Friendship is a key theme on this week’s Road to Cinema. Our guest Jeff Kanew discusses his friendships with actor Kirk Douglas and legendary director Paul Mazursky. Kanew directed three films with Douglas as well as a one man stage show in 2009 called “Before I Forget”. Watch a clip below from the extraordinary one man stage show “Before I Forget” directed by Jeff Kanew. Keep in mind Douglas was 92 years old when he performed this piece at the aptly named Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, California.
Jeff Kanew’s other lasting friendship was with late director Paul Mazursky who passed away earlier this year. They forged a bond during the editing of Mazursky’s documentary “Yippee”. The duo also collaborated on a comedy web series called “It’s All Crap” which featured Kanew and Mazursky’s fellow comrades Mel Brooks and director Richard Donner. Watch a clip below to see director Paul Mazursky in true comic form.
Director Jeff Kanew is best known for the 1984 comedy smash hit “Revenge of the Nerds”. But before he ever made audiences roar with laughter, he revolutionized the creation of movie trailers in the 1960s and 1970s. Before Kanew entered the scene, trailers consisted of text and narration with very few scenes from the actual movie. Our conversation on The Road to Cinema Podcast delves into the craft of trailer making as well as how his debut feature film “Natural Enemies” staring Hal Holbrook would surreptitiously lead him to edit “Ordinary People”. The family drama, directed by Robert Redford, would eventually win the “Best Picture” Oscar at the 1981 Academy Awards.
Below is “The Jeff Kanew Trailer Collection” which includes the Woody Allen comedy “Bananas”, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, “The Graduate”, “Rocky”, and Woody Allen’s “Best Picture” Oscar winner “Annie Hall”. We’ll talk more in the podcast on how these trailers were made as well as how Kanew was advised not to use any boxing footage when editing the “Rocky” trailer. Apparently, there had never been a hit boxing film… until “Rocky”.
Listen to episode #9 of The Road to Cinema Podcast featuring director and editor Jeff Kanew. I encourage everyone to watch the Paul Mazursky memorial tribute video. It was edited brilliantly by Jeff Kanew with a great affection for his friend Paul Mazursky who accomplished so much as a filmmaker and a human being.