And here I thought—well okay, nothing could possibly be worse than The Informers. But I think I may have just spoken too soon. By now we’ve all had a chance to read the wonderfully in-depth New York Times article that dives into the production of Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader’s upcoming drama, The Canyons. In the article, we gain insight into both the distressing motives of the film, Lindsay Lohan’s constant battles, and even Steven Soderbergh being turned down to edit the film. However, one shining detail remains: this looks awful. And the promotional teasers for the film are only making things worse.
Earlier this month, The Guardian wrote:
They reach for jokes that don’t connect, they labour under the illusion that running everything through iMovie’s Aged Film effect is the same as creating sharply-observed period details and, one after another, they make you want to see the film less and less. Yes, The Muppets used a similar campaign of parody trailers in 2011, but that was for a film about a felt frog and his friends. This makes The Canyons look like The Room. Apparently we’re promised a genuine trailer soon, and that might make the movie look less inept. But, at this stage, who cares?
Precisely. Hey, remember that time Paul Schrader wrote all those brilliant essays on film? Or that time he wrote Taxi Driver? Oy. I should have known. When I met the man last year, the most enthused moment came when he whipped out his cellphone and said, "Hey! Checkout my Facebook page." The page being that for The Canyons. This was also when he told me the film would be starring only unknowns. So much for that. But he’s still brilliant in my mind, so why this mess?
The first clip delivered to us, opens on a seemingly calm LA morning in which Lindsay Lohan gets out of bed to look for her misplaced phone. Musical cues allude that something is going to happen—where is my cell phone—you can really feel the drama here. One thing leads to another by the end of this lingering scene, porn star James Deen is standing over Lohan screaming that he’s going to beat the shit out of her, while she, whimpers softly on the floor. Delightful. I know Schrader is a huge proponent of the relationship between sex and violence in his films, but like, this just looks bad. The clip feels more like the set up to a weird porno that would make yousick to your stomach and in need of a hot shower and/or tetanus shot just from watching, rather than just a melodramatic soap opera of sorts—which was what I had expected. But who knows, this is only two minutes. See for yourself.