Lindsay Lohan! A male porn star! The guy who wrote American Psycho! The guy who wrote Taxi Driver! Bad behavior on the set! Truly terrible teasers! Rejection by Sundance and SXSW! Just how bad is Paul Schrader's The Canyons?
Maybe not so bad after all. IFC Films has acquired North American rights, and plans to release it in early summer, day-and-date and on digital platforms, according to their press release. And they're launching it in style, with a special presentation at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Kent Jones, director of programming for the New York Film Festival, will host a post-screening conversation with Schrader, and his comments on the film are included in the press release:
"On one level, The Canyons is a visually and tonally precise, acid-etched horror story of souls wandering through a hyper-materialistic hell, with a fearless and, I think, stunning performance by Lindsay Lohan at its center; on another level, it's an inspiration and an example to us all: it's difficult for me to imagine another filmmaker of Paul Schrader's stature diving into the world of crowd-sourced moviemaking, let alone with such fervor, dedication and rigor."
If it's true that any publicity is good publicity, then The Canyons has certainly benefited, even though most of the advance word has been negative. Still, I must admit that the "want to see" factor is high with this one, despite my feeling that Schrader's record as a director has gotten progressively more wobbly over the years.
Our own Todd Brown may have put it best when he wrote: "Indie maverick genius or a self indulgent wank? It's hard to imagine critical responses to Paul Schrader's upcoming The Canyons varying too greatly from either of those two poles."
Porn actor James Deen stars alongside Lohan. Gus Van Sant makes an appearance as well. Bret Easton Ellis wrote the screenplay.