Why We’re Itching To See The Canyons

By
Oliver Lunn,

Oh look, it's been announced. Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis’ neo-noir erotic thriller The Canyons is finally due to premiere at The Film Society of Lincoln Center on July 29th. That's the same film, by the way, that was rejected by SXSW and Sundance; the same film that many were wondering if it would ever see the light of day. Well, it now seems the final edit of the film is on the horizon and is set to divide audiences. 

Here are five reasons why we can't wait to catch The Canyons.

1. THE STORIES ABOUT LINDSAY LOHAN'S ON-SET ANTICS ARE HILARIOUS. 

If you haven't already, make sure you read the New York Times article entitled "Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie". An insightful and enlightening piece of journalism, it illuminates Lohan's petulant behaviour on set. With her reputation preceding her, you would have thought that Schrader knew what he was in for. Not quite. He began the project by saying, “I think this is going to work” – famous last words indeed. 

2. IT'S GOT ONE HELLUVA BALLSY TEASER TRAILER. 

There aren’t too many trailers that have the balls to boot their stars out of the frame. (Imagine a trailer for Pretty Woman without Julia Roberts.) But that’s exactly what this one does. Resembling the famous ‘empty’ final sequence of Antonioni’s L’Eclisse, all we see are a bunch of stupendously beautiful shots of L.A., set to the sweet Mazzy Star-esque sounds of the Dum Dum Girls. Too bad they felt the need to follow it with the other not-so-great trailers. [Editor's note: The newest trailer has just been released and can be viewed here.]

3. ITS CAST – AND CASTING PROCESS – IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE SEEN BEFORE. 

Gus Van Sant (woah!), Lindsay Lohan (woah!), porn star James Deen (WOAH!). We wouldn’t be surprised if Usain Bolt was the next one to join this peculiar cast of 'actors'. And it doesn't end there. As well as casting these three the traditional way, Schrader and Ellis have invited people to audition on the internet via YouTube; meaning they've got hours upon hours of footage to wade through. Remember, all you hopeful actors out there... "it's not The Hills."

4. IT WAS PENNED BY BRET EASTON ELLIS, AUTHOR OF AMERICAN PSYCHO.

Well, this one is sort of a no-brainer. But you know the film will be anything but dull with Ellis' ink driving the film. It looks likely, too, that The Canyons will reflect the times in the same way that American Psycho captured the excesses of the '80s, if in more of a satirical way. (Suddenly the casting of Lindsay Lohan makes perfect sense.) On top of Ellis writing it we have Paul Schrader, the man responsible for penning Taxi Driver, in the director's chair. So we might even be tempted to say that Schrader and Ellis are the dream team. Two great cine-literate minds or something to that effect. 

5. THE SCORE WILL BE AWESOME. 

Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning has lent his indie sheen to the film's soundtrack. We caught up with the musician in Toronto, where he told us about Lindsay Lohan getting kicked off the set mutliple times. What can we expect from his score to the film? Plenty of shiny guitar sounds and copious amounts of reverb. 

6. THERE AREN'T ENOUGH MODERN L.A. MOVIES ABOUT YOUTH, GLAMOUR, EXCESS, ETC. 

This is exactly what we need right now; a neo-noir scraping back the glossy surface that L.A. masks itself with. The Bling Ring may have attempted to do this, but we all know that was a bit of a disaster. Furthermore, knowing Paul Schrader's previous work, it's unlikely that he'll be using Lindsay Lohan for the talents she exhibited in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

OK, so that's six reasons. But it just goes to show that we really are dying to see this one, even if it does turn out to be absolutely terrible. 

Follow Oliver on Twitter: @OliverLunn

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