Die Laughing

Paul Mazursky turned 80 in April, but the writer-director of Next Stop, Greenwich Village, and Down and Out in Beverly Hills — and author of one of the most enjoyably anecdote-packed Hollywood memoirs ever, 1999’s Show Me the Magic — has no plans to retire. He’s got a couple of scripts he’d like to shoot, and he still takes the occasional turn in front of the cameras (most recently in Curb Your Enthusiasm). Today’s master-class edition of "Comedy Talks: Conversations with the Legends of Comedy" reunites Mazursky with his Blume in Love star George Segal and standup comic extraordinaire Ronnie Schell in a sharp-witted summit of old-school humorists. Masters of a literate form of funny that runs the gamut from farcical to bittersweet to achingly poignant, these guys hail from an era when character-driven comedy, not pee-in-the-pool jokes, was the gold standard. On second thought, Mazursky is also good pals with Mel Brooks, who will famously do, say, or write anything for a laugh. So expect a mix of wicked insights, hard-earned Hollywood wisdom, and New York–inflected cheap shots. And maybe, just maybe, somebody will see fit to program a retrospective of Mazursky’s films in the not-too-distant future.
Sun., Aug. 1, 4 p.m., 2010

 
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