At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, those lucky enough to be in attendance were the very first to catch a glimpse of the upcoming documentary on the life of reclusive author J.D. Salinger. Helmed by writer/director Shane Salerno, the superb trailer for SALINGER was released online yesterday for the rest of the world to see, and it is a breathtaking work to say the least.
Living reclusively after much-noticed publications early in his career, J.D. Salinger (1919-2010) last published an original work in 1965, and gave his final interview in 1980. The documentary explores the dark side of Salinger’s life, and uncovers the inner demons which plagued Salinger and caused him to turn inwards in the later years of his life. Adding to the power of the film is the impressive list of participants, including: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, A. Scott Berg, Elizabeth Frank and Gore Vidal.
The Weinstein Company will be releasing SALINGER on September 6th, with premieres almost certainly to be announced soon for the upcoming Telluride and TIFF festivals. Salinger’s iconic 1951 novel The Catcher In The Rye is, of course, front and centre in the documentary. Originally intended for an adult audience, the novel quickly became popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world’s major languages, with around 250,000 copies sold each year, and total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel’s protagonist and antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion, as well as numerous murders, assassinations, and assassination attempts, such as John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, and many more.