Salinger

Salinger

Shane Salerno’s much-hyped J.D. Salinger documentary Salinger starts off promisingly enough – a man sits in his car staring at a small post office with a long-lens camera in his hand, narrating a story about the last time he sat in his car staring at a small post office with a long-lens camera in his hand (well, presumably it’s the last time he did this). Photographer Michael McDermott leads off the film with a story about how, in 1979, he traveled to New Hampshire with one aim and one assignment – photograph the elusive Salinger for Newsweek. His only tip? The author receives his mail at a local post office, just across the state line, in tiny Windsor, Vermont. McDermott waited outside the post office for hours, days, until he finally saw the man, ultimately capturing one of the first known photographs of the extremely private writer in the latter portion of his life. For the last half of his life, Salinger lived in Cornish, New Hampshire, a somewhat remote, somewhat isolated area of the state, just across the Connecticut River from Vermont. His choice of residence should have made it plain – don’t come here, I don’t want you here – but his decision was never fully honored by both his adoring public and newshounds looking for a story. The film is rife with arguments about whether or not Salinger was a true recluse – one talking head compares him to Howard Hughes while another refutes the claim simply […]

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Salinger

A superstar author who goes into hiding, a vault of unpublished work, a military past filled with haunting images. This is the suspense thriller of Shane Salerno‘s J.D. Salinger documentary. Making his directorial debut, the writer with credits on (no kidding) Savages and Shaft (2000) has conducted interviews with hundreds of people — including those who knew the iconic writer of “Catcher in the Rye” and creative minds like Edward Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman who were influenced by his work. There’s no doubt that the author left behind plenty of mysteries, and Salinger purports to solve (or at least explore) them. At the very least, it should provide a well-anticipated look into the life and career of a man who was responsible for millions of worn out paperbacks. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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JD Salinger

According to Deadline Hollywood, The Weinstein Company has acquired the rights to release Salinger into theaters. No word yet on when they plan to release the documentary about the famously reclusive author of “The Catcher in the Rye,” “Franny and Zooey,” and others. The deal is a testament to the quality of the work from director Shane Salerno (the writer of Savages and, no kidding, Shaft). He and his team first showed it to American Masters who made a deal to show it as part of their programming early next year. They then showed it to publisher Simon & Schuster who made a deal to publish a biography written by Salerno with David Shields. They then showed it to The Weinstein Company who made a deal to put it in theaters. Basically, everyone they show it to wants to take out their checkbooks and put a lot of zeroes on the line. In other news, we’re getting a thorough documentary of a genius. A glimpse into a world he kept hidden for most of his life. That raises a lot of interesting ethical issues regarding privacy and how we truly value an artist’s wishes, but the appeal of a fascinating story is close to overwhelming.  

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