Beating against that literary current again

‘The Great Gatsby’s’ connection to Westport explored in new film

It was in July 2018 that we wrote about Westport historian Richard Webb Jr.’s “Boats Against the Current: The Honeymoon Summer of Scott and Zelda” (Prospecta Press, $40, 178 pages), which explores the five months F. Scott Fitzgerald spent writing and (mostly) partying with his bride, Zelda, in the spring and summer of 1920 at a modest gray house on Compo Beach Road in Westport — and the influence this had on his seminal 1925 novel about the dark side of the American dream, “The Great Gatsby.”

The book was designed to be a companion to Robert Steven Williams’ documentary “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story,” which makes the case for Wesport and not Long Island being the setting for Gatsby’s over-the-top mansion and tragic tale. Now the film – featuring Sam Waterston, who played sympathetic Gatsby neighbor Nick Carraway  in the 1974 film version of the novel, and narrated by actor Keir Dullea (“2001: A Space Odyssey”) – will be screened as part of the New Haven Film Festival on Friday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. and will be available on DVD and streaming services on Sept. 1.

Says Waterston:  “This film does an excellent job of capturing an important aspect of Westport’s literary history and it helps to establish the town’s rightful place in Fitzgerald’s legacy.”

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– Georgette Gouveia

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