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"How To Live Forever" Premieres At HIFF

Originally Posted: October 15, 2009

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Still from "How To Live Forever" where Jack LaLanne offers director Mark Wexler some exercise advice. Image courtesy of Google Images

East Hampton - If you are wondering how you might live forever - as in perhaps 500 years longer - than filmmaker Mark Wexler has probably answered some of those musings by offering a myriad of options in "How To Live Forever" which premiered at the 17th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF).

Wexler's impetus for this particular subject matter appears borne from the devastating loss of his mother - an accomplished artist - as well as having faced 50 in the face himself. This film is full of the clever, expensive, inexpensive, thought-provoking and maybe just plain foolish ways we as humans have battled immortality.

Director Mark Wexler.

Traveling from Las Vegas to Okinawa to Iceland, and numerous locales in between, the California-residing Wexler has stated "I have always been drawn to stories of the human connections that define us. The death of my mother and the arrival of my own AARP card led me to examine the most fundamental human connection of all - to life itself. Making 'How To Live Forever' allowed me to connect those lessons to the ultimate question of what makes a life truly meaningful."

An unusual discovery revealed in the film is that people live longer in both Okinawa and, in particular, men live longer in Iceland. During his pursuit to find answers to an ancient question, Wexler interviews some rather charming 'elders' including Jack LaLanne, Phyllis Diller and Ray Bradbury, among others, as well as those simply refusing to acknowledge age including Suzanne Somers, and biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey whose theories are as equally disturbing as they are encouraging.

The usual and not so usual avenues people explore such as chili dogs, fitness and exercise regiments, dietary, hormone supplements and active sex lives, as well as a visit to a hyperbaric chamber and cryonics pod, are among some of the adventures Wexler leads the viewer on. In addition, he refreshingly does focus on the importance of humor, companionship, family, faith and love that may or may not offer longevity assistance.

"How To Live Forever" is Wexler's fourth film, and he is also a highly respected photojournalist, and world traveler. This is a truly interesting film that many may find unsettling due to its subject matter, however, without revealing too much, Wexler may have stumbled on a way to vent his own personal grief in a manner that addresses concerns for all of us.

Personally, I was impressed with the lovely French woman who lived to 122 years of age - she smoked, drank wine and loved chocolate, and for those of you whose arthritis is not acting up - this filmmaker certainly does deserve a standing ovation.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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Guest (SneaksMcgEE) from Milky Way says::
Looks like Mark has assembled a pretty incredible group of people for his documentary. The animation on the official website is hilarious. I loved what he was able to accomplish in his last doc Tell Them Who You Are. http://bit.ly/39Kuu0
Mar 4, 2011 6:15 pm

Guest (cjniya) from detroite says::
In the ancient world, the kings or emperors or the great rulers would find the way to keep alive forever. And they did make some effort. Some of the most famous stories about these kings and emperors are about their experience to find the way of keeping alive forever. Even they could not make their dream come true; they would try their best to keep their luxury life in the other world, the ghostdom world. And they believe that their spirits would live forever and they could enjoy the happiness as they were alive if they prepare their tombs well and put enough things to use in the tomb, they could continue their ruling in the ghostdom. Most of the famous interested spots all over the world are the works of these kings, from the Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xi’an, China to the Pyramid in Egypt and in Mexico. Not only the kings wanted to live forever, the common people dreams of living forever. There are so many stories about the fairy, elf, vampire or other spirits that could help people to be rich or live forever. If someone holds a party that could teach common people the way to live forever, I believe that there would never have enough rubber wristbands to hand out to the people who would take part in just in only small city. Well, there is actually one day to let us never die. That is about the spirit. When you take part in the memorial concern and the cinema which is releasing This is It, you would know what live forever is. When you have some special things for the whole world or your works just rock the world, then you would live forever in this world, you spirit would never die. When we look upon and we could find there are so many sparkling stars in the sky, these are the spirit of the passed away famous people, from Shakespeare to Michael Jackson, from Queen Elizabeth to Princess Diana, they are alive forever.
Nov 3, 2009 9:49 am


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