Joe knew director/actor/writer Paul Mazursky who died recently. They’d met when Joe reviewed Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, the first film Mazursky directed by in 1969.
The multitalented Mazursky had begun as an actor, but soon found his forte was writing for the screen. He’d scored a bit hit with I Love You Alice B. Toklas, which starred Peter Sellars and was directed by Hy Averback. And that gave Paul a leg up to get a directing gig of his own.
He received five Oscar nominations, four for writing his most famous and successful films, Bob, Carol etc, Harry and Tonto, An Unmarried Woman, and Enemies, A Love Story (adapted from the novel by Issac Singer).
But the film Joe likes most is Mazursky’s less successful autobiographical tale, Next Stop, Greenwich Village. It’s set in New York of the 1950s and stars Lenny Baker, as a young Jewish boy from Brooklyn who’s moved to the village to find himself and pursue his acting career. It co-stars Ellen Greene and Christopher Walken. But the real scene stealer is Shelley Winters, as the over protective Jewish mother.
The film doesn’t receive as much attention as his other work. Perhaps that’s because it’s set in the 50s and Mazursky is noted for depicting the mores of the post sixties…. the confusion of characters such as George Segal‘s in Blume in Love, and Jill Clayburgh‘s in An Unmarried Woman (pictured above).
But any retrospective of Mazursky’s work must include a screening of Next Stop, Greenwich Village.