2021 FITZGERALD FESTIVAL TO CELEBRATE FITZGERALD'S BIRTHDAY ON
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH 2021 WITH FILM AND DISCUSSION
Host: Eric Carzon, Library Services Manager, Montgomery County Public Libraries
On Friday, September 24, the Fitzgerald Festival will celebrate F. Scott Fitzgerald's 125th birthday with a 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.
The Festival will show 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 will be 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.