Media Arts Program

Friday, November 2 at 8:30 p.m.


Catcher in the Rye with Diamonds

Catcher in the Rye with Diamonds (2018, written by Greg Sterlace & Paula Wachowiak, directed by Greg Sterlace)

Catcher in the Rye with Diamonds is a film that explores the connection between the assassination of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman and the book that he called his defense, The Catcher in the Rye. This idea was so compelling that Greg Sterlace and Paula Wachowiak decided to make it as a self-funded underground film with no thought of making money on the project. They saw the cinematic potential of taking a fresh look at The Catcher in the Rye through the eyes of Mark David Chapman, something that had not been done in Chapter 27, the first movie made about the event. Chapman used the book as his reason for killing John Lennon. In his own words, "…I was literally living in the book," as he walked the streets of New York City in early December 1980, imagining himself as Holden Caulfield while he read through the pages of this iconic novel.

Sterlace picked apart the chapters and pieced together what he and Wachowiak felt was an insightful analysis of what Chapman may have read that made him believe his murder of Lennon would complete the 26-chapter book and finalize the text with chapter 27. They didn't stop there. The media of the 1950s-1980s was explored and amalgamated into a collage-like dream that comprised the hypothetical thought processes of the murderer. The result is a wild ride through the mind of a murderer.

Collage cinema is not new, but it is used here as a vehicle to explore a twisted mind. Everyone is a product of what they take in through their senses; we all have bits and pieces of movies and books and music swimming around in our gray matter influencing how we think and what we do. The wish of Sterlace and Wachowiak is that Catcher in the Rye with Diamonds will become a small part of that configuration that is you.