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, SALINGER is about to unleash the greatest second act of any writer in history.
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 released SALINGER yesterday (September 6th), one day after sneaking it into the Toronto International Film Festival at the very last second on September 5th. 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.
Recently Charlie Rose sat down with the film’s director, Shane Salermo, who has devoted the last ten years of his life to the making of this film. It is an extraordinary conversation and you can watch it in full below.