The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoting the month of May to three comparatively unexplored talents who helped make the 60’s and 70’s such venturesome decades of American filmmaking: actor-director Paul Mazursky (May 4 through May 10); actor Lee Marvin (May 11 to 24): and director John Schlesinger (May 25 to 26). I shall begin with Mr. Mazursky this week, and follow in subsequent weeks with Marvin (1924–1987) and Schlesinger (1926–2003).
Fortunately, Mr. Mazursky is still alive to receive his belated tribute in person, on Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. and Thursday, May 10, at 6:15 p.m. at the Walter Reade Theatre, where the New York premiere of his latest work, the documentary Yippee: A Journey to Jewish Joy, is taking place. (There will be a Q&A session on both dates.)
Mr. Mazursky is a long-underrated cutting-edge director who was somewhat ahead of his time. The selected revivals include Blume in Love (1973), with George Segal and Susan Anspach (Sunday, May 6, at 6 p.m. and Monday, May 7, at 3:30 p.m.); Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), with Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon (Friday, May 4, at 9:15 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, at 4 p.m.); Enemies: A Love Story (1989), with Ron Silver, Margaret Sophie Stein, Lena Olin and Angelica Huston (Sunday, May 6, at 8:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 10, at 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.); Harry and Tonto (1974), with the Oscar-winning Art Carney, Melanie Mayron, Josh Mostel, Ellen Burstyn, Larry Hagman and Geraldine Fitzgerald (Tuesday, May 8, at 8:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 10, at 3:30 p.m.); Moon Over Parador (1988), with Richard Dreyfuss, Sonia Braga, Raul Julia, Charo, Jonathan Winters and Fernando Rey (Tuesday May 8 at 6:15 p.m.); Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976), with Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Ellen Greene, Lois Smith and Christopher Walken (Friday, May 4, at 6:15 p.m.; Saturday, May 4, at 1:45 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 8, at 4 p.m.); Tempest (1982), with John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Molly Ringwald, Susan Sarandon and Raul Julia (Friday, May 4, at 1:30 p.m.; Monday, May 7, at 6:15 p.m., and Wednesday, May 9, at 1:30 p.m.); and An Unmarried Woman (1978) with Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates and Michael Murphy (Saturday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 6, at 3:30 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 8, at 1:30 p.m.).
Like Marvin and Schlesinger, Mr. Mazursky is a testament to the sheer depth of American mainstream movies way back (it now seems) in the days when directors—and Mr. Mazursky in particular—knew how to be funny and adult at the same time.