How to Live Forever | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 92 minutes · 2011

Documentary
Mark Wexler's last documentary, Tell Them Who You Are (2004), explored his relationship with his famous father, director and cinematographer Haskell Wexler; this one (2009) was inspired by his mother, Marion Witt-Wexler, who enjoyed a successful career as a painter but slid into dementia and death after her studio and work were destroyed in a fire. Wexler interviews active centenarians and surveys the new therapies, products, and activities that have grown up around our increasing longevity. Exercise guru Jack LaLanne (who died in January 2011 at age 96) demonstrates his daily workout routine; British pub rocker Buster Martin (who died in April 2011 at 104) preaches the healing power of a fag and a pint; and Dolores Bates, competing in the Ms. Senior America pageant, enthuses about her new husband ("I'm older than him, but he can drive at night"). Wexler emerges from all this with the commonplace wisdom that laughter and a positive outlook both prolong life and make it worth living, though his vocal concern with his own aging keeps the film from growing pat.
Director: Mark Wexler
Producer: Mark Wexler and Mark Luethi
Cast: Suzanne Somers, Phyllis Diller, Ray Bradbury, Jack LaLanne, Willard Scott, Marianne Williamson, Elaine LaLanne, Raymond Kurzweil, Shigeo Tokuda, Aubrey De Grey and Mordecai Finley

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