Connect with us

Published

on

Paramount

Paramount Network just announced the 2019 film slate for its award-winning I Am documentary franchise. Produced by filmmaker Derik Murray’s Network Entertainment, the three new chapters of the critically-acclaimed franchise will feature Richard Pryor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Patrick Swayze.

These three iconic figures join the prestigious roster who have been featured in past I Am documentaries, including John F. Kennedy Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen, Evel Knievel, Heath Ledger, Paul Walker, Sam Kinison, and Chris Farley.

I Am Richard Pryor, the first of the three 2019 installments, will make its world premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival on Tuesday, March 12, and will debut on Paramount Network on Friday, March 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Premiere dates for the Jackie O and Patrick Swayze documentaries will be announced at a later date.

I Am Richard Pryor explores and celebrates the life and career of the iconic comedian who lifted himself out of poverty to achieve worldwide success. From his first comedy album until his death of a heart attack in 2005, the revolutionary stand-up comedian dispensed what critics regarded as the most poignant and penetrating comedic view of African-American life ever afforded to the U.S. at large. Volatile yet vulnerable, crass but sensitive, streetwise and cocky, Pryor did not simply tell stories, he brought them to life and was considered a trailblazer for generations of comics to come. The film explores his unusually personal art that was a window into a vulnerable soul, as well as the endless struggle to extend dignity and equality to all.

I Am Richard Pryor includes exclusive interviews with comedians, filmmakers, family, and friends including Sandra Bernhard, Ron De Blasio, Dr. Todd Boyd, Michael Epps, Tiffany Haddish, Henry Jaglom, Howie Mandel, Thom Mount, Ishmael Reed, Scott Saul, Michael Schultz, Greg Tate, Lily Tomlin, Rocco Urbisci, Jimmie Walker, and Jennifer Pryor, who is also featured, and during a moving and poignant moment in the documentary, uniquely honors the life of her husband.

“We are thrilled to bring the stories of these three incredible icons to Paramount Network through the I Am franchise,” said Keith Cox, President, Development and Production, Paramount Network and TV Land. “It’s truly an honor to pay homage to this group of extraordinary people through these inspiring films. We couldn’t be more excited with their inclusion on our 2019 documentary slate.”

“We are committed to delivering an authentic and entertaining portrayal of each of the icons we are honored to portray in our ongoing I Am series of documentary features. Every one of our iconic subjects has made their personal mark on history, and along the way has captured the hearts and minds of audiences and fans around the world,” said Derik Murray, Network Entertainment’s Founder/Producer. “I Am Richard Pryor was made possible by Jennifer Pryor’s resolute conviction to tell Richard’s story with a foundation of truth and respect for his massive legacy. Alongside Jennifer’s revealing interview, we have assembled a brilliant cast that blows open the door on a complex and gifted artist whose profound impact lives on.”

The documentary, directed by Jesse James Miller, is the latest from Network Entertainment’s award-winning filmmaker Derik Murray, who has previously produced films on epochal figures such as John F. Kennedy Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Heath Ledger, Bruce Lee, Paul Walker, and Chris Farley.

I Am Richard Pryor is Executive Produced by Paul Gertz, Kent Wingerak, and Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Pryor. Paramount Network’s Jaimee Kosanke also serves as Executive Producer.

Facebook Comments

Entertainment

‘It must Schwing! The Blue Note Story’ Review: A tale of love, loyalty, and the pursuit of Jazz

Published

on

Does the fate of Black man’s music career still lie in the hands of the Jewish? While dozens augment the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews controlling the music industry amid lacking respect for its culture, a new documentary debunks the exploitative and capitalistic rhetoric.

‘It must Schwing! The Blue Note’ story unpacks the journey of two German friends with one common goal –– introduce the world to the sound of Black Jazz. The film was directed by Eric Friedler and executive produced by Wim Wenders.

Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff fled from Berlin before the Nazi reign and emigrated to New York. They founded the legendary Blue Note Records label in 1939, which later became one of the most respected recording company’s for contemporary jazz in the country, and they had one hell of a roster to back up the notoriety.

The documentary captured the stories of some of the most influential Jazz musicians and their ties to Blue Note, which felt more like a family reunion. From Herbie Handcock to Quincy Jones to George Benson, the cameos played a key role in reviving the glory days –– well, kind of.

Friedler and Wenders narrated the story with subtle, Jazz cadences over classic, white and black animation resemblant of a French cartoon. The approach presented a buoyant element while exploring the dark history of discrimination, race relations, and inhumanity.

Lion and Wolff were no stranger to racism which caused them both to sympathize with the struggles of the Black musicians signed to their label. They didn’t see color –– all that mattered was the music and how alive it made them feel. Their love for Jazz guided them to take risks on a genre not yet explored.

Wolff frequently took blows to the head every time he ventured into the streets of Harlem to purchase the vibrant notes of Black, Jazz artists. He even chose his love for the genre over his marriage with his first wife, which showed the correlation between the beauty and suffering of Jazz.

His dedication to the art was both disturbing and inspiring. Now, Lion, on the other hand, brought in the same passion but quietly through his camera lens –– photographing candids of the artists is what made the label stand out.

Lion was like a silent assassin –– he didn’t say much but they knew he liked the music by his uncontrollable foot taps, even if he was offbeat the artists noted. His photographs became the artwork for their artist’s iconic album covers. The art was a reflection of the time. Before the spoiled era of Adobe software, there was Reid Miles, who was Blue Note’s graphic designer.

Miles progressive design skills along Lions standout still frames amplified the label’s message. Blue Note was ahead of its time, but, yet still light years behind in terms of revenue. While Lions and Wolff were never in it for the money, their pursuit to give their Black artists a voice wasn’t paying their bills.

Wolff eventually sold Blue Note to Liberty Records in 1965, which was the first time they saw any kind of real income, although it still wasn’t much to brag about.

So what happened to the artists post-acquisition? It left a bit of a cliff hanger for the audience as the documentary concluded. I can only assume there is more to the story, which I give it four stars.

It is worth seeing? Definitely, but be prepared to leave the theater wishing they dug deeper into Blue Note’s overall biography.

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Entertainment

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ returns to theaters for 35th anniversary

Published

on

New Line Cinema

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” will exclusively return to Regal theatres Tuesday, Feb. 12, for a special 35th anniversary screening. Since his theatre debut in 1984, slasher villain Freddy Kreugerhas become one of the most recognizable faces in horror history. Movie fans can experience his return to the big screen for only $5, exclusively at Regal. Additionally, Regal Crown Club members can also enjoy a $5 soft drink and popcorn combo per ticket purchased.


“We are thrilled to welcome fans to Regal for the 35th anniversary of this classic horror film,” said Ken Thewes, CMO at Regal. “Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep when watching Freddy return to the big screen! And through our industry-leading Regal Crown Club, members can bring the nightmare to life with exclusive rewards and an incredible concessions deal.”

Regal will feature A Nightmare on Elm Street screenings at participating locations only on Feb. 12. For more information or to purchase $5 tickets, please download the Regal mobile app or visit www.regmovies.com.

Source: PR Newswire

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Entertainment

New Amsterdam tops off SCAD aTVFest with humor and sage advice

Published

on

The male members of the hit NBC hospital drama New Amsterdam were in rare form at the finale SCAD’s aTVFest along with the show’s creator David Schulner who penned the show two years ago during America’s downward spiral of healthcare reform.

Supporting cast members Anupam Kher and Jocko Sims (Jarhead) discussed how they were moved by a recent visit to Grady Hospital here in downtown Atlanta. They even invited Grady staff who were pointed out in the audience to a well-deserved round of applause. Unfortunately, the female co-stars weren’t available for the appearance but their precence was definitely felt in the room at the latest episode preview.

aTVFest honored the crew with Best Cast which marked as Jocko Sims acting first award. The whole evening felt like a close knit family gathering due to their undeniable chemistry.

For example, Ryan Eggold who serves as the show frontrunner was the only member of the ensemble who lived in New York while the rest of the cast had to relocate. They teased about going out to dinner and other events without him. Ryan was the only original cast member and was the first to see the script inspired by the book 12 Patients: Life and Death at Bellvue Hospital written by Eric Manheimer. All of the cast expressed gratitude for being able to bring the stories of the underserved to life.

When giving advice to those not yet in the industry, they pointed out David Schulner as a reference of how a solid script attracts great talent. “Everything starts with the script.” And that if you “Write something great the people will come, he said.”

It doesn’t hurt that the show’s casting director is his wife Liz Dean. The talent professed of being in awe of each other and it was easy to see why.
In the Q&A portion when filmmakers were told by Anumpam Kher to make sure to listen to their actors, that skill is the most important. There was also a lively debate about social media which cast member Tyler Labine who plays psychiatrist Dr. Iggy Frome, recently abandoned so he can have more time for his wife and three kids. The cast playfully asked him if he deleted it entirely to which he admitted he did not. When asked about working with actors, Jocko cited the book Friendly Enemies: The Director-Actor Relationship by Delia Salvey as a must read.

The highlight of the Q&A was when a SCAD film student stated that she wanted Anumpam to be in her film and he told her he would. Anumpam has an acting school in India and came to the United States to jump into another world, the Hollywood of the United States a far cry from Bollywood where he’s quite famous. Jocko is delighted to finally play a doctor after 16 years in the game, since he actually at one point considered going to medical school, even putting the symbol for medicine on his high school class ring.

The whole evening was delightful to witness and very educational for those in attendance. Make sure to tune in for the next episode of NBC’s New Amsterdam, Feb. 12 at 10 pm/et.

Facebook Comments

Continue Reading

Trending