May 10, 2013 at 9:59 AM
The story behind ‘Salinger’ – or not
Here’s one of this week’s more interesting reads: a New York Times piece about the story behind “Salinger,” the documentary about reclusive “Catcher in the Rye” writer J.D. Salinger. Nine years in the making and kept carefully under wraps (the tiny handful of people who’s seen it are contractually forbidden to disclose any details), it’ll be released in September, and may make a select film-festival appearances before then (not SIFF, alas). Filmmaker Shane Salerno, who’s better known for writing the screenplays for noisy feature films (“Savages,” “Armageddon,” “Shaft”), began investigating Salinger in 2004, but work on the film accelerated after the writer’s death in 2010. Apparently nobody has seen the finished film: not Harvey Weinstein, who acquired it after a secret Oscar-morning partial screening; not PBS “American Masters” producer Susan Lacy, who viewed part of it and snapped it up for January airing; not Simon & Schuster president Jonathan Karp, who likewise got a peek at some of the film and agreed to a companion oral history book, to come out in September with the film’s release. Clearly they all saw something tantalizing; yet Salinger’s son says that neither he or his father were involved with the film in any way, nor were Salinger’s small circle of intimate friends. So . . . what’s in the film? Is this all Weinstein hype? I’d guess yes, except the PBS/S&S element gives me pause. Anyway, interesting story, bringing an agreeable element of mystery to the project. We’ll find out in September if there’s anything to it.