By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Salinger Film Reedited For National Release In 62 Cities

NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN MATERIAL ADDED TO SALINGER DOCUMENTARY FOR NATIONAL RELEASE

WEINSTEIN COMPANY ALSO DEVELOPING LIVE ACTION J.D. SALINGER BIOPIC

New York, NY (September 18, 2013) – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that their latest documentary release, SALINGER, will have a special edition debuted for its national release on Friday, September 20. The film, which opened in New York and Los Angeles on September 6, will feature new, never-before-seen material about Salinger’s life, his complex relationships with young women, and footage of the iconic author added for its 62-city theatrical expansion. TWC also announced that they are partnering with SALINGER director/producer Shane Salerno on developing a feature film adaptation of the documentary. The company has long been extremely interested in Salerno’s extensive research on the renowned author and feels the material will make for an incredible live action narrative. TWC and Salerno plan to focus the film on the period in Salinger’s life between his service in World War II and the publishing of Catcher in the Rye, examining the effects war can have on an artist. Salerno is already signed on to pen the film’s screenplay.

SALINGER topped per screen grosses at the specialty box office in its opening weekend, grossing a $22,742 per screen. Salerno and David Shield’s companion book, also titled SALINGER, likewise had a successful debut as number six on The New York Times bestseller list.

“This documentary has been an incredible journey and truly epitomizes what it means to be a passion project,” said Salerno. “I’m beyond excited to share more of the fascinating material we discovered in its new special edition, and look forward to continuing my relationship with Harvey and TWC in developing a narrative film about this brilliant, intriguing man.”

Commented TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein: “Shane has created an amazing documentary about one of the most beloved but enigmatic literary figures of our time. We are glad he was able to take the opportunity to add fantastic new footage. We greatly look forward to sharing the new edition with audiences and developing a Salinger feature with him.”

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes.  TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio’s history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius’s THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay’s UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH.

Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH’S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; and KON-TIKI. Currently in release are UNFINISHED SONG and FRUITVALE STATION, LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, THE GRANDMASTER and SALINGER. Upcoming releases include MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM and AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY.

 

TWC is active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production Meryl Poster. TWC is the studio behind such hit television series as the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series PROJECT RUNWAY and its spin-off series PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS and PROJECT ACCESSORY; the VH1 reality series MOB WIVES and its spin-off series MOB WIVES CHICAGO and BIG ANG; and the critically acclaimed scripted HBO comedy/crime series THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY which also received a Peabody Award. The company is in production on the upcoming TLC series WELCOME TO MYRTLE MANOR, the A&E series RODEO QUEENS, and the Lifetime reality competition show SUPERMARKET SUPERSTAR hosted by Stacy Keibler.  Among TWC’s other projects in development for television are the martial-arts epic MARCO POLO for Starz, an untitled private eye procedural for FX, and THE NANNY DIARIES developed by ABC with a pilot by Amy Sherman Palladino.

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin