The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Salinger




Shane Salerno’s documentary about J. D. Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye, is perhaps overlong but entertaining nonetheless. Some of us never forgot reading Catcher (a definite rite of passage) but it may have been off our radar for too long. Salinger brings back just how important this classic’s impact was, besides revealing much about its author who died in 2010 at the age of 91.

As informative and lively as this documentary is, there’s a touch of irony to the whole enterprise. Salinger would never allow a film to be made of his famous novel, and it’s more than likely he’d shun this exploration, warts and all. He hated Hollywood and above all, phonies – and he’d probably find evidence of it here. It may not be the whole truth (does it even exist?) but it’s a fascinating portrait of an odd and secretive artist.

Who knew Salinger had the first eight chapters of The Catcher in the Rye tucked within his battle fatigues as he stormed Normandy Beach on D-Day? There’s much on view about his wartime experiences, aptly suggesting the “ghost in the machine” that would inform the shell-shocked tone of his writings. These images are often harrowing.

There’s a lovely segment about the beautiful Oona O’Neill, whom Salinger dated (before she married Charlie Chaplin). Throughout this documentary, Director Salerno provides splendid archival footage highlighting the era Salinger lived through, nicely edited within the usual talking heads of friends, family and fans. Two episodes detail ardent fans seeking Salinger out in modern times. It’s surprising to hear how the supposed reclusive writer interacted with these stunned admirers.

At 130 minutes, Salinger at times feels over padded. The reenactments by an actor as the world-renowned writer sitting down at a typewriter are definitely cliché and should have been left on the editing floor. Still, for most fans, the ultimate effect is thrilling. Towards the finale, it’s announced that new, unpublished writings of Salinger’s will be released within the next couple of years. Perhaps the greatest impact of seeing Salinger will be making one want to reread The Catcher in the Rye along with his other stories.
(Review by David Bacon)




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