|Paul Mazursky in 2008|
A comedy icon died on Monday but few people noticed primarily because we don't pay much attention to the past these days. Still, the passing of Paul Mazursky should matter, He was a master at making entertaining and instructive sense out of life by linking divergent characters, situations, and behaviors in his quirky films. If you're a child of the 1960's you likely know his writing and directorial work well:
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968)
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
Harry and Tonto (1974)
An Unmarried Woman (1978)
Down and Out In Beverley Hills (1986)
Scenes From A Mall (1991)
Of course this is only part of Mazursky's filmography. He directed and/or wrote over a dozen additional films, performed in even more, and appeared in several television roles well into this century.
Mazursky's unique approach to interpreting the smiles and sorrows of the human condition deserves to be enjoyed today and I would appeal especially to younger audiences to view his work. Although the settings may change over time, the human calls and responses remain very much the same.
Photo credit: Petr Novak, Wikimedia