Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 3.23.14 PM“Salinger” is a superb documentary that gave me new insights into J. D. Salinger’s life, character, and the future of his writings. Writer/director Shane Salerno (“Armageddon,” a new sequel to “Avatar”) spent $2 million of his own money and nine years in his obsessive quest to discover the why and how of Salinger’s becoming a recluse and not publishing since 1965. The result, told mostly in interviews, but with some reconstruction, is a compelling story of arrogance, wartime PTSD, not being ready for fame that he believed was his right, and some disturbing views on his obsession with relatively young women throughout his life. And it does tell us that there will be more coming from the estate, starting in 2015. Having been captivated by “Catcher in the Rye,” “Nine Stories” and the Glass family, it was revealing to hear the author tell the fans who tried to stalk him in New England that he was not a counselor, guru, or anything but an author of fiction. He just happened to reveal how so many adolescents felt about authority that we all assumed that he would be sympathetic to everyone. The film is worth seeing, especially for some of the early NY life that he lived at 1133 Park Ave, and (for us), his time near us at Valley Forge Military Academy.

Howard Morgan

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