Monday, December 20, 2010

cinema obscura: Mazursky Times Two

Sharkey, Kidder and Ontkean do well by Paul
Mazursky. A singular filmmaker who was crucial to 1970s moviemaking and who is now largely ignored. Paul Mazursky. Like Hal Ashby, he made a handful of films in the '70s that remain indelible and invaluable, two of which have been almost impossible to see these days.

Until recently.

In fact, when The Film Society of Lincoln Center paid a rare tribute to Mazursky in May of 2007, these two titles were missing for its schedule - 1971's inside eccentricity on modern filmmaking, "Alex in Wonderland," and the unjustly underrated "Willie & Phil" Mazurksy's deft 1980 take on François Truffaut's "Jules et Jim."

Good news!

"Alex in Wonderland," which has Donald Sutherland contributing a memorably solipsistic performance in a movie for filmic eggheads, is scheduled to air on Turner, but in the wee hours of 21 December - at 4:30 a.m. (est.), no less. Tape it.

And "Willie & Phil," which arguably offered Michael Ontkean, Margot Kidder and the late Ray Sharkey their best roles on film, has been popping up regularly on the Fox Movie Channel.


Kent said...

I like that Mazursky made talky, trendy films about Important Subjects (at least to him) without necessarily turning his characters into mouthpieces for his views.

Scott said...

Mazursky made deceptively light films that achieve real gravitas as they progress. His "Blume in Love" is a gem.

joe baltake said...

Scott- "Blume in Love" is not just a gem, but a forgotten gem. -J