Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip | Chicago Reader

Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip

Though the material doesn't quite have the depth and polish of Pryor's first concert film, his genius is still fully evident—he's the Dostoyevsky of stand-up comedy, a master of psychological detail and a profound commentator on the workings of guilt and fear. The director, Joe Layton, works hard to give the film some visual flair (the lush photography is by Haskell Wexler, the busy cutting by Sheldon Kahn), but this is exactly the kind of technical embellishment Pryor resists: he creates his own mise-en-scene through his accomplished mime, his own cutting in his meticulous timing. His subjects, this time, are marriage, murder, Africa, and fire.

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