Paul Mazursky’s nearly twenty films as writer/director represent Hollywood’s most sustained comic expression of the 1970s and 1980s. But they have not been given their due, perhaps because Mazursky’s films—both sincere and ridiculous, realistic and romantic—are pure emotion. This makes films like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, An Unmarried Woman, and Enemies, A Love Story difficult to classify, but that's what makes a human comedy human. In the first ever book-length examination of one of America’s most important and least appreciated filmmakers, Sam Wasson sits down with Mazursky himself to talk about his movies and how he makes them. Going over Mazursky’s oeuvre one film at a time, interviewer and interviewee delve into the director's life in and out of Hollywood, laughing, talking, and above all else, feeling—like Mazursky’s people always do. Touching, hilarious, and just a little bit insane, Paul on Mazursky offers us a firsthand look at one of America’s most treasured writer-directors. The book includes a filmography and never-before-seen photos.
Paul Mazursky is one of the great writer-directors of cinema. His work is closer to that of a novelist than a movie director. His complicated, conflicted, and comedic characters are some of that decade's finest.
America’s most undervalued filmmaker finally gets the book he deserves. It’s warm, personal, idiosyncratic and insightful—just like his movies.
Talk is how the great writer-director-actor-warm-hearted-satirist Paul Mazursky communicates in his films, and talk about everything is what he does in this wonderful, illuminating book by Sam Wasson that gently probes the artist and the man for his views on movies, Hollywood and himself. For years, Mazursky and a group of friends have gathered daily for coffee at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles to talk about the comedy called life, and Wasson succeeds brilliantly in capturing the ease of their conversation for the reader without our having to fly to LA—and find no room at the table. Anyone who cares about films and wonders how they manage to get made, and who likes both to be educated and to laugh, should read this book.
—Eric Lax, author of Conversations with Woody Allen
A fresh, innovative paradigm for biographical studies.