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Paul Mazursky to Receive Star on Walk of Fame, Readies New Podcast 'It's All Crap' with Mel Brooks, Leonard Nimoy and More

Photo of John Anderson By John Anderson | Thompson on Hollywood December 12, 2013 at 1:14PM

The great Paul Mazursky is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame December 13 (all together now: “Doesn’t he HAVE one already??!) and there’s a premature sense of the valedictory hanging over the occasion. OK, maybe the director of “Harry and Tonto,” “An Unmarried Woman,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills" and “Enemies: A Love Story” hasn’t been front and center recently. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been acting up.
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Paul Mazursky

The great Paul Mazursky is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame December 13 (all together now: “Doesn’t he HAVE one already??!) and there’s a premature sense of the valedictory hanging over the occasion. OK, maybe the director of “Harry and Tonto,” “An Unmarried Woman,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills" and “Enemies: A Love Story” hasn’t been front and center recently. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been acting up.

Actually, the last movie Mazursky directed came out in 2006 -- “Yippee!” a documentary about the annual pilgrimage to Uman, a town in the Ukraine where the famous Hasidic leader Rabbi Nachman is buried. Nachman, who lived in the late 1700s and is associated with the more celebratory aspects of Hasidim, told his followers, “if you celebrate Rosh Hashanah at my grave, you'll have a year of joy.” So people return there year after year. “It’s quite the party,” said cinematographer Bill Megalos, “like a Sundance for Hasidim.”

Megalos, who shot “Yippee!” recently started working with the director on another project. “Every Friday for years,” Megalos said, “Paul has had lunch with a group of friends” -- including Mel Brooks (who always picks up the check), director Richard Donner, producer Alan Ladd Jr., agent Jay Cantor and producer Michael Gruskoff. Mazurksy’s idea was to create a show that would capture the intimacy and hilarity of those lunches. He asked Megalos to help put it together.

The result: “It’s All Crap!” an as-yet-unreleased podcast featuring Mazursky and his various pals -- the first of whom was Brooks, whose Adolf Hitler imitation can be seen here along with Megalos’ account of how the show came about and where it’s going. (Four episodes have been completed, featuring Brooks, Donner and  Leonard Nimoy, which Megalos said is enough to start shopping the show).  Mazursky’s “musings” can be found on his website, none of which should  surprise anyone familiar with the work of a director who -- from “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” to “An Unmarried Woman” to “Scenes From a Mall” -- has been very much of his moment.

This article is related to: News, Paul Mazursky, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.