, Pryor translated his incredible audience rapport into movie stardom, appearing in no less than 40 films,” according to the press release.

For ten days, BAMcinematek will be showcasing some of Pryor’s classic movies, all in 35 mm film. As an added bonus, on Monday through Thursday of the dates, they will have single admission for double features for some of the movies.  Some of the films it will include are Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Car Wash, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings and Bustin’ Loose, the “Pryor-Wilder” collaborations Silver Streak and Stir Crazy, and “Pryor in Over his Head” features Which Way is Up? and Brewster’s Millions.

The late, legendary New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael once called Pryor, “A master of lyrical obscenity. Richard Pryor is the only great poet satirist among our comedians.”

Pryor was known for his comedic and vulgar sense of humor, oftentimes drawing on contemporary topics such as race. Pryor died at the age of 65 from a heart attack, just days after his birthday in 2005.

“We just loved Richard. He was the only one who could move you to tears,” said comedian Lily Tomlin. “No one was funnier, dearer, darker, heavier, stronger, more radical. He was everything. And his humanity was just glorious.”

Tickets start $12 for general admission and the film series will play at the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

Follow Brittany Tom on Twitter @brittanyrtom.