As with many guys of my generation and generations before me, one of my favorite books is “Catcher in the Rye”.  So when I saw an article on MSN today about J.D. Salinger influences in film, I decided to check it out, in search of both movie ideas to watch and books to potentially read.

I’ll try my best not to give away too much from Kim Morgan’s article, but I will give the list and some comments on each of the films.  I do suggest reading her article so you can get the full analysis, because she put quite a bit of work to write it up.

I was surprised to find that J.D. Salinger apparently disliked movies and didn’t want any of his works told directly through film.  Apparently the adaptation of “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut” into 1949’s “My Foolish Heart” was not a pleasant experience for Salinger.

Now, onto Kim Morgan’s list:

Igby Goes Down
I saw this 2002 flick w/ Kieran Culkin in it, and having watched the film and read the book, it’s easy to draw the connection between the two.  I won’t compare them here (to avoid taking more from the MSN article), but I enjoyed the film, so did my wife, and so did at least another member of my family.  It’s probably more enjoyable to people between the ages of 15 and 34, and that’s probably the biggest factor I’d consider in making my recommendation to someone.

Six Degrees of Separation
Although I’ve heard plenty about this movie, including glowing reviews of Will Smith’s performance in it, I’ve still yet to see it.  In fact, I’m going into my online queue right now and adding it.  Apparently the link between the film and the recently deceased author is only a minor one, but it’s there.

Conspiracy Theory
In one of the more memorable roles I’ve seen Mel Gibson do, he steps away from the typically charismatic personas he typically plays and does a great job as a paranoid guy who believes himself to be involved in an elaborately orchestrated masterplan.  Not in my top 50 movies list, but very enjoyable.  The linkage to Salinger is undeniable, though I don’t think it’s necessarily going to inspire anyone to read anything by Salinger.  Definitely not based on a Salinger book.  Good movie though.

The Good Girl
Arguably the best role of Jennifer Aniston’s career, this one might have a link to “Catcher in the Rye”, but only through supporting actor Jake Gyllenhall’s role.  The article’s author Morgan might disagree, so you’ll want to see what she has to say about it.  She does briefly try to make a Salinger / Rye connection between another Gyllenhall role in one of my favorites – Donnie Darko, but I don’t see it.  I’d recommend both flicks, but I wouldn’t necessarily have any draw any significant connections.

Finding Forrester
It’s not difficult to see that this movie is more inspired by the life of Salinger than any of his works.  Good movie – possibly in my Top 100.  Definitely some good information provided in the MSN article.

The Collector
I’ve never seen nor heard of this movie.  It sounds a little too creepy for me, and although there’s a connection to Salinger, there’s not enough for me to be interested in adding this to my online movie delivery queue.

The Shining
Another interesting note from the author of the MSN article regarding the connection between Salinger’s life and the film.  I’ll see The Shining eventually, but knowing what it’s about, it’s not necessarily my kind of movie.

Field of Dreams
Interesting connection with Salinger.  The classic baseball movie which I love (though Morgan doesn’t seem to enjoy it – or at least plays Salinger’s advocate) is based on a book which includes Salinger as one of its characters.  Definitely a book I’ll add to my list of options to bring home from the library.  It will give me more of a glimpse into Salinger’s life (as did Morgan’s description of Salinger’s perspective), though the book isn’t one of Salinger’s.

Taxi Driver
I definitely won’t ruin the analysis provided by Morgan on this one.  I will say that it sounds like a bit of an analytical stretch she’s making, and it’s one which I expect to disagree with after I see Taxi Driver.  It does make me interested in seeing the movie, which I probably should’ve already seen at this point.  Hopefully it’ll add to my “Quest for 75” in 2010.

Wes Anderson Films
Although Morgan selected one film in particular (which I’ll make you read the article yourself to discover), she does draw interesting tangents between the personas and works of Salinger to Wes Anderson.  This connection – possibly because I’m such a fan of Wes Anderson films (three of them are in my top 50) – will likely lead to my reading of at least two additional Salinger works.

All in all, I enjoyed reading the article on MSN.  I didn’t agree with some of the points in the article and it didn’t provide me as many Salinger works to read as I had hoped, but it’s still worth the read.

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