DGA Past President Robert Wise.

A Tribute to Director Paul Mazursky

November 11, 2012 A Special Projects Committee Event

On November 11, the Special Projects Committee presented a tribute to Director Paul Mazursky at the Guild's Los Angeles headquarters. The event was a salute to Mazursky's career which spans decades of acting, writing, producing, and directing, as well as service to the Guild.

The tribute began with a breakfast held in the DGA Grand Lobby’s Exhibit Square. DGA Special Projects Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan welcomed guests and introduced cinematographer Don McAlpine (Moscow on the Hudson, Down and Out in Beverly Hills) who shared his memories of working with Paul. Following breakfast, the theater program kicked off with a montage that Jeremy Kagan had put together entitled, “Some of Paul’s Best,” with memorable clips from his feature films, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Enemies: A Love Story, Down and Out in Beverly Hills and his documentary Yippee.

DGA Special Projects Tribute Sub-committee Chair Jim Drake introduced friends and colleagues including actor Richard Kind, who has appeared with Mazursky in Curb Your Enthusiasm and is a longtime member of Mazursky's legendary Farmers Market Breakfast group, and actor George Segal who starred in Mazursky’s Blume in Love.  Other speakers included director-producer-editor Jeff Kanew, who co-produced Yippee and longtime friend Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein).  Reminiscences from directors John Landis and Buck Henry who could not attend were also shared with the audience.

Mazursky then took the stage to reflect on his career, which started as an actor in off-Broadway productions, making his screen debut in Stanley Kubrick's 1953 feature Fear and Desire.  He went on to write for iconic television  shows like The Danny Kaye Show, The Rifleman and The Monkees before co-writing the screenplay with Larry Tucker for the 1968 Peter Sellers comedy I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! directed by Hy Averback.  The following year, Mazursky directed his first feature film, the classic sex comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which he also co-wrote with Tucker. He continued directing, writing and producing popular and critically acclaimed films like Blume in Love; Harry and Tonto; Next Stop, Greenwich Village; An Unmarried Woman; and Moscow on the Hudson.

Mazursky joined the DGA in 1968 and served eight terms on the Western Directors Council from 1990 to 2011, three terms as a First Alternate on the DGA National Board from 1995 to 2001, and has also served on the Guild's Theatrical Creative Rights and Credits Committees.

In 1979, Mazursky was nominated for a DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for his dramatic feature An Unmarried Woman. He is also the recipient of numerous awards for writing and producing – including five Academy® Award nominations: An Unmarried Woman (Best Picture, shared with fellow producer Anthony Ray, and Best Screenplay), Best Screenplay for Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (shared with Tucker), Harry and Tonto (shared with Josh Greenfeld) and Enemies: A Love Story (shared with Roger L. Simon).

The celebration concluded with a screening of Mazursky's autobiographical feature Next Stop, Greenwich Village, which garnered him a Palme d’Or nomination at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.

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