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Host: Eric Carzon, Library Services Manager, Montgomery County Public Libraries  

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6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

On Friday, September 24 (6:00pm - 8:00pm Eastern time), the Fitzgerald Festival celebrated F. Scott Fitzgerald's 125th birthday with a free  showing of a recent award-winning documentary  about the Fitzgeralds and a post-film discussion with its director/producer and one of its featured participants.


You can see a 37' recording of the discussion that followed the viewing of the movie.

Note, Montgomery county library card holders can view the film free on the Kanopy service that is provided by the MC library system.


The Festival showed Gatsby in Connecticut, followed by a discussion between film-maker Robert Steven Williams and Fitzgerald scholar Walter Raubicheck, a featured participant in the film. The discussion was  moderated by Jackson R. Bryer. 


Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story, covers F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's summer of 1920 in Westport, Connecticut.  It features Sam Waterston (who played Nick Carraway in the 1972 Robert Redford film version of The Great Gatsby) and is narrated by Keir Dullea (star of such famous films as 2010: A Space Odyssey and David and Lisa). Selected by The New Yorker as one of the 36 Best Films of 2020, the documentary explores the connection between the Fitzgeralds and Westport. One of the settings for Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, has long been acknowledged to be Westport; but, as the documentary shows, when the recently married Fitzgeralds spent five-months in the summer of 1920 in Westport, they lived in a small house next door to a gigantic mansion on Long Island Sound whose wealthy owner threw extravagant parties. Most scholars and readers have assumed that Fitzgerald's inspiration for The Great Gatsby, published in April 1925, was based on the time he and Zelda lived on Long Island from October 1922 to April 1924; but Gatsby in Connecticut poses the intriguing question: what if the events of The Great Gatsby can be traced instead to Westport, Connecticut? It is a controversial subject and the film presents the argument for Westport and lets the viewer decide. The film was selected for ten film festivals in 2020––including those in Las Vegas, South Europe, Madrid, and Garden State––and it won the Best New England Film Award at the Mystic Film Festival.  Since its release, Gatsby in Connecticut has become a much-discussed film among Fitzgerald scholars and the general public. 



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ROBERT STEVEN WILLIAMS, the director and producer of Gatsby in Connecticut, is an award-winning filmmaker, novelist, musician, songwriter, and  entrepreneur.   His company, Against the Grain Productions, makes documentaries and short films for not-for-profit organizations. His novel, My Year As A Clown (2013), won the Silver Medal for Popular Fiction at the Independent Publisher Book Awards.  His writings have appeared in Poetry & Writers Magazine, Billboard, USA Today, and LetterPress, and he is co-author of the best-selling business book, The World's Largest Market: A Business Guide to Europe (1992).  As a songwriter, his song, “The Jersey Cowboy,” was featured on NPR's Car  Talk. He was also the subject of the documentary Round Peg, Square Hole (2010).
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WALTER RAUBICHECK is Professor of English at Pace University in New York City, where he teaches American literature, film, and college composition.  He is the editor of Hitchcock and the Cold War (2019), the co-author of Scripting Hitchcock (2011), and the co-editor of Hitchcock's Rereleased Films (1991) and Going My WayBing Crosby and American Culture (2007).  He has published essays on a number of crime fiction authors, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, and G. K. Chesterton, as well as on American authors F. Scott Fitzgerald, T. S. Eliot, and Dashiell Hammett.  He is currently the editor of Lex Naturalis: A Journal of Natural Law, and co-editor of Mean Streets, a journal devoted to American crime fiction, both published by the Pace University Press. 
JACKSON R. BRYER is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses for 41 years. He is the co-founder and president of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society. Among the books he has authored, edited, or co-edited on Fitzgerald are Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (2009), Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (2002), New Essays on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Neglected Stories (1996), The Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Bibliographical Study (1967; 1984), The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: New Approaches in Criticism (1982), F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Critical Reception (1978), Dear Scott/Dear Max: The Fitzgerald-Perkins Correspondence (1971), and F. Scott Fitzgerald in His Own Time: A Miscellany (1971).
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