January 2010 - Posts
J.D. Salinger died Wednesday at the age of 91. His only story given the cinematic treatment was “Uncle Wiggily
in Connecticut.” That short story became the 1949 movie My Foolish Heart,
for which Susan Hayward was nominated for an Academy Award. Salinger was not
pleased with the reworking of his story and subsequently refused to grant the rights of any of his other work to be made into movies.
Although the reclusive author never allowed for The Catcher
in the Rye or any of his Glass Family tales to be adapted for the silver
screen (and apparently, the J.D. Salinger Trust will follow his wishes so don’t
hold your breath), his direct and indirect influence can be traced fairly easily. Here are some films with Salinger connections:
Field of Dreams
The character of the reclusive writer Terrance Mann was actually J.D. Salinger in the source material by W.P. Kinsella.
John Hinkley Jr. seemed to find a connection between the film and The Catcher in the Rye. Reagan's would be assassin was a big fan of both. Travis could be a grown up Holden.
The Royal Tenenbaums
A family of gifted, yet troubled children are at the heart of Salinger's Glass family stories and provided inspiration for the Tenenbaum kids. For a look at the author's influence on director Wes Anderson's work as a whole, check out this
essay from the Museum of the Moving Image.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson has talked about his inspiration for the children's game show as coming from his own work as a P.A. on such a show and his knowledge of the Glass family. "Doing that
[show] really linked up with the J.D. Salinger short stories,
with the Glass Family, and their involvement with a
show like Quiz Kids."
The Last Days of Disco
Dan asks Alice what her dream book to publish would be. She answers a new collection of Salinger stories in the vein of "The Laughing Man" and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. The disoriented preppies in all director Whit Stillman's work would seem to be at home with their post-war counterparts in Salinger's fiction.
Revenge of the Nerds
Salinger's son, actor Matt Salinger, plays Danny Burke in the classic 1980s comedy.
Other Connections: The Graduate, Winter Passing, Finding
Forrester, Dead Poets' Society, Less than Zero, Conspiracy Theory, The Good Girl, Chapter 27, Donny Darko, Igby
Goes Down, Ordinary People
I don't know how I did it, but I managed to stay awake through most of the 2010 Golden Globe awards. Ricky Gervais hosted and was very entertaining. He had me howling after his introduction of Mel Gibson
. I sure hope they have Gervais back. His humor isn't for everyone, but he's fearless and kept me watching.
I was disappointed that Avatar
won for best film, even though I haven't seen it yet. I just have a difficult time believing it's better than Inglorious Basterds
and The Hurt Locker
, especially when people are
calling it Pocahontas in space
I won't run down the whole list of winners
, but my personal top five are as follows:
#5 - John Lithgow, Dexter
(Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TV)
Amazingly creepy. By far the best villain in the show's history.
#4 - Michael C Hall, Dexter
(Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama)
I loved him on Six Feet Under and he's even better on Dexter.
#3 - The Hangover
(Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical)
I laughed more in this movie than any other this year, so in my book, it is well deserved.
#2 - Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds
(Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture)
And my favorite performance of the film.
#1 - Mad Men
(Best TV Series, Drama)
Easy pick. My favorite show on television right now.
If you haven't heard about the NBC late night shake-up, congratulations, you have a life. I, on the other hand, have become very wrapped up in all the fuss. Move the Tonight Show to 12:05? Are you nuts? Not only is that a terrible idea, it's completely insulting to Conan O'Brien and the Tonight Show legacy. I firmly believe that Conan has earned the Tonight Show and deserves to keep it and keep it where it is. Moving it is a terrible idea that would kill the franchise.
It's unfortunate that NBC and Jay Leno have destroyed the 10 p.m. slot, and yes, something should be done, but moving Jay back to 11:35 seems to be a gross overcorrection. What it really comes down to is money. If NBC drops Conan or Jay they have to pay big, and it's clear they don't want to. The pooch is screwed and the network is coming back for seconds. Get with the program NBC and fix your lineup, don't dissect it.
TV Guide dot com
did a survey and an amazing 83% of those polled said they wanted Conan to stay on at 11:35. The torch has already been passed, and we have to move forward. I don't know what the network will do, but I'm with Coco