HW Pick: Conversations With ‘Car Wash’s Michael Schultz

September 19, 2015

car washThe Museum will be hosting director Michael Schultz (Cooley High, Car Wash) on three consecutive Sundays to discuss different aspects of this work.

This Sunday, he will focus on Richard Pryor in a conversation with Pryor’s biographer Scott Saul. The next two Sundays will be feature talks about music in his films and discovering talent.


Before the Black Film New Wave hit Hollywood in the early 1990s, Michael Schultz had already directed eleven movies, many with his trademark use of wall-to-wall music, occasionally ribald humor, and a laid-back style, to tell comedic and dramatic stories of African-American life. Schultz directed the feature film debuts of Denzel Washington, Blair Underwood, and Samuel L. Jackson, and has been directing television for more than 40 years, from The Rockford Files to Arrow. On three consecutive Sundays, September 20, September 27, and October 4, 2015, Museum of the Moving Image is presenting Black Film Pioneer: Conversations with Michael Schultz, a series of in-depth discussions, with film clips, featuring Schultz and guest moderators focused on his outstanding body of cinematic work. Topics will include his collaborations with Richard Pryor, his use of music, and his unique penchant for discovering great actors.

The series opened on Sunday, September 13 with a 40th anniversary screening of Cooley High, followed by a conversation with Michael Schultz and his wife Gloria, moderated by Warrington Hudlin, President of the Black Filmmaker Foundation, who organized the series.

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The upcoming sessions are:

Working with Richard Pryor: A conversation with Michael Schultz and Scott Saul
Sunday, September 20, 2:00 p.m.
Richard Pryor (1940-2005) was the most extraordinary comedian of his generation, and Michael Schultz made more films with him than any other director. This program will feature selected film clips of their collaborations, including Greased Lightning, Car Wash, Which Way Is Up, andBustin’ Loose. Scott Saul, author of Becoming Richard Pryor, will interview Michael Schultz about his directorial approach when working with Pryor and other comedians. Scott Saul will be participating via video conference.

The Soundtrack of a Generation: A conversation with Michael Schultz and James Mtume
Sunday, September 27, 2:00 p.m.
Michael Schultz’s films have been accompanied by some of the most popular soundtracks of the era. Grammy Award-winning recording artist, film composer, and talk radio personality James Mtume will show film clips and engage Schultz in a conversation about his vibrant use of music in movies such as Car Wash, Cooley High, and Which Way Is Up?

Talent Spotting: Michael Shultz on Discovering Exceptional Actors
Michael Schultz in conversation with Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Sunday, October 4, 2:00 p.m.
A distinguished list of actors made their feature film debut under Michael Schultz’s direction, including Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Duke, and Blair Underwood, among many others. The program will include clips of those film debuts and a discussion with Michael Schultz about his casting instincts and methods in spotting new talent, moderated by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the award-winning actor of stage and screen.

Tickets for each program are $12 adults, $9 seniors and students, and $6 children 3–12, and free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above.

Advance tickets are available online at movingimage.us. Program tickets include Museum admission.

These programs are part of the ongoing series Changing the Picture, sponsored by Time Warner Inc., which celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen.

Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria, Queens, movingimage.us.

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