How to Live Forever (2009) - full transcript

Director Mark Wexler embarks on a worldwide trek to investigate just what it means to grow old and what it could mean to really live forever. But whose advice should he take? Does a chain-smoking, beer-drinking centenarian marathoner have all the answers? What about an elder porn star? Wexler contrasts these unusual characters with the insights of health, fitness and life-extension experts in his engaging new documentary, which challenges our notions of youth and aging with comic poignancy. Begun as a study in life-extension, HOW TO LIVE FOREVER evolves into a thought-provoking examination of what truly gives life meaning.

[music playing]



-I'm Mark.

-I'm Nadine.

-Nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you, too.

Ready to see Edna?



-Behind locked doors, huh?

-Yeah, she likes to roam and
wander around, and if we

didn't, she'd find
her way out.

I've got her up here
waiting on you.

-We like poetry today.


-What's she singing?


[music playing]

film represents about three

years of my life.

It'll take up around an hour
and half of yours.

When I turned 50, a friend
sent me this cartoon.

It cracked me up at the time.

I'm 53 now, and with each
passing year I find I laugh

less and less at it.

It's not that I lack a sense of
humor about the realities

of aging, but I'm bothered more
and more by the speed on

that downward slope.

I guess I wouldn't be in this
rather morose frame of mind if

it wasn't for my mother.

She died recently.

Her downward slope
began in 1996.

She was an accomplished

She lived for work.

But that year, she lost her
studio and most of her

canvases to a fire that took to
the canyon where she lived.

She seemed sadder after that.

That's why even though she died
at 85 I prefer to picture

her like this, high-spirited,
creative, young.

So planning her funeral was
really difficult, but it had

to be done, and it got me
thinking about the inevitable.

-I've spent my career, 30 years,
whatever it's been, as

the guy that nobody wants
to do business with


One of the challenges that we
have is no one wants what I

have to offer.

-Though this is not an easy
subject to deal with, we have

to do this because death
is no respecter of age.

-Come here, look.

I don't know why we don't
think about death.

I think it's just because
we think we're

going to keep on living.

Isn't that smart for a
blonde girl to say?

funeral director's convention

is not unlike a medical soiree
where all the, you know,

urologists get together
for a couple days.

Always there is one part of the
conference that has sort

of a social aspect to it, the
sort of hail and farewell, how

you been type of thing among
strange colleagues who speak

in odd lexicons, you know.

-We're focusing on our
embalming fluids.

They're formaldehyde-based, used
to preserve human remains

after they die.

And I'm the embalmer
that can walk them

step-by-step through that.

So a lot of fun.

-This is the Body Scoop.

The Body Scoop is designed to
make a one person lift, a

person of almost any size.

I do think we confuse the
essential obligations of a

funeral with the accessories
to a funeral.

There's nothing I can sell you
that'll get you into heaven or

keep you up.

These are accessories.

They're boxes.

-Our caskets are designed for
those families that appreciate

style and beauty.

We've added some specialty items
like 24 karat gold for

the hardware.

-These are caskets made
out of paper veneer.

It's a very similar
process just like

brands of Ikea furniture.

People are changing their styles
from traditional burial

caskets to a rental type of
casket where the deceased

stays in a cardboard

You open the front, and now
you're able to remove the

deceased through the front
of the casket.

-A typical person would fit in
an urn that size and still

have some room left over.

Right I never wanted to make
one that things just fit.

So mine are always just--

just a little bit bigger
than you need.

deal with mortality, you must

deal with the mortal thing, you
know, the corpse, getting

it to its grave or
tomb or fire.

But ours is truly the first
generation that has tried to

accomplish this without having
to deal with the dead guy.

-And we just have fun with it.

It's all about celebration
of the cowboy's life.

are constantly organizing

these memorial services or
celebrations of life, whatever

euphemism du jour is.

The talk is uplifting.

The music is life-affirming.

The finger food is good.

Someone is on hand to declare
closure, usually just before

the Merlot runs out.

And everyone is welcome except
the one who has died.

-The boomers want something
different from the traditional

funeral, and that's kind of the
niche where we fell into.

We've done some really special
funerals for people where you

went actually bar-hopping
with the body.

-Once families get started going
through the grieving

actually to through, choose
their loss experience type.

Was it sudden death?

Was it general grief?

Death of spouse?


We're even expanding right now
into pet loss as well.

[music playing]

is a culture that's very

comfortable with a good laugh
but hasn't a clue about the

usefulness of a good cry.

It's hard to laugh in the
face of a corpse.

Everything is sort of diminished
in importance by

this dead thing and the
mystery it represents.

It makes me think things I
wouldn't otherwise think.

It makes me wonder more.

wonder a lot as well about

every new grey hair, every new
nose hair, every new pound in

my ever-widening midsection.

Each one is a cruel reminder
that maybe my best

years are behind me.

Is this it?

Am I past my prime?

Actually, it's not death I fear
so much as it is being

stuck with the uncool trappings
of old age.

Early bird specials,
senior discounts,

Lawrence Welk reruns.

birthday from Smucker's.

How sweet it is.

Take a look at our
Smucker's far.


I love that name--

Cordelia Figgatt.

The centenarians are one of,
and if not, the fastest

growing group in America.

There's over 100,000 out there
now, and most of them are in

pretty good shape.

They have that makeup
in 'em where

they're, you know, resilient.

They don't look back, like
[inaudible], something's

gaining on you, you know?

Something is gaining
on all of us.

When your colon's
out of whack--

Thanks for

reminding me, Willard.

-My doctor told me I should
be doing more for my high


That's not exactly a

comforting thought, especially
since American pharmaceutical

companies do such a great job
stressing out the boomers

about the perils of
getting older.


Viva Viagra!

When I saw a picture on the
front page of my paper, a

senior woman eating dog food out
of a garbage can, I said,

what's wrong with
this picture?

[music playing]

decide well, what would happen

if an older woman got as much
attention as a MIss.


So you're at the Ms. senior
America Beauty Pageant, and

the women are 60 years
and older.

-I'm 75.

-And I'm 74.

-We tell our ages because it's
promoting the positive image

of aging, and we're
having a ball.

[music and applause]

they are, the delegates

competing for the title
of Ms. Senior America

National Queen, 2007.

a pageant which has to

address the older person,
but I have a problem.

I can't have swimsuits
or else we might have

wrinkle city winners.

I had to replace that category
with something else, and

that's called philosophy
of life.

-Life is like a river,

calm, but often turbulent.

-I want to live life like
a ray of sunshine.

-Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow, a mystery.

-I may be a senior,
but I'm still hot.

It just comes in flashes.

-Life is a journey, and I
am enjoying the trip!

with the evening gowns, very

elegant, and the philosophy of
life, and the talent, and

interview, the women
had four categories

in which is to compete.


-I'm 80 years old, and I never
really found myself until

about 7 years ago.

I kind of woke up one day and
thought, well, I don't even

know who I am, so I started
looking for who I was.

And I found me, and
I liked me.

-How do you do that?

I mean, I said my knees are
never going to last that long.

Didn't you say you were 80?


-I mean, how can you do this?

Your knees, they work so well.

found out in 2005 I had to

drop out because I had a
total knee replacement.

And then I thought, well, at
least one more shot this yea.

And I set my goals to win and
be Ms. Senior Arkansas.

[music playing]

There were 12

of us in the contest.

Most of them were in their 60s,
and me being in my 80s, I

had positive thoughts.

I put doubt out of my mind, and
just worked to achieve it.

And I did.

My pastor really didn't approve
of this, and they

don't really approve
of dancing.

And he said, "You won't be in
the paper, will you?" And I

said, "Yes, I will." And he also
warned me that this was

supposed to be sin city.

He said, "You will face all
kinds of temptation." I said,


I don't drink I don't gamble."
And my boyfriend's back home.

I'd face more temptation
if I was in Arkansas!


runner up, ladies and

gentlemen, Ms. South Carolina.

[cheers and applause]

is not a competition.

This is a corporation.

People at that age level do
not think in terms of

competing in the sense that, oh,
if I win, I'm going to get

a job with the Ford modeling
agency or something like that.

They want to build up their
self-esteem, find companions.

Ms. Senior America

National Queen, 2007.

[cheers and applause]

-How are you feeling?

-I feel good.

I'm just happy to
have been here.

How many women my age get to
appear on the stage in Las


-A little disappointment, or--

-No, no, no.

No disappointment.

I'm still a winner.

Life's been good do me, and
I'm gonna get married.

I've been a widow for
17 years, and

finally found a man.

Took me a long time.

A good man.

Good man loves me.

To him, I'm beautiful.

I'm the perfect woman.

I'm everything, you know?

I said, Jerrold, I'm 80!

I don't want you to be
disappointed in me, but what

you see is what you're
gonna get.


And I'm older than he is, but
he can drive at night.

That's a plus when you get
older, you know that?

that a lot of us carry

about aging are unduly negative
and harmful to us.

They actually found that the
type of belief system that a

person has about aging,
whether it's positive,

hopeful, and constructive, or
whether it's negative and just

looking-- there's no good side
to it, has more impact on

their health as they
get older.

And their blood pressure, then
their cholesterol level, even

then whether they smoke, all
of which are important, but

they found this was even
more important.

-For me, it was turning 50.

It was hard, you know?

There are some monsters
that come out of those

caves late at night.

No amount of sex, and no amount
of sleeping pills, and

no amount of drugs.

I mean, we do so much in our
society to try to mask and to

hold at bay these thoughts and
feelings and memories.

-People have often said
to me, aren't you

afraid of getting old?

I said, no, I've never
had that fear.

I knew that I was collecting
truths along the way.


I have a stick with a nail that
I go through life jabbing

it at truths.

And I pick them up, and put
them in my trash bag.

a little bit of time to

read this quote.

Atticus says to Scout, "You
never really understand a

person until you consider things
from his point of view,

until you climb into his skin
and walk around in it." We're

going to be starting our visits
to the Linda Valley

Villa, which is a retirement

So, we're going to try
this experiment.

You are going to get a
taste of what their

life is like today.

When you get older, something
that happens are cataracts.

I want you to take some
Vaseline, some petroleum

jelly, and just smear the
glasses, the outside of your

glasses, with it.

And these will be your
eyes for the rest

of the class period.

Take out the rocks.

Take off your shoe, and put
them in your shoe, OK?

When you get older, you know,
you've been walking on your

feet for years and years
and years, and your

feet begin to hurt.

[music playing]

Marisa, wrap these around
your knees.

Arthritis in your knees, OK?

So wrap them around.

Tighten them.

Put these gloves on.

We're going to fix you with
arthritis in your-- your

joints and your hands.

I want you to put these
pants on you.



The issue is not

to deny the limits of age.

There are physical limits,
but spiritually

there are no limits.

Psychologically and emotionally,
this can be not

when we retire, as someone
said to me

recently, but refire.

here is the man who will show

you how to feel better, look
better, Jack LaLanne!

-You know, what's all this
middle age and all this old

age business?

You know, what it?

Is there a law somewhere because
you're 30 or 35 or 40

years old or 50 or 60 or 70, you
have to get in a rocking

chair and die?

Jack LaLanne can't
afford to die.

Wreck my image.

Ready, begin.



That's why I tell people, you
only live once, because that's

why you should take
care of yourself.

The exercise is king,
nutrition's queen.

Put them together, you
got a kingdom.


Blow it out.

Inhale again.


I'm a salesman.

You know, think about it.

If you believe in something,
you sell it.

Now I have the answer to all
of your problems, the new,

long-play, high fidelity,

stretcher, time record.

Why did Jesus Christ perform
all those miracles?

To prove that His philosophy

You know, if Jack LaLanne's
philosophy doesn't work for

Jack LaLanne, it's not going
to work for you, is it?

That's why I did all those
incredible feats.

When I did the thousand chins
and the thousand push ups, and

I towed the 2,000 pound boat
from San Francisco across the

Golden Gate.

Then on my 70th birthday, I
towed 70 boats with 70 people

in the boats, my feet and hands
tied, a mile and a half

to Long Beach.

This is my workshop.

This is where I take care of the
most important person on

this Earth, me.

I work out every day
for two hours.

I invented a lot of the
equipment's in the gym today.

The first weight selector,
leg extensor machine.

I started inventing equipment
way back in 1931.

You know, in those days,
physical fitness, that was

unheard of.

Put in the carrots?

I'll put the carrots
in first, OK.

Push this down, and the
juice comes out here.

makes everything raw, whole.


Oh, that looks wonderful.

See how you like it.

That's carrot juice.


-Is that good?

-See what you're doing?

You're doing something
for you.

And it tastes good while
you're doing it.

You're putting raw, vital food
in this raw, vital body.

lest we know he likes it.

-I'm a selfish person.

When I put something in my Jack
LaLanne mouth, I say,

what is it doing for me?

Am I going to be lover
for my mate?

Am I'm going to get rid of
these aches and pains?

Am I going to be better
with my family?

-Jack, I was wondering
whether you could

tell me any kind of--

what I should be doing
to love for of a

long and healthy life.

What kind of exercise is it?

-Walking's good, but you've
got to do it vigorously.

You've got to walk like.

You're walking like this.

When you walking, you
go like, one, two.

Hands over head.

Push to the ceiling.

Bring those legs in,
pull that waist in.

Just like that.

You folks out there, try it.

Here we are.

Up, down.




No, straighten your
arms overhead.

-Like this?

-Hit the ceiling.


-Like this.

Punch it, punch it.

Now you've got it!

Now, when you're walking, see.

And pull that gut in.



-Straighten 'em out!

Put something into it.

Punch the ceiling.

Don't you know how to punch?

It's like this.

Boom, boom--


Boom, boom, boom.

-There you go.

Now walk are you're doing it.

Your health account and your
bank accounts are the same.

The more you put in, the
more you take out.

That's it, good.

are plenty of examples of

graceful aging, so why
be afraid of it?

All it takes, it seems,
is a little

commitment and a blender.

Jack sure makes it look easy.

There's so much

work to be done yet.

I can hardly wait for tomorrow
to get doing something.

Sitting on your big, fat
backside thinking, oh, I

remember the good old days and
the-- the gold old days are

this second!


This is the moment
I waited for!

This is it.

This moment controls
the next moment.

As I said before, who
makes it happen?


I was growing up, my mom had

exercised every morning in front
of the TV with Jack.

But even though his old school
cheerleading got results,

aren't we a bit more
advanced nowadays?

Does it all need to
be so strenuous?

I've often said

that aging is a barbaric

It's an uncivilized phenomenon
that should just not be

accepted and tolerated
in polite society.

I started off being a
computer scientist.

I did my undergraduate degree
business in computer science

in the mid-'80s, and I did
computer science research for

several years after that.

While I was doing that, I met
my wife, who is a biologist.

And we got together, and I
learned a lot of biology just

sort of by accident over
the dinner table over

the next few years.

And I was not just
learning biology.

I was also learning about what
biologists are interested in

and what they're not
interested in.

And I was extremely surprised to
discover that actually the

biology of aging was
a real backwater.

So eventually, I became
sufficiently annoyed about

this that I decided to
get into it myself.

I thought, well, you know, if
these people are not trying to

make a difference to the biology
of aging, then maybe I

can do something.

Aging is a repair and
maintenance problem.

The human body, of course, is
a very, very complicated

machine, but it's
still a machine.

So in principle, one ought to be
able to figure out ways to

repair that damage so
that the decline

in function is postponed.

If we think about the way that
postponement of the aging of a

machine works for really simple
machines, like cars for

example, if you maintain your
car only averagely, then maybe

it'll only last 15 years.

If you maintain it a little
bit better, you

maybe last 20 years.

But there is a threshold
level of, if you like,

comprehensiveness of repair and
maintenance above which

basically the sky's the limit.

That means that if we didn't
have aging at all anymore, the

average lifespan would be
somewhere around 1,000 years.

Some people would die much
younger than that just because

they got unlucky or they were
careless crossing the street,

and some people would live
a lot longer than that.

I predict that within about 10
years, so long as the funding

for the research is sufficiently
good, we may have

breakthroughs in the laboratory
in mice that will

make it clear that it's only a
matter of time before we can

essentially eliminate
aging in humans.

There's going to be a wide
variety of different stem cell

therapies to repopulate tissues

that are loosing cells.

There's going to be
vaccines involved.

There's almost certainly going
to be standard small molecule

drugs involved.

Lot's of different things
put together.

Now, the aging process will not,
of course, be eliminated

from the body in this way.

It'll be just like repair and
maintenance of a machine, so

it'll need to be reapplied

a little worried, Aubrey.

I'm 52 years old.

Is that too late for
your therapies?

Are they going to benefit
me at all?

-I can make no promises on this,
but I think by the time

these therapies come
along, you'll be

biologically 70 or 75.

Now, these therapies will be
bona fide rejuvenation

therapies, therapies that
actually restore the body to a

biologically younger, so
you'll be taken back to

biologically 40, shall we
say, by these therapies.

And as the therapies are
progressively improved in

their quality, then the next
time you're re-rejuvenated,

you may be going back
to biologically 30.

So absolutely, I think you've
got a fair chance

of making the cut.

-15 years from now, we're
really going to have the

fruits of this biotechnology
revolution where we can very

dramatically reprogram the
information processes that run

in our bodies.

We're going to be able add new
genes, turn off genes, really

reprogram who we are.

We'll have not just designer
babies, but

designer baby boomers.

The computers that are
now in your pocket

will be blood cell-size.

They'll be very intelligent.

We'll have millions of these
nanorobots, nanobots, going

through out bloodstream,
keeping us healthy form

inside, going inside our brains,
interacting directly

with our biological neurons,
and really

extending who we are.

Putting our brains on the
internet, giving us access to

vast resources of knowledge,
memory, problem-solving


So to my Baby Boomer peers, the
message is you really need

to be very aggressive, and yes,
then you can get into the

theater of radical
life extension.

You don't want to be the person
who doesn't get into

the theater.

there is a pill someone could

offer you, if you took it,
you'd live for 500 years,

would you take it?

-500 years?

Give me 500 more years?

Hell yeah, I'd take it.

-500 years?

Sounds good to me.

Off a pill?

-Since I've been through two
cancer operations and six

weeks of radiation,
I probably would.

It would make sense.

But I don't have to speak
to the Devil, do I?

-The most significant revolution
of our lifetime

will be the creation of
the ageless society.

It will dwarf the creation
of the computer.

Aging is no longer inevitable.

Anti-aging medicines are
a very contained, very

scientific, very objective
clinical science, but the

anti-aging marketplace, you
know, is everything from Botox

to plastic surgery to
sports medicine.

So it's around the kernel of
what anti-aging medicine is.

-I am proud to say I created the
Seven Dwarfs of menopause,

and they are itchy, bitchy,
sleepy, sweaty, bloated,

forgetful, and all dried up.

For many years, they lived
inside my body.

I just closed here in Las Vegas
a week ago, and people

would come backstage because I
run and leap and jump and do

and sing, and for 90 minutes
all by myself.

And the constant comment was
where do you get the energy?

Good thing I'm on hormones!

Oh, my God!

Hormones are the
juice of youth.

Hormones is what gives us
our quality of life.

Every single time use squeeze
Thigh Master, you straighten

and tone right where
you need it.

Everybody's focused on the
outside, but what I'm focused

in is on the inside.

I don't want my insides to have
accelerated aging because

that's not going to serve me
well down the road, especially

now that they're keeping us
alive longer than ever before.

I love that I can be at 60 years
old and feel so good.

It's not old anymore.

As we get older, we lose the

ability to rebuild ourselves.

Our cells start to age, and they
lose the ability to make

hormones, and hormones direct
the rebuilding process.

-See, hormones are this.

You go to the symphony, and
Zubin Mehta is the conductor.

And in the symphony, all the
players are professional

players, great players.

That's why they're there,
they're the best.

The major hormones, adrenal and
cortisol, are Zubin Mehta.

All the rest are the
professional players.

If Zubin's out of sorts or
doesn't show up or is burned

out, nobody knows what to do,
and so they all try to do it

the best they can, but nothing's
working right.

[awkward music playing]

So I got Zubin working
really well.

My adrenals are pumping
out perfectly.

[good music playing]

They're all playing the
same song, It's

all in perfect tune.

It's perfect inside me.

I take estrogen, progesterone,
DHEA, pregnenolone,

testosterone, HGH,
and melatonin.

That's my song.

And I do find that men, once
this light bulb goes off,

they're the first ones
at the doctors.

They're the first ones wanting
to do it, because what man

wants to lose his edge,
his maleness?

-Do you know how often you
should go and have a bowel

movement in a day, or--

I look forward to being 100,

120, and we actually
never have to die.

-Will this make me live a longer
life, do you think?


Help you live younger,
stronger, and longer.

really believe I'm going to

live to 100 or more,
and with my brain.

I want my brain.

I do not want to live
without my brain.


It's very special.

And then I want to play

Chrissy Snow again.


As a really, really
smart old lady.

[music playing]

was to offer you a pill you

could take that would make
you live 500 more years,

would you take it?

-I wouldn't take it because
I wouldn't want

to live that long.

I don't know, there's
something very, um--

it motivates me to know that
I have a limited time.

-500 years is a long time,
long time to live.

I think there's a reason why
we get old and die, just


-No, I wouldn't take it.


I think everything has an
expiration date, and you

shouldn't make it longer just
by taking some magical pill.

-Life is sweet because
it's short?

I don't know.

That's why.

[music playing]

reason there's interest in

people like Aubrey de Grey and
the other life extenders has

to do with the temper of our
age, which I think of as


There is something about my life
that is so important that

it must continue on and on,
regardless of the demographic

costs, regardless of the
environmental costs.

Every generation comes
with new ways of

thinking, new ideas.

And were I to crowd this Earth,
there will be no way of

clearing the atmosphere of the
rancid staleness that has come

on the present generation.

-It's not a question of
living to 1,000, or

living to 200, even.

I mean, I don't even know
whether I want to live to 100.

But I do know that I'd like to
make that choice when I'm 99

rather than having those choices
gradually taken away

from me by my declining

-It's my debt to everything that
has come before me, and

it's my obligation to everything
that comes after

me, that I die within
my allotted time.

-Lots of the people watching
this movie wouldn't be around

if we hadn't, in fact,
extended who we are.

Life expectancy was 23
a thousand years ago.

So we go beyond our limitations,
and we're going

to continue to do that.

And that's not narcissistic,
that's creative.

That's expanding our horizons.

That's what being human
is all about.

[music playing]

-It's called Newton's
Mathematical Bridge because it

was designed by Newton in honor
of the college where he

was an undergraduate.

So for me, I would obviously
like to benefit from the

therapies that I work on, so
I've decided to sign up to be

cryopreserved at and when, if
I'm unlucky enough to die of

anything related to old age or
anything, and that's because I

feel that once you've decide
that living a long time would

be a good thing, well, clearly
living a long time with a bit

of a gap in the middle is
just as god a thing.

[music playing]

-Cryonics is an experimental
research project whereby

people who are suffering from
incurable ailments today can

be preserved in the hopes of
basically transporting them to

a time where future medicine
can restore

them to healthy life.

We believe it is possible to
preserve a person and then

ultimately bring them back.

However, a lot of the technology
that's going to be

required to wake these people
up has yet to be developed.

pace of life all around us

quickens, science is on the
verge of making mankind's

dream of having more
time a reality.

[OFFSCREEN]: Some people, they

have more time, would just
fritter away more time.

They wouldn't get anything done
because they had more

time not to get things done.

Other people would use their
time and live several

different productive

Other folks would just
watch a lot more TV.

-I'm not in any hurry to
see the other side.

I'm, um--

I think I will--

I currently have two
graduate degrees.

I think probably three, four,
five more would be great.

I love to learn.

I like to travel.

I love my family.

I would love to see my

-This is Alcor Station

Our 83 patients are
currently stored.

We currently have 10 [inaudible]
that are in

operation right now.

Each of them holds four
whole body patients

inside, neuro patients.

They in effect act as giant,
stainless steel thermos

bottles requiring no
electricity, no support of any

kind except for the occasional
addition of liquid nitrogen.

This is one of our
whole body pods.

Each whole body patient is
wrapped in a sleeping bad and

strapped inside one
of these pods for

the long-term storage.

ever kind of creep you out

to think that there are people
here that could be revived, or

sitting here?

-I'm not creeped out by
the fact that there

are people in here.

I'm actually quite excited.

I know quite a few of them.

They're my friends.

I would love to see them again,
and it'll be one great

party when they come back.

-I'm not anxious to be dead.

If it works, I'll be part of
history and part of the future

at the same time.

-You know, as a science fiction
fan, it was something

that was extremely compelling
to me and didn't really

requirement much thought.

I signed up basically right
away, as soon as I found out

it was happening for real.

Our membership demographic has
traditionally included a lot

of engineers, scientists.

We see that demographic
changing now.

What we're seeing is more
families signing up.

Husbands, wives, a couple of
kids, because nobody wants to

go into the future alone.

-I worry that my family hasn't
signed up, but I'm not the

pushy type despite having been
a life insurance agent.

My wife is not certain that
she wants to sign up for

cryonics yet.

She's still wrestling
with that.

She's not quite as sure.

But I also realize that people
do move on after

death in the family.

People do move on after
bad things happen.

And so, I'll make a new future
if, um, if it comes to that.

-It seems like a good
idea to me.

I'm enjoying life.

I think life's wonderful.

-Not me.

I don't want to live with him
for another 500 years.

-No, that's right.

She doesn't want to.

I could get another
woman, though.

But I mean, the thing is, just
think of the fun you'd have.


I've had so much fun now.

I'm scared of dying because
I'm going to miss out.

-So Mark, I've been wondering,
what moves you

to make this movie?

uh, I just want more.

-More of life.

More of life.

And I feel like--

is my friend, Pico Iyer.

He's probably the sanest
person I know.

things, have experiences I

haven't had before.

-Is that-- so that suggests that
you don't feel a sense of



being a successful

writer, he's traveled just about
everywhere in the world.

He has a youthful spirit and a
wisdom beyond his 50 years.

-I think what we're seeing right
now is that everybody's

excitingly jumping on the
bandwagon of extended life and

new possibilities, but it's
too early to see what the

shadow side is or what
the cost is.

And so we're like people in a
restaurant greedily ordering

more and more dishes and not
realizing that at some point

the bill is going to
be presented, and

we're going to faint.

So it's going to be much
different than we imagined.

Maybe Pico has a point.

Even though I'm hungry for as
much life as I can get, how

would I fill up 500 years,
1,000 years?

-Would you like to
give it a try?


-The cost of a cryopreservation
is $150,000

for the whole body, and
it's $80,000 for a

brain-only neuro patient.

I mean, that

can get really expensive.

How many careers will
I have to pursue?

How many marriages?

How many documentaries are
out there to make?

Does a really long life
guarantee us a filled one?

I've noticed in the last

few years in my own life is that
I seek out older people,

much more than I used to.

And it's as if they've climbed
to the top of the mountain,

and they're looking out on a
much broader expanse than the

rest of us who are still huffing
and puffing, not even

knowing if we'll get
to the peak or not.

decided to ask the winners of

life's lottery, some of the
oldest people in the world.

But to find them, I
needed some help.

as the senior consultant

for Geritol [inaudible] for
Guinness World Records, my job

is basically to decide for
Guinness who is the world's

oldest person according to
scientific concepts.

The point is is they don't want
somebody to get a record

and to be embarrassed by
investigation that finds out

that it's not true.

We have people exaggerate
their age for

any number of reasons.

We have people claim to be I'm
divinely blessed by God, and

if you give me money, you're
going to life to be 120.

We've had people claim that
this is a spiritual thing,

that it's a religious thing.

And then we have bragging

People exaggerate their age to
say my people live longer than

your people.

I'm more interested in both
a quantitative and

a qualitative approach.

I want to know about
their history.

I want to know how
they managed to

survive such a long time.

I want to know about
their positive or

negative mental state.

-You want to say anything to
everybody in Los Angeles?


-Do you want to say anything?


often find that these people

have stories to tell.

It helps to remind people
that, you know, history

doesn't have to be dead.

So you are now the world's third
oldest person according

to "Guinness Book Of World
Records." So, I'm here to

bring you this copy.

-That's for you.

-That's for you.

I'll be back next year
if you're going to

be here next year.


I'll be here.


-Don't want to settle
for third place now.

Sometimes you make friends

with these people.

Normally, I try to only make
friends with them if they

appear to be in good shape
because if they look like

they're nearing the end of
the line, I don't want to

emotionally invest in someone
that is fixing to pass away.

And in cases where the person
appears to be healthy, such as

Bettie Wilson or Susie Gibson,
I was able to emotionally

invest in them because I
realized that they would

probably survive at least a
year, and we know that many

average friendships don't last
more than a year or two.

-Everyone stand for the
National Anthem.


realizing over time that I

used to believe you have 100%,
100% of the time, and I

realize that you're simply
going to burn

yourself out and die young.

And most of the people, it's
more of a 90% solution.

You have 90%, 90% of the time,
they're steady, they get up

the same time every day, they
go to bed at the same time

every day, they eat the same
thing on Wednesday that they

ate last Wednesday.

They don't get upset
about things.

They maintain family

They're just generally positive
people, but they're

realistic people as well.

How did you get this far?


-How did you get this far?

How did you get this far?

-Ask the Lord, because
I can't tell you.

that are living to be 114,

120, in addition to having all
the proper genes, they also

has a positive mental attitude,
and they made the

most out of their genetic

[music playing]

-[speaking japanese]

There's a difference between
longevity and long life.

Long life means living a long
time, even if you're

confined to a bed.

Longevity means you are healthy
and happy until the

day you die, so you die quickly
and peacefully.

One of the things that

interested us about the
Okinawans was their very low

rates of diseases associated
with the aging process,

particularly the big three
killers, heart disease,

cancers, and stroke.

Living to the age of 100 is not
an unusual thing, so 70 is

very young.

80, well, you're starting
to get up there.

90, well, a little bit, but
you're still going.

OK, maybe I'm thinking about
going to the other world at

age 100, but any time before
that is too soon.

What we're finding in our
studies is a lot higher levels

of disability as people age
in America versus Okinawa.

People are not only living
longer in Okinawa.

They're living longer and
in better health.

If we talk figures, we're
looking at approximately seven

years of disability at the end
of your life in America versus

about two and a half
in Okinawa.

If you look at why the Okinawans
live so long, we've

boiled it down to four
main factors.

One is diet.

It's a very low-calorie
diet but very

high in nutrient density.

Yeah, this would be a typical
Okinawan meal.

We've got a little
bit of fish here.

This is actually a bonito.

It's a tuna fish, very high
in omega-3 fatty acids.

This is sea grapes.

They're a type of seaweed.

One of the reasons why the
Okinawans have lived so long,

because of this very

calorie-poor diet.

The key combo, full of
micro-nutrients antioxidants,


-So low calorie density.

You're eating a lot of food that
actually the calories in

that quantity or that weight
of food is way less.


Calories per grams.

So you're eating more food int
total volume, but it has much

less calories in it, so
you get fuller faster,

and you stay full.

The second thing that we've
looked at is how active these

people are.

You don't see these
older people out

jogging on the street.

They're not going to the gym.

They're gardening,
they're walking.

They love traditional dance.

These activities are not things
they consciously follow

to keep active and healthy.

They're things they
do because they're

part of their lifestyle.

When we're looking at these very
old people, almost all of

them have something that gets
them out of bed in the

morning, something what
they call in Japan is

[speaking japanese].

There's a fisherman I know
up in the village.

His name is Nakamura Zeneisan,
and his [speaking japanese],

what gets him going every day,
is fishing, fishing done in a

traditional way.

In Okinawa, there's no
word for retirement.

People just keep on going with
what they've been doing.

They slow down, of course, but
they keep involved in some

kind of activity throughout
their lives.

It's my experience that people
in Okinawa are much more

relaxed, happy go lucky.

Things operate at a little
slower pace in Okinawa.

Nobody's ever on time.

I've been fishing with
Nakamurasan in the past, and I

was diving with diving gear.

All he had on were his little
handmade goggles,

no fins, and a wetsuit.

And I couldn't keep
up with him.

How many 92-year-old fishermen
do you know are out there

fishing the traditional way, not
just in a boat with a rod,

but diving without air, putting
the nets under the

water, chasing the
fish in there.

It's absolutely amazing.

-If I lived another 100 years,
it wouldn't change because

there'd be the excitement of
being alive, and getting up in

the morning, and saying which
way do I jump today?

How do I explode?

I put a stick of dynamite in my
mouth and light the fuse,

and it blows the hell
out of my head.

[music playing]

your secret to a long

life, Tyrus?

I've seen people age
so differently.

I've seen some people become
bitter and cynical and

defeated and broken, and I've
seen others become luminous

and joyful and radiant
as they age.

It's not that when they were 80
years old, they could run

the 100 yard dash as fast as
when they were 20, but they

weren't trying to do that.

They were in touch with the
beauties and the opportunities

of each life stage.

I think everything can be

divided into two big
classifications pretty much,

and that is the things you can
do something about and the

things you can't do
anything about.

I don't go to bed at night and
try to solve the problems of

tomorrow or in the past.

I don't have any fear about
becoming mentally incompetent

because I don't find myself
deteriorating in that area so

much as I do in my physique,
as far as what I can do


I've been a cardiothoracic
surgeon all my

professional life.

There's a sort of a general
opinion that people at my age

are inclined to be incompetent,
and I don't want

them to think that they're
getting poor care so I don't

mention my age very often.

But I have thought maybe I
might quit at, say, 95.

It's a round figure, you see.

I suppose when I quit being in
the operating room, I'll miss

it, because it's a sort of
a social life, you know?

Those are very fine people you
work with, and you get

acquainted with them, and
there's a social interaction

that goes on.

And I'll miss that, but I'll
find other things to do.

I sort of look at all my life as
being in chapters, and when

a chapter's over, I close
it, and that's that.

So the day I quit work, why,
I'll find something else to

keep myself occupied.

If I didn't have something that
I work at, then I would

be inclined, I think, to be
much more lethargic and to

give in to my periods of fatigue
or whatever it is that

you have when you're old.


You worked 15 hours yesterday!

But when I go into the

operating room, there's
something about it that it

stimulates me, that it's
a challenge there.

And my body then draws on its
reserves, and I feel a

energetic while I'm doing the
surgery, and I feel energetic

when I'm finished.

And that's one of the reasons
why I keep it up.

[music playing]

[rock music playing]

wouldn't have wanted to know

me when I was a kid.

They used to call me the little
bastard because you

never knew what I was
getting up to.

Buster's the oldest employee

in [inaudible].

He specifically washes the vans,
and we're privileged to

have the guy working for us.

And I mean, he puts the
youngsters to shame at times.

You know, sometimes you hear
the youngsters huffing and

puffing a little bit.

Not Buster.

He smokes, he drinks, he's out
all hours, but the guy's

always in on time, you know?

we started training for

the London Marathon
six months ago.

He's done one.

Now he wants to do the one up
in Edinburgh in Scotland, so

there's no holding
him back now.

He wants to keep doing them, and
if he wants to keep doing

them, I'll keep training him.

I've always been fit.

I don't eat fish.

I don't eat dairy products.

I do not need red meat, veg.

I don't drink tea.

I don't drink water.

No, I don't drink any
water in a marathon.

Give me a beer.

Yeah, I'll have that.

That's different.

many years have you been

smoking for?

-Since I was seven.

say, "I was smoking since

I was seven?" Sorry, Buster.

-I just said that!

but we're cutting out my

questions for the interviews,
so could you answer the

question again, if you could?

-How about you answer your
question to come first, and

then my answer like it's just
I'm waiting for a cue?

That's not how I speak.

You ask me a question, and I'll
answer it straight away.

So if it intermingles
with yours, that is

complication, isn't it?

See, he asked me to keep
repeating his words.

I just--

I'm following--

[interposing voices]

-Look, don't try
and put words!

I'm not an actor!

Oh, Mark, my life's always

been wonderful, but the best
part of it was over 50.

You don't care anymore about
what people think about you.

You're just your own person.

You've accumulated a lot of
information and knowledge, and

you're ready for new
adventures, and

you take them freely.

It's a good time to be.

I wrote a book that's called
"28,000 Martinis," and I'm a

vegetarian because I don't
believe in killing.

You know, there are lots of
vegetables and fruits, but I

always have vodka every night.

The book is about martinis.

It's about evolution.

It's about my life
and my family.


I remember--

I think the most vivid memory
of my whole 100 years is the

day that peace was declared, the
First World War, because

we were told there would
never be another war.

Just think how you would feel
if you really believed there

would never be another war.

Wouldn't it be wonderful?

If only is it become
a reality.

My husband and I, we saw the
approaching of the Second

World War, and we said, well,
when the war comes, we want to

be able to do something, but
we're too old to join the Army

or the Navy.

And we had children, anyway.

Uh, what can we do?

We said perhaps we can learn to
fly so we can ferry ships.

So we learned to fly.

I don't believe in a God, and
I don't go to church.

I don't believe in churches.

I think they're too

I believe there are only
really three laws.

One, the law of cause
and affect.

What you give out comes
back to you.

The others, free will
and free choice.

People say, why did God
let that happen?

God didn't let it happen.

We let it happen by making
bad choices.

And then the most important
one is the law of love.

I don't think one person could
possibly learn all those

things in one life, so I think
this is a kindergarten.

I think we're here to learn all
of those special lessons.

I'm thinking of writing
a book on miracles.

One miracle that I love is
that I was working with a

committee to banish
nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, we thought
we were getting

somewhere, but we didn't.


you know, one thing I don't
want you to do is tell

yourself you're going to
forget, because you do.

I can't remember where I was.

[music playing]

mother struggled with dementia

in her later years, and every
time I forget a name or an

interview question, which I
confess is happening more and

more, I worry that the illness
is creeping up on me as well.

Members come to vibrantBrains

just like a health club where
it's convenient for them to

use the variety of software
programs through our Neurobics

Circuit Training program in an
environment that's conducive

to a good work out.

Just like at the gym where you
might have someone telling you

how many reps to do on which
machine, which day, we have a

similar program here.

So as you can see, the gym
consists of 20 different

computer stations, and I'd love
to show you some of the

games, if you'd like to
walk through yourself.


So I'm finding recently I walk
into a room, and I have no

idea why I walked in, or I
forget someone's name.

Are any of these exercises I'm
going to be doing going to

improve that?

-Yes, they will.

The programs that we have here
at vibrantBrains help increase

a person's chances of
staying cognitively

fit longer in life.

I didn't do too well with

those exercises.

I always hated going
to the gym, anyway.

-OK, I have a prescription
for everyone.

Just to laugh for 10 minutes
every day for no reason.

Put your hands like this.

I'm going to warm up exercise.

Go huh, huh, huh.

Ha ha.

Huh huh.

Ha ha.


Huh huh!

Ha ha!

Huh huh!

Ha ha!

Huh huh!

Ha ha!

Huh huh!

Ha ha!

Huh huh!

Ha ha!

My name is Madan Kataria.

I'm a medical doctor
from Mumbai, India.

Laughter yoga, laughter club, is
a new concept where anyone

can laugh for no reason.

The yoga part of laughter yoga
comes from combining yoga

breathing with laughter

-This is the starting your
engine laughter.

You take an imaginary key,
and you crank your

engine in four laughs.


frequently tell them that the

reason we are sad, depressed,
the reason we have stress and

all the illnesses because there
is a lack of oxygen in

the body cells.

With the 15 to 20 minutes of
laughter yoga and breathing

exercises, it energizes, it
brings more oxygen to your

body and brain.


Then take a long, deep breath.

Hold it.

Hold it.

Hold it!


My dear laughter friends, today
is the world laughter

day, a very special day.

Some people claim that laughter
has tremendously

helped them recover from cancer,
from pretty harsh and

serious physical illnesses.

Good health is not
about vitamins or

taking good food only.

It's about breathing, your
breath and oxygen.

We use laughter as a primary
excuse to breath, as a

secondary excuse to [inaudible]
happy feeling,

happy chemistry, to
change attitude.

If you laugh, you are happy,
you live longer.

Laughter will not change
your life.

It will change you.


in the Bible, the old,

old book. "A merry heart doeth
good like a medicine." They've

known this for thousands
of years.

Now before we get off the
subject of old, I have some

tricks for you.

If you visit an old folk's home,
don't ever set a drink

down, because every time I did,
somebody dropped their

teeth in it.

I would urge people
to laugh more.

Children laugh as much
as 400 times a day.

Adults, 20 at the most.

You know you're old when your
walker has been airbag.

And they discontinued
your blood type.

Somebody compliments you on
your alligator shoes, and

you're barefoot.

Laughter fluffs up every
cell in your body.

All the time you're laughing,
every cell is laughing.

Because what you do in your mind
your whole body is doing.


And then you have long life,
and a good life, and people

want to be with you.

And that keeps the whole
fire burning.

Calment, who lived to

be 122 years of age, is by far
the oldest verified person in

scientific history.

We have more documents to prove
her age than for any

other case.

She had three of the
longevity keys.

She loved olive oil, she loved
wine, and she loved chocolate.

We know that she smoked about
one or two cigarettes a day.

She tended to stay active.

At age 85, she took
up fencing.

At age 100, she was riding
her bicycle.

Jeanne Clement lived on her
own, by herself, without

assistance until two weeks
before her 110th birthday when

her cooking started a fire, and
they decided it was time

to move her into
a nursing home.

And if Jeanne Clement had great
genes, then she had a

great constitution, and she had
a great mental fortitude.

At her 115th birthday party,
basically they asked her what

does she do all day?

She said, "I think, I dream,
I go over my life.

I never get bored." Just this
very positive attitude, that

joie de vivre, seems to
be the way to go.

Calment certainly had a

great set of genes.

I wonder if I'm as
lucky as she was.

My mother lived to 85,
and my dad is still

going strong at 87.

100 years shouldn't be
out of question for

their son, should it?

It just doesn't seem fair.

I exercise.

I don't eat red meat.

I take dozens of daily

I drink oceans of green tea, and
I can still develop colon

cancer tomorrow.

But some Frenchwoman lives
on wine and chocolate and

[inaudible], and makes
it to 122.

Why should I work so
hard if there's no

guarantee for a long life?

Or maybe there is.

Initially I knew nothing about

calorie restriction and didn't
really care about longevity.

I just went to the
medical library

to learn about nutrition.

And then I happened upon Roy
Walford's research with

rodents showing that when you
give them less, in some cases

a lot less, than what
they normally eat--

30%, 40%, 45% less--

they live much, much longer,
sometimes as much as 50% or

60% longer.

So I thought, well, it works
in rodents, and then I

discovered later it works in
fish, it works in insects, it

works in basically
every species in

which it's been tried.

Maybe it works in
humans as well.

The average American man
probably eats about 3,000

calories a day.

People on the calorie
restriction diet, I think I

know someone who's eating about
1,500 calories a day.

If you were on a strict and
somewhat severe version of

this diet for, let's say, four
years, you'd probably gain an

extra year of life.

And given that I started the
diet when I was 29, I can say

in my case I could expect
to live to be maybe 140.

Food can be a comfort to a lot
of people, especially people

who are alone, people who don't
have a lot of other

sources of joy in their life.

And for someone like
that, a diet like

this might be difficult.

They would have to get joy from
food in a different way.

a grand thing to be a food

critic in the age of Lipitor.

I will be the first person
to say that.

That being said, I have to be
cognizant of what the food is

doing to my body, and I'm sort
of the experimental stomach

for the city of Los Angeles
and a lot of places.

My doctor talks about it a
lot, but I could probably

stand to lower my croissant

I've always been pretty
interested in food.

In sixth grade, I had a bulletin
board that had all my

poems, and my poems were
all about food.

You know, banana fritters, and
green tea, ice cream, and

potato chips.

And you know, I suppose that
potato chips were for me what

daffodils were for Wordsworth.

Eating is one of the great
pleasures of life.

Sitting at a table with your
friends and with your family,

having food that you spent
hours preparing.

It's a way of expressing

And I think people with severe
dietary restrictions--

and believe me, in Los Angeles,
they are legion--

are indeed missing out on a lot
that life has to offer.

This kitchen does a
really good job.

They have a nice,
lose texture.

They're-- they're luscious.

They have a soft--

find it very difficult to talk

about food with people who talk
about what they aren't

eating as opposed to what
they are eating.

And this is the, um,
insalata caprese.

Sometimes it seems like

everybody in Los Angeles, or
everybody in certain zip codes

in Los Angeles, is on some kind
of a diet or another.

You know, there's Scarsdale,
there's the Zone diet, there's

the 20/40/40 or whatever
that one is.

People are eating only protein,
or only fat, or only


And I the idea of going to place
like Spago and asking

for your halibut grilled,
no oil, sauce

on the side if perverse.

[music playing]

It's like deciding not to have
sex because that somehow is

going to dissipate your
vital fluids.

To the extent that libido, per
se, is closely linked to

testosterone levels-- in
men at least, and it

might be also in women--

it's likely that libido would
decrease in men on this diet.

as far as the calorie

restriction diet, that's a
real deal breaker for me.

-The best contraceptive for
old people is nudity.

no hurry to compromise my

sex drive in my senior years.

[music playing]

[speaking japanese]

When you retire, you
have no work.

Many retirees experience
a feeling of emptiness.

They have a hard time finding
something to do

with their free time.

Everybody's different, but
spiritual uplift is

necessary for all.

Some find it an art
or in sports.

Others find it in
volunteer work.

In any event, to find a purpose
in life is important.

I've done over 200
adult films.

Elder porn has increased in
popularity, and I am partly


When I was young, I had little
experience with women.

I was very serious,
and very proper.

Nowadays, I tell my wife that
I'm a late bloomer.

I'm making up for lost time.


I personally think the right
amount of sex is uplifting for

the spirit.

t even helps one
stay youthful.

Sex, after all, is a method
of rejuvenation.

every Japanese senior is

as lively as Shigeo.

[music playing]

[speaking japanese]

The Japanese have a fondness
for robots.

You can see it in their
anime and manga.

So the domestic robot is
very advanced in Japan.

They find it easy to believe
that souls exist within

various inanimate objects.


We introduced robot therapy to

replace animal therapy
for seniors.

-I came up with the idea
for a personal robot.

It doesn't do any work.

It's more like a pet.

Paro is about the same
size as a baby.

We tried to design it to
trigger the memory

of holding a baby.

It's not just its size that
accomplishes this, but we try

to emphasize body contact.

We encourage stroking, cuddling,
and embracing Paro.

Paro provides useful therapy
for both men and women.

There was a 94-year-old man who
purchased Paro and named

it after his wife who had passed
away 10 years earlier.

Since his wife's death, he had
spent many days all by himself

without speaking to anyone.

Through his interaction with
this personal robot, Paro now

exists as his new partner,
and he is very happy.

[speaking japanese]

-I'm married.

In Okinawa there's a folk

belief that older people have
this kind of spiritual power

that helps achieve their health
and longevity, and they

can pass this on to
other people.

It's called [speaking japanese].

It's a ritual in Okinawa.

The older person will touch you,
or if you touch the older

person, they can pass
this on to you.

It's very interesting.

It shows this kind of folk
belief in Okinawa in the

spiritual power of
older people.

-Tomorrow you will
be partnered up

with a senior citizen.

Please be respectful, which you
are, and use your manners.

When I first found out,
I was kind of,

like, oh, my goodness.

We're going to the
nursing home.

Because I just pictured, you
know, kind of like awkward

situations, and it kind of being
smelly. just kind of

took the stereotypes of what
a nursing home was.

-Right here in the lavender.

-I've heard that, you know,
like, the older people, you

feel you've lived so long,
you want to tell

your story to somebody.

Otherwise it just seem
pointless that

you've lived that long.

-My job every morning was to
take my little syrup buckets,

take it to the back door of the
creamery, and they would

fill it for me for $0.05.

-I used to play the ukulele.


-I think about getting
old quite often.

I try imagining, and I
don't have a picture

in my head at all.

It's kind of more frightful.

I'm kind of scared of it.

It's a really great experience
to talk to somebody who's been

there, done that, but isn't
trying to, like I say,

influence you in a certain way,
just to tell you their

life story.

And then you take from
that what you will.

-Oh, good morning.

-Hi, how are you?

-I have no secrets
to a long life.

God gave me one day at a time.

I don't have any dentures, and I
don't have any hearing aids.

My hearing is not perfect, but
if you speak distinctly, which

everybody should, I can
hear very well.

didn't feel that I was old

until I was 95.

I went to Disneyland on my 90th
birthday, and I drove the

car until I was 101.

At my age, it isn't
how you look.

It's how you feel that's

I ride the bicycle 15 minutes
for seven to eight miles a

day, five days a
week at least.

And then I life 5-pounds
weights, two of them, for

about five minutes.

Not any big deal.

It would be nice if we could
pick out how we're going to

die, just go to sleep, but each
one of us has to take it

as it comes.

So you often wonder what's
going to get you.

[music playing]

-We live a long time
here at Loma Linda.

I'm 84, and she's over 100.

do you live so long?

-Because we don't eat meat.

I think that's one big reason.

And then we're happy.

-Yes, you seem happy.

-Yes, we're very happy, because
we love the Lord.


Loma Linda is one of those hot

spots in the world where
people live longer.

Some of us have jokingly said,
well, it's not longer, just

seems longer.


It's within the advent
of theology.

We understand the body to be a
temple in the sense that God

values our physical being,
therefore we

want to care for it.

It's one of the ways
of honoring Him.

That is the driving issue--

-What we have with Seventh Day
Adventism is we've got a sort

of healthy way of processing

They keep the Sabbath.

They rest from sundown to
sundown, Friday to Saturday.

But that's one of the things
we're studying.

How many people do that,
and does it help them?

-It's a time when you pull back
and just realize I can

have a period of time where
I'm not so relentlessly

pursuing the duties that I have
every other day of my


-Can you say, "My husband passed
out on the plane?"

-That sounds like a nice idea.

I wouldn't mind having a 24-hour
period off, you know?

It's like, yeah.

You know, unplug, contemplate,
connect with the sacred.

-Turn here and keep going.

Don't stop.

Mark, I think you've got

to take a break.

You're just spending too much
time on this movie.

You've got to get
away from it.

-I'm totally, totally
drained by it.

I don't know what to do.

-I can believe it because you're
spending all your time

thinking about death instead
of enjoying your life.

I've known you 16 years.

I've never seen you
so stressed.

This movie is taking
up your life.

It's a movie about extending
your life.

It's clouding and complicating
your life.

You just need to get away,
take a vacation.

Go somewhere completely

suggested Iceland because of

its natural beauty and its
rejuvenating waters.

He was right.

It was a great place
to unplug.

For a while, that is.

In Depth tonight, a small

country that's giving the
whole world valuable

information about our health.

In recent months, a biotech
company in Iceland--

yes, Iceland--

has been making important
discoveries about genes for

common conditions such as heart
disease, stroke, cancer,

even mental illness.

turns out Iceland is another

longevity hot spot.

It boasts the longest lifespan
for males on the planet.

But the prospect of talking to
yet another gerontologist

about the benefits of cod liver
oil or another amazing

100-year-old about his daily
exercise routine

just left me cold.

buried people who just came

out of the doctor's office, and
people coming out of the

health food store, you know,
getting their soy bean

solutions, et cetera,
et cetera.

But I've never, ever, ever
buried anybody that dropped

dead coming out of a Coney
Island hot dog stand.

And I thought it might be the
safest place in the world.

Take a walk, have a hot dog,
you feel better, you know?

Can we get an Oki Dog, a
pastrami burrito, no cabbage.

This is a signature creation.

It's a Oki Dog.

It's a tortilla, and inside is
cheese, two hot dogs, prize

pastrami, and pickles,
mustard, and chili.

Oh, my God.

-If we get too concerned about
the diet or medication or

eating or any of it to excess,
the very fact that we're so

obsessive about the body is
going to make you sick anyway.

-You've got to have a
bite of the Oki Dog.

hunger for a long life as

a kind of craving, and any
craving makes us its subject

and leaves us the poorer,
whether it's a craving for

food, or craving for sex, or
craving for money, or in this

case a craving for life.

-It looks like you've barely
touched you Oki Dog.

-So I don't see the hunger
for long life as being

narcissistic so much as
being short sighted.

It's like a child saying I don't
want to go to sleep.

I want to stay here in the
room with the adults even

though it's 10 o'clock.

And in fact the child is tired,
and is making it's own

life a misery and making
everyone else's life misery.

So I think a part of us is that
whining, bawling child

refusing to accept our
natural limitations.

[music playing]


-What does what?

Oh, that's Sugar.

She's taking your picture.


Do you realize that
you are the oldest

person in the world?


-You are the oldest person
in the whole world.





Doesn't seem like it, does it?

if I could give you a pill

that would let you live 500 more
years, would you take it?

[music playing]

think of life as a movie or a

book, really the most important
thing is the end.

That's what makes sense of
everything that's come before.

That's what puts it
into perspective.

Death makes sense of
everything that

comes before it.

So either to eliminate the end
of the story or not to think

about it is almost to distort,
to deform, the

whole shape of it.

[clock ticking]

you ask my mom if there's

anything to fear about death,
of the process of dying?

-Just like being born, it's
just another part of the

living experience.

And you're dead longer than
you're alive, and there's

nothing to fear because all your
relatives and friends are

going to be here to meet you
and greet you, and the

animals, and everything
that you've loved.

And what you do here in life
will be expanded on the other

side as well.

And there's nothing to fear
on your leaving the body.

You're ascending to just another
level of intelligence.

you're saying that?

-It wasn't me.

Your mom is saying would you
really want to live to be 100?

Would you want to be 100?

She says after a while, you're
not going to want to be 100.

She wants you to just
stop worrying.

She's only a part of you

because you're a part of her.

It doesn't go away.

There will be signs.

You might hear a song on the
radio that she liked, or

you'll be looking at her artwork
or a painting that she

did, and you'll be
reminded of her.

You may even hear her voice
speaking to you.

[music playing]

a light in here?


[music playing]

are you looking for?

-I don't know.

I'm looking for my mom's--

something of my mom.

Me as a baby with a dog.

sure artists and musicians,

you know, and painters and
filmmakers and every other

kind of creative person is
trying to get something on the

planet that will outlive them.

Maybe because or maybe
unrelated to

the fact that they--

they're not certain
about heaven.

They're not certain
if they'll really,

properly haunt somebody.

So, yeah, maybe.

Maybe not.

Wait and see, I always say.

That's the answer to
almost all prayers.

Wait and see.


[music playing]