‘Australian Psycho’ with Margot Robbie (Watch)

Margot Robbie, the Australian who married and pussy-heel-teased teased Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street and has the “best part” in Warner Bros’ upcoming Suicide Squad franchise (complete with a spinoff of her own), now adds psycho to her resume.

Australian Psycho, that is, in Vogue‘s play on American Psycho, featuring the ingenue’s morning beauty routine. Perhaps this—re-enacting iconic male roles—is a new rite of passage for young Hollywood starlets, like acting across significantly older leader men (Will Smith in Focus), and mocking her own engorged celebrity sex appeal (see cameo in The Big Short).

It’s Aussies like Robbie that really do make being blonde look like more fun. Watch, below:



Who did it better? Watch Christian Bale’s American Psycho routine, below—he might even be prettier:


Brace Yourself: Bret Easton Ellis Is On Reddit This Afternoon

It’s a rite of passage for president and poseur alike: an extended AMA (Ask Me Anything) session over on the landfill of pop culture called Reddit, perhaps more commonly known as the place BuzzFeed steals all its crappiest ideas from. Twitter genius Bret Easton Ellis touches down this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST, according to the author himself. Below, some ideas about what to ask him.

First off, don’t make the mistake of trying to engage him on the GLAAD rant in Out magazine yesterday and all that LGBT stuff—this is exactly what he’s expecting! Why else would he schedule the two things this way? Forget Lindsay Lohan and The Canyons, too, that’s just free publicity for him. Ditch everything Gawker would be curious about. Instead you should really try to get under his skin about the one thing Bret never seems to really discuss: his wildly uneven books.
 
Oh, and not even American Psycho. Instead you should ask him to “explain” all the Hamlet allusions in Lunar Park. “I was confused about why the family lives on Elsinore Lane? And shops at Ophelia Mall? Am I missing something?” Ask him why the vampires from The Informers are immune to sunlight! Or ask why Imperial Bedrooms is even called that instead of Less Than Zero 2, which would have been so much cooler. Finally, ask whether it’s a printing error that makes your copy of The Rules of Attraction start and end in mid-sentence. That should really get him going.

Preview the Upcoming Duncan Sheik-Penned ‘American Psycho’ Musical

From Springtime For Hitler to Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, musical theatre has long been a comfortable home for performances about history’s greatest monsters. Now, with a new production at the Almeida Theatre in London this December, one of contemporary fiction’s most nightmare-inducing figures will hit the stage.

Novelist Bret Easton Ellis, along with the writing team of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Duncan Sheik and director Rupert Goold, are bringing American Psycho, Ellis’ novel about Patrick Bateman, a high-living investment banker with a monstrous and murderous mind, to the stage. And as part of their crowd-funding campaign, they’ve made the first excerpt of music from the show available for your listening pleasure.

“I don’t know,” asks Bret Easton Ellis in the show’s Kickstarter video. “Why am I trusting these people with my work?” He goes on to say that he thinks Patrick Bateman would be “flattered” to see his story made into a musical.

And, as the creative team notes, not only is song an effective route at unpacking the psychology behind a character like Patrick Bateman, but music is essential to the American Psycho narrative, so in fact, a musical version totally makes sense. “The guys are at the gym all the time,” Aguirre-Sacasa says in the video. “That begs for a musical number.”

And thankfully, this is not a jukebox musical in which Bateman’s victims are dramatically slaughtered to Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” or Huey Lewis and the News’ “It’s Hip to Be Square.” Duncan Sheik, who you may recall from the ‘90s hit “Barely Breathing” or, more recently, the music from the hit rock-musical Spring Awakening, wrote the score for the upcoming production. The music of the ‘80s informed many of the sonic creative choices, lots of analog synthesizers and other typical sounds of the era.

The video ends with a clip of one of the musical’s original numbers, a deadpan, synth-heavy ode to the high fashion houses Bateman loves called “You Are What You Wear.” The track recalls the spoken part of Madonna’s “Vogue” and a little bit of Gary Numan’s “Cars,” and you can hear the whole thing if you kick in $5 to the project. And that fiver is just a drop in the bucket considering the team is trying to raise $150,000 for the production. Find out more about the fundraiser and the musical itself in the video below, or at their crowdfunding page. And who knows? Maybe you can grab dinner at Dorsia before the big performance.

Kisses Unveil ‘The Hardest Part’

The album art for L.A. duo Kisses’ sophomore album, the apparently autobiographical Kids in LA, is a bit like Bret Easton Ellis filtered through a Wes Anderson lens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first single, “The Hardest Part,” is a song that would be on the soundtrack of the twee version of American Psycho. Perish the thought.

The full-length won’t arrive till May, despite being inspired by “the starkness of  wintertime in Southern California,” as evidenced in this album teaser, which reveals a slyer, more atmospheric side of their music—at least in comparison to the usual no-nonsense dance pop. Could ’80s nostalgia be overtaking ’90s love once more? Quick, someone write a highly ignorable 3,000-word essay on that.

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Paul Schrader Calls ‘The Canyons’ ‘Cinema for the Post Theatrical Era’

Paul Schrader once said, "What fascinates me are people who want to be one thing but who behave in a way contradictory to that. Who might say, ‘I want to be happy, but I keep doing things that make me unhappy.’ He’s always been a man of contradictions and juxtapositions—whether’s it’s been within himself or in his films. Schrader wanted to be happy but would sleep with a load gun in his mouth; Travis Bickle wanted love but frightened people away.

And Taxi Driver aside, if you’ve seen his 1979 Hardcore, which is pure id Schrader, you understand that his vehement use of sex is never really about sex but about fear or perversion or guilt. And when I first heard he was teaming up with Bret Easton Ellis, I was a little perturbed but thought that if the two of them could meld their common interest the psychological dismantling of sex and aggression, this could be great. But with everything that’s been reported about the film, between the NYTimes pieces to SXSW’s rejection of the film—not to mention those heinous teasers—I’ve grown more than skeptical. 

But there are those who have seen the film. Scott Foundas, a critic for the Village Voice described The Canyons as "a fascinating meeting of the minds between Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis." Steven Soderbergh, who was rejected from his offer to edit the film, recently said during a Side Effects Q&A that the film is "fascinating" and that there’s a "spectacular sex scene in it." Oddly, Nicolas Winding Refn has also seen the film but who knows what he would have to say.

However, Schrader still holds confident, calling it: "cinema for the post theatrical era." IndieWire reports that Schrader claims, "we are working with a new echoic paradigm." "We are in a  very fluid exhibition world where there are so many platforms," says Shcrader who was inspired by Ed Burns’ use of social media-led projects. "theatrical just has to be seen as part of a panoply of options. Straight to video isn’t even a relevant term anymore."

The ‘American Psycho’ Musical Is Happening Whether You Like It or Not

Duncan Sheik, the ’90s singer-songwriter ("Barely Breathing," in case you needed a reminder or, more likely, a name attached to that song), won two Tony Awards for his work on the sexy German schoolchildren musical Spring Awakening a few years ago. And he’s trying his hand at musical theater once again, this time with an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s modern classic, American Psycho. The musical will hit the London stage later this year, and hopefully will get a run on Broadway.

Gothamist talked to Sheik about his work on the show, which sounds a lot more promising than one might imagine:

The music is all electronic. You know, the conception of it, at least on my end… I kind of feel like, you have Broadway musicals, and you have the sound of the Broadway musicial—Les MisPhantom of the OperaCats—and then in some way there was a transition away from that. Spring Awakening [which Sheik scored and won a Tony for] happened, you had American IdiotNext To NormalMemphis… this whole set of things using more contemporary, guitar-oriented rock music. For me, I feel that’s a shark that’s been jumped. So the idea of doing a score that’s completely electronic, that’s exciting to me. You’re being progressive about the form, you know, rather than saying, ‘Well people like listening to rock music now in the theater.’ That’s not so interesting to me… it’s really important that you do new stuff. I want to attempt to do stuff that’s moving it forward. As opposed to repeating a successful formula.

At first, I thought, "Oh, no one should ever compare their musical theater ambitions to those who were responsible for Cats, Phantom, or Memphis, but I have to say: an electronic music-focused musical sounds pretty awesome, especially given the subject matter of the show. Oh, and don’t worry; Sheik promises a little Huey Lewis and Phil Collins in there, too. 

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SXSW Rejects ‘The Canyons’ Over “Quality Issues”

Like we’ve said before, The Canyons appears to be a disaster. Directed by the man who gave us one of the seminal films of the last 50 years with Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader, and penned by satirical writer of yuppie melodrama turned Twitter-bully, Bret Easton Ellis, word on the film has been anything but hopeful. And with the slew of ridiculous promotional trailers popping up in every genre, little has been left for desire with this one.

After its rejection from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, sources at The Hollywood Reporter now say that the film has been denied entry into March’s South by Southwest Festival as well. The issue apparently rests in the fact that the film suffers from "quality issues," a festival insider saying that The Canyons has "an ugliness and deadness to it." Well, there you have it. I mean honestly, that was obvious from last week’s clip that plays more like a poorly-acted porn set-up than a feature teaser of any kind. But Schrader seems to think everything’s fine. His career has taken a turn for the worst over the past two decades and either he’s just become very delusional or genuinely believes in the film and maybe everyone else just doesn’t "get it." He’s what he took to Facebook to let people know:

After the NYT Mag piece, many have asked when the film will be shown. It’s going to be a few months. The intense reactions to Liz and Dick and the Times Mag article have made us realize that there will be an immediate blowback once The Canyons is publically screened–for good and ill. That’s the nature of anything involving Lindsay (plus BEE and JD, who also elicit visceral reactions). Therefore, when the film is shown it should also be available VOD and limited theatrical. That way the curious can see the film for themselves. I am told it takes 3-4 months to organize a proper VOD release. After Sundance we’ll screen the film for multi-platform distributors and set the process in motion. In a way it’s good we’re not at Sundance. We weren’t prepared, we weren’t organized. Films enter festivals to heighten their profile. The Canyons doesn’t need to do that. We need to organize multi-platform distribution. This is not a dodge, it’s common sense. The film is very good. I have no qualms about that. Paul S.

Okay Paul, whatever you say. I want to believe you, truly, but you’re making it a little hard for us.

Watch the Rough First Clip from Paul Schrader’s ‘The Canyons’

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.

Linkage: Solange Pops Out at ‘Girls’ Party, Beyoncé Might Be Crazy, Justin Timberlake is “Ready”

Holy cow, Solange. Sure, we’ve been paying a lot of attention to Beyoncé’s moves lately, and it seems like her kid sister didn’t want to stand in her shadow too much longer. Last night, the singer-songwriter attended last night’s Girls premiere party in a Just Cavalli patterned suit. You have our attention, Solange. We’ll spend the afternoon listening to “Losing You” on a loop. [MTV Style]

Speaking of Beyoncé, the interview accompanying her recent GQ cover reveals that pretty much every moment of her life for the past seven years has been recorded on film: “This digital database, modeled loosely on NBC’s library, is a work in progress—the labeling, date-stamping, and cross-referencing has been under way for two years, and it’ll be several months before that process is complete. But already, blinking lights signal that the product that is Beyoncé is safe and sound and ready to be summoned— and monetized—at the push of a button.” So much for hoping that Beyoncé isn’t a total nut. [GQ]

Paul Schrader was apparently so desperate for a project that he agreed to direct The Canyons—his first film in ten years—despite protests from friends and family. Even his wife, Mary Beth Hurt, gave up on the screenplay, penned by Bret Easton Ellis, after just fifty pages. And then he cast Lindsay Lohan and James Deen. Is anyone still thinking this isn’t all a completely terrible idea? [NYT]

Britney Spears is bowing out as a judge on The X-Factor after a tenure of just a single season. Without Britney regularly on live television, how will we make sure Britney is OK? I’m worried. [Reuters]

We had no idea what to expect from Justin Timberlake this morning, but the singer dropped a video of him wandering around a recording studio as his thoughts meander about his music and his obsessions and what the next year holds, et cetera. The important part: we’re supposed to wait longer for new music from Justin Timberlake. But, like, he’s ready. Just not “right now.” [Idolator]

The ads for David Beckham’s H&M underwear line were directed by Guy Ritchie, but they also feature the soccer star running around in boxer briefs, so, you know, things could be a whole lot worse. [The Gloss]

Then again, Conan O’Brien and Ricky Gervais took a bath together. [Hypervocal]

Featuring songs with titles like “They Get Nasty,” “I Don’t Make Love, I Fuck!,” and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me” a musical parody of Fifty Shades of Grey heads to Manhattan this weekend by way of Chicago. [NY Post]

The BAFTA nominees are pretty close to the Oscars, although they recognize Kathryn Bigelow and refuse to hand out nominations to nine-year-old girls. [Guardian]

Godzilla is coming back, this time possibly battling not Mothra or Megalon, but rather Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson. [Deadline]

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