The Four Seasons Lodge Film

Jewish Museum of Florida. Nov 14th, 2010. 2:00 p.m.

In this inspiring and startling 97-minute documentary, a remarkable group of European immigrants whose members are fast disappearing come together for one final summer in the Catskill Mountains, where they cook, gamble, fight, flirt, and dance. They are Holocaust survivors with a captivating joie de vivre, and a bracing sense of humor. Directed by New York Times journalist Andrew Jacobs, beautifully photographed by a team of cinematographers including Albert Maysles, Four Seasons Lodge is a counterintuitive film that captures the Lodgers’ intoxicating passion for living, in bracing contrast to lives harrowed by loss. Four Seasons Lodge, moving and surprisingly funny, is the last chance to visit a vanishing world and discover the men and women who trumped Hitler’s Final Solution. “This is our revenge on Hitler. To live this long, this well is a victory.” – Fran Lask, 82, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen.

Andrew Jacobs has been a staff writer at the New York Times for the past ten years, where he has covered a wide variety of beats, from the American South and the aftermath of Sept. 11, to New Jersey politics and the New York City Police Department. The idea for “Four Seasons” grew out of a six-part series Jacobs did for the Times about summer life in the Catskills. A graduate of New York University, Mr. Jacobs spent a year teaching and writing in China during the pro-democracy movement.

Albert Maysles is a pioneer of Direct Cinema who, along with his brother David, was the first to make nonfiction feature films (Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter) where the drama of life unfolds without scripts, sets, interviews or narration. With his first film, Psychiatry In Russia (1955) he made the transition from psychologist to documentary filmmaker. In 1960 he co-created Primary. His 36 films include What’s Happening: The Beatles in the USA (1964), five films of the projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (1972 to 1995), and three documentaries for HBO. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1965), a Peabody, an Emmy, five Lifetime Achievement Awards, the award for best cinematography at Sundance (2002) for Lalee’s Kin, which was also nominated in 2001 for an Academy Award and most recently, the Columbia Dupont Award (2004). In 1999 Eastman Kodak saluted him as one of the 100 world’s finest cinematographers. Albert’s latest project, The Gates (1979-2005), is currently in post-production.

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