|Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons|
To me, from the audience point of view, what was wrong with The Canyons was not Lindsay Lohan, but the rest of the cast, James Deen in particular -- not to mention the script. I once saw a tee-shirt that I loved: A D.J. IS NOT A ROCK STAR. Well, a porn star is not a movie star, either. James Deen seems to be a nice enough guy, but he can't hold the screen. Brett Easton Ellis took the credit for the casting, saying that he insisted that James Deen get the lead, which is also what the film is about -- an actor who gets the lead in a low-budget film at someone's insistence.
Schrader said that he and Ellis were "not on the same page, but we're in the same book." AMERICAN GIGOLO meets LESS THAN ZERO, they are a generation apart. Ellis said he wrote the script specifically for Schrader and that it was a "cold, dead film about cold, dead people," which might not float everyone's boat, but "we are fascinated by that." He sounded a bit peeved that critics these days demand a more humanistic view of the world.
(Personally, I find cold, dead people utterly boring. I much prefer warm, living people who are creative, not destructive. All you have to do to break a glass is drop it. To create a glass requires a hell of a lot more work.)
James Deen was almost sweet in his naivete about Hollywood: "People have issues with honesty. They have a different form of thinking. Not everybody is Brett and Paul. There are a lot of horrible people."
|Lindsay Lohan & James Deen|
The Canyons really is not as bad as everyone is making it out to be. The budget was $150,000-$200,000, and it shows. It was set in Los Angeles, and it is always fun to watch my old town in the movies, seeing what has changed, and what remains the same.
The sex scene was not pornographic; in fact, I thought it was one of the best scenes in the movie. During a foursome, Tara, (Lohan) deftly conquers the power from Christian (Deen). She, not he, takes over the orchestration of the scene, much to the bewilderment of Christian, who usually gets off on being in control. His loss of power was one of the few genuine reactions by Deen, who seemed right at home among the naked writhing bodies -- it was his comfort zone, and he came alive. For a brief moment, you could glimpse what Brett Easton Ellis saw -- but for only a fleeting moment.
From The Guardian:
Would it be redundant to mention that the acting is awful? These people are unconvincing as people, and that may well be the point. Ellis's dialogue is so stilted and overwritten that it reduces the performers to gabbling wrecks, rushing headlong at their lines with an air of wild-eyed desperation. All of which is of a piece, but that doesn't make it good. Near the end of the film, sleazy Christian takes a drive into town for a meeting with the director Gus Van Sant, who apparently moonlights as a sensitive shrink. The two men sit inside a quiet, book-lined study as Christian outlines his various issues. "We're all actors, aren't we?" he asks the director. But Van Sant won't be drawn. He responds with a frown and his silence speaks volumes.
Meanwhile, Lohan's people have issued statements that “Saturday Night Live has approached Lindsay to host the show again, and they were talking about the season opener,”and “Lindsay is doing really, really well. She is going to business meetings and she’s been on time for every single one of them. This is the best I’ve seen her in years.”
What a crew.
|Brett Easton Ellis, James Deen, Paul Schrader, Tenille Houston (not Lohan)|
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog