Tommy Villafranca

The Richard Lawson Experience

by on Feb.22, 2012, under News & Announcements

Tonight I got to chill back at a screening with friend, teacher, mentor and all around great guy Richard Lawson. The movie was Black Fist, aka Bogard (1974) and it was playing at the New Beverly in Los Angeles. If you are not familiar with his work, please visit his IMDB page at Usually on a Tuesday evening, Richard is teaching actors at his studio. But earlier in the day he caught wind that “Black Fist” one of his earliest films, was being screened tonight only. So with his good will and generosity, he bought 15 tickets for his students and took us all on a field trip. It is not unlike Richard to treat his students and friends. This is an artist who understands and values the importance of the ritual of celebration. He is one of the most generous human beings I have ever had the joy of experiencing. “Black Fist” was amazing. It was a pivotal film during the wave of black exploitation films during the 1970’s. This film in particular was an inspiration for filmmakers like Sam Pekinpah and Quentin Tarantino. It was full of action, sensuality, violence, passion & love told with spectacular performances by Richard, Dabney Coleman and Phillip Michael Thomas, all who have gone on to great careers. After the screening we got to enjoy a Q&A session. Ticket buyers along with the theatre staff had no idea such a treat was awaiting them. Afterward there were hugs, kisses, handshakes and pictures taken on cellphones. No doubt those pictures are already uploaded onto Facebook. What a splendid evening to see so many smiles on people who have been entertained for 40 years by such a great guy.

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