SXSW rejects The Canyons, following suit with Sundance. Just in case it wasn’t clear enough that they didn’t like the film, an “insider” opined that “it’s got an ugliness and deadness to it.” Hey. At least we got this out of the deal. It’s like Argo! Fake movies made exclusively for the purpose of begetting other, greater things! And everyone was held hostage by Lindsay Lohan! I could keep going! Actually, no, I couldn’t.
The latest trailer for Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis's Kickstarter-funded film The Canyons is cut like a '50s melodrama, giving us a taste of the dialogue spoken by Lindsay Lohan as "Tara" and James Deen as "Christian" (I see your 50 Shades of Grey obsession, B.E.E.), and boy, it is not very promising. The Canyons looks like it may be the unofficial West Coast companion piece to Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience, in which Sasha Gray's flat affect and existential call girl malaise failed to translate into Belle de Jour.
As an Angeleno, I've always been uncomfortable with Bret Easton Ellis's portrayal of Los Angeles, especially since it seems to be eternally popular with would-be disaffected teens. L.A. isn't all rich young white kids doing cocaine in hot tubs and crashing their parents' luxury cars on the way to the Chateau Marmont.
Silver: I absolutely love this trailer. It’s not overly flashy or high-concept. Instead, through a subtle and dexterous balance of tone and intentional vagueness, we get a Halloween fun-size version of the film. Just enough to whet the appetite and make us want more. The somber and ominous tone is set with excellent music, and with two ambiguous yet badass sound bites from Jason Clarke and Mark Strong. The Hurt Locker was one of the most intense film-going experiences I’ve ever had in a movie theater. There were multiple times I felt like I’d lost my breath. So I can only imagine what director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have in store for their follow-up to that multiple-Oscar winner, which just so happens to be about the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. I also love this cast; the aforementioned Clarke and Stong have been on the precipice of stardom for a while, so maybe Zero Dark Thirty is their coming-out party, but they’re just two in an ensemble of solid performers. Based on this trailer, it looks like Jessica Chastain is the central character, but we also get glimpses of James Gandolfini, Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton, Edgar Ramirez, Chris Pratt, and Kyle Chandler. I cannot wait to see this film. But for now, I’m going to watch this trailer a few more times, because without a doubt, it’s one of the best released this year.
Monday was a busy day for our old friend Bret Easton Ellis. First, he released the teaser trailer for his bonkers movie The Canyons. As you may recall, this project is weirdly bipolar. On the one hand, it's being directed by legit Hollywood legend Paul Schrader. On the other, it stars Linday Lohan and porn star James Deen, and it's being funded partially by a Kickstarter campaign. Lots of folks out there had already written the thing off, but I held out hope — should we not believe some movie magic might yet arise from this strange alchemy? Ah, you know, on second thought, after looking at this trailer — maybe not?
For a long while there, Lindsay Lohan’s burnout was exclusively depressing: predictable, repetitive, and, outside of a few courtroom fingernail messaging incidents here and there, just plain uninspired. Things, however, just got a touch more interesting. Hours removed from her messy Porsche wreck (the latest word from TMZ is that Lohan might have lied to the cops when she said she wasn’t driving, an offense that could get her probation revoked), a juicy new role for Lindsay has been announced.