Certain blockbusters with secure financing and definite distribution don’t receive as much press as Paul Schrader’s The Canyons has enjoyed. Then again, those movies don’t take the calculated risk of hiring Lindsay Lohan in the lead role.
First, there was the in-depth, behind-the-scenes report from the film’s chaotic set, which spelled out the difficulties that come with hiring Lohan. We’ve also heard leaked audio of an on-set fight, and an official clip that looks amateurish, at best.
Schrader tells IndieWire all of this reaction to modern celebrity only feeds into his movie’s point, as he claims The Canyons is “cinema for the post-theatrical era.” The director tells the site, "These people are all talking about making a movie but they don't really care about movies." The movie, on a grand scheme, might actually be about the end of movies, in general.
And yet, the director’s confident that – despite negative buzz – the movie will resonate with audience if and when they’re able to see it.
I thought it was a fascinating meeting of the minds between Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis," Scott Foundas, lead critic at the Village Voice, said after a private screening. "You could almost describe it as a cross between American Psycho and American Gigolo. These are minor characters on the fringe of the Hollywood scene, all equally desperate and engaging in various forms of psychological and sexual manipulation."
But will it ever open? Sundance and SXSW programmers passed on the opportunity to premiere the film. The movie doesn’t have a firm release date at the moment, though journalists seem compelled to put a microphone in front of Schrader and get his opinion of Lohan, whom pop culture still can’t get enough of. I hope we see The Canyons someday, and I hope it resonates in the ways Schrader says that it might. We’ll see.