Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic

    • Marina Zenovich
    • United States, England
    • 2013
    • 85 min
    • Dutch Premiere
    • Stand-Up Documentary
    Comedian Richard Pryor died in 2005 at 65 years old. He was both a self-made and a self-unmade man. As a stand-up comic, he broke racial and social taboos during America's civil rights era, and he brought black street slang to the general public. He titled his successful debut album That Nigger's Crazy, much to the discomfort of white interviewers. Film recordings of his shows demonstrate how his controversial character earned him many fans, but it also cost him lucrative work in Las Vegas as well as the starring role in Mel Brooks's 1974 film Blazing Saddles (which Pryor co-wrote), and his own TV series The Richard Pryor Show. Besides abundant and often unique archive footage, this film features interviews with a string of ex-wives and friends including Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams and Jesse Jackson, all of whom paint a picture of a troubled comedian. Despite a spiritual journey to Africa, it was ultimately the drugs that were his undoing. Watching TV while he was high, Pryor saw a Vietnamese monk setting fire to himself and decided to do the same – an event that this documentary illustrates with scenes from his 1986 autobiographical feature Jo Jo Dancer. Fortunately, Pryor was always able to draw on his personal misfortunes in his stand-up work, up to and including the multiple sclerosis that finally killed him. As he said, "Nothing was too sad some humor couldn't be found in it."

    Credits

    • 85 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    • Spoken languages: English
    Director
    Marina Zenovich
    Production
    Sara Hutchison
    Executive producer
    Roy Ackerman for Fresh One, Jennifer Lee Pryor for Tarnished Angel Inc
    Cinematography
    Christine Burrill
    Editing
    Chris Peterson

    IDFA history

    2013
    Dutch Premiere
    Stand-Up Documentary

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    IDFA history

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