May 26, 2011 / Filmwell
Kenji Koiso has his summer vacation all planned out: he and his friend Sakuma have …
January 30, 2010
“I can understand somebody going to the movies because there’s nothing else to do, but when somebody really wants to go, and even walks fast so as to get there quicker, then it depresses hell out of me. Especially if I see millions of people standing in one of those long, terrible lines, all the way down the block, waiting with this terrific patience for seats and all.”
Holden Caulfield, Catcher In The Rye
Like his most famous protagonist, J.D. Salinger doesn’t appear to have been much of a movie fan. Nobody got rights to film his books, though many tried – “save for Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, which was made into a 1949 movie entitled My Foolish Heart, that reportedly caused great consternation and unhappiness with Salinger” (Kim Morgan). Somehow Salinger himself ended up a character in one of my favourite books, W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe (which played brilliantly with the whole notion of the biographical fallacy), but when the story moved to the silver screen in an otherwise faithful adaptation, Salinger became a similarly reclusive but more political (and more fictional, not to mention much blacker) writer, Terence Mann.
Kim Morgan has posted an entertaining piece at MSN Movies about Salinger and cinema, where she considers films (including Field Of Dreams) with some sort of a J.D. connection.
“If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me.” So said one of literature’s most famous protagonists, Holden Caulfield, in one of the most famously unadapted novels of the 20th century, “The Catcher in the Rye.” A work sought after by producers, directors and actors, including Samuel Goldwyn, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Di Caprio and Jerry Lewis, all intent on making their statement via its famously reclusive author, it’s likely no version of the novel will ever find its way to the big screen. . . . From direct inspiration of story, characters and theme, to quick but telling references, to compelling (or syrupy) speeches, to conspiracy theories, here’s a look at Salinger in cinema. . . .
Igby Goes Down (2002) “Perhaps the most direct inspiration of Holden Caulfield is Igby, the rebellious, cynical and damaged teenager…”
Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
The Good Girl (2002) – with passing reference to Jake Gyllenhaal “playing another Caulfield type in Donnie Darko.
Finding Forrester (2000)
The Collector (1965)
The Shining (1980)
Field of Dreams (1989)
Taxi Driver (1976) Travis Bickle as “the incarnation of the future Holden Caulfield.”
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) “From his angry, alienated youth in revolt Max Fischer of Rushmore to the poignantly unhappy, yet beautifully eccentric Tenenbaum family, Wes Anderson might be the closest cinematic heir to J.D. Salinger, both aesthetically and thematically.”