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Catching Salinger: The Search for the Reclusive Writer J. D. Salinger
Catching Salinger The Search for the Reclusive Writer J D Salinger
Actor: Frederic Beigbeder
Director: Jean-Marie Perier
Genres: Documentary
NR     2009     0hr 53min

With the publication in 1951 of his book Catcher in the Rye, Jerome David Salinger became one of the fundamental American writers of the 20th century. But for reasons that still remain shrouded in mystery, he disappeared i...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Frederic Beigbeder
Director: Jean-Marie Perier
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 07/28/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 0hr 53min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

Departure of a Giant
Volunteer of America | Austin, Texas | 01/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As everybody knows by now, Salinger died yesterday at the age of 91, having last published in 1965 and interviewed in 1980.

This is an insightful film that does a good job of exploring the most reclusive figure of modern literature. As Jay McInerney, interviewed by the film's protagonist, observes: Salinger summed up perfectly adolescent angst and the coming of age. He has no rivals in this area.

In general, I like the French take on things American. They were on to Poe and Lovecraft long before anyone in this country. Writer Beigbeder's observations are cogent and original, his interviews and travels revealing. It's a very original exploration of a topic that is shrouded in mystery."
Think Deeply Before You Choose This Voyage!
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 07/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A French author leaves France and travels to the US to see if he can meet the reclusive JD Salinger, author of "Catcher in the Rye."

At first, I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep watching it. Much of the beginning in France has that cheesy 1970s-like translating from French to English that most Americans can't stand. I was also wondering why a Frenchman was so into this American writer when I don't know many Americans who are diehard fans of living French novelists. Then I thought about a high school English teacher who was moved to visit Jean-Paul Sartre's grave once.

Much of this will feel like the gushy praise of any fans of a celebrity. However, it also involves celebrated artists reflecting on an influential, creative mind. It reminds me of how actors dig deeply into their characters at times when most viewers look at the characters at face value. Only if you are willing to dig deep and meditate seriously on this artist should you watch this. At first, I wanted to learn more about the nature of reclusiveness. However, this work is focused on the literary and biographical; it leaves psychological matters to the side.

At one point, the French narrator speaks to some Canadian geese. On the one hand, the geese are one of the many things one encounters in "Catcher in the Rye." On the other hand, why is film being wasted on a human speaking to animals!? The work is anti-climactic: there are things he could have brought up at the start that he very deceptively only presents near the end.

This is not cliff notes for "Catcher." Students won't be able to use this as a cheat sheet. Still, I'm uncertain if English teachers should show this to their class. It may be too off-point. High school students may not have the patience for this meditation. Nevertheless, I think there will be an audience for those who want to go on this voyage. Older Salinger fans may really love this."