American Masters: F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams (PBS)
2001 | Thirteen/WNET
Using excerpts from private letters and scrapbooks, novels and short stories, photos from family albums, interviews with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, this cinematic biography melds words and pictures into an eloquent, inventive, and subtle exploration of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tumultuous and brilliant career. With the support of Executive Producer Susan Lacy and Producer Catherine Collins, Writer-Producer-Director DeWitt Sage’s emotionally captivating documentary looks deep into the heart and personality of Fitzgerald. With haunting cinematic re-creations of the texts—The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise, Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon—Fitzgerald’s multi-faceted vision of the American dream is fully realized. Beginning with the frolicsome years after his marriage to Zelda Sayre and their move to New York, then following Fitzgerald on to the despondent last years of his life, viewers are carried seamlessly through the writer’s own complicated artistic and spiritual journey.The excitement and the melancholy of Fitzgerald’s life are beautifully rendered in the exquisite cinematography of Dyanna Taylor and expert editing of Kenneth Levis. Previously unexplored aspects of his personality come to light in anecdotes discovered during research for this film. Visiting every area Fitzgerald explored, from his birthplace in St. Paul to Hollywood, where he spent his last days secretly working on his last novel, Sage weaves person and place into the rich tapestry of American culture. A Peabody goes to American Masters: F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams for chronicling the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of America’s greatest novelists, in images and ideas as lyrical and inventive as his prose.