Magazine article Variety

Mazursky Chronicled Sexual Freedom

Magazine article Variety

Mazursky Chronicled Sexual Freedom

Article excerpt

Paul Mazursky, who died of cardiac arrest June 30 in lx>s Angeles at age 84, was among the directors whose work most embraced the new personal and sexual freedoms then taking hold in American culture and American movies. Divorce and adultery were laissez-faire subjects in his films when they were still taboo.

Four years before "Blume in Love," his debut feature, "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" (1969), had made waves as the opening-night attraction of the typically buttoned-up New York Film Festival, even if the movie's promise of a marijuana-laced, couples-swapping orgy was ultimately something of a ruse. Mazursky saw the work of maintaining relationships as thornier than any quick fix could resolve.

Mazursky began as an actor and nightclub comic, and like the work of his contemporaries, John Cassavetes and Robert Altman, his movies course with a love of shaggy, untethered, go-for-broke performances. Six of those actors earned Oscar nominations for their work - many others deserved to - with Art Carney winning lead actor as the elderly widower on a quixotic cross-country road trip in "Harry and Tonto" (1974). …

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