Even The Weinstein Company, charged with marketing Shane Salerno‘s nine-years-in-the-making documentary “Salinger,” wasn’t able to suppress before release the film’s biggest secret—that legendary author J.D. Salinger had five unreleased novels finished before his death, novels that his estate to are planning to release before 2020. But the documentary purports to be much more than a series of twists, although it does adopt the aesthetic of a thriller. Five new clips and a last-minute trailer have just debuted, showing that Salinger was a symbol that of which we only witnessed a fraction.
Produced without the use of any archival audio or film footage of Salinger—because it simply doesn’t exist—Salerno instead uses dozens of interviews to recount the many facets of the author, including appreciation from actors Martin Sheen and Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as more intimate acquaintances such as A.E. Hotchner and Joyce Maynard. Maynard, an American author whom Salinger dated, is the focus of one of five new clips from the film, where she recounts a love letter he sent to her without her even realizing the source.
The other clips range from the proximity of “Catcher in the Rye” to many assassination attempts—and the toll those instances might have taken on Salinger—to a more positive montage of that famous book’s international reach. We caught the film at Telluride and called it a “compelling mystery yarn” that made the writer “seem alternately more mundane and more mysterious, almost at the same time”.
The film will be a last-minute Toronto International Film Festival screening, but other cinema goers can check it out when it’s released in limited this weekend before expanding further down the line. In the meantime, check out the clips and trailer below. [Cinema Blend]