film note: The Canyons

La La La La La Land

The Canyons
Directed by Paul Schrader
99 mins, USA, 2013

Originally published on Letterboxd with no likes.

Not to pile on, but it’s embarrassing watching Schrader try to lend weight to Bret Easton Ellis‘ characteristically silly, stilted & self-important script: tracking shots following characters for no other reason I can see other than to cite better directors, bombastic electronic soundtrack accompanying a tame & banal “orgy” scene (because getting a blow job from another guy is the craziest thing that can happen to a straight stud), oddball, unmotivated framing foregrounding LA traffic — watch for the looming UPS truck — and on. Lindsay Lohan & James Deen acquit themselves better than expected but the whole thing is just, well, so dumb, if occasionally visually dazzling.

Maybe Paul Verhoeven should have directed?

This is risky filmmaking for people without passports who have never had anything happen to them, or else its overloaded pop-culture self-reflexivity is supposed to flatter its middle-class audience:

I’m important! I get your references! Let’s snort some blow!

Want to see a movie that much more honestly and artfully depicts Empty LA and a real fucked-up but interesting character, then watch Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. It fails in some ways, too, but it’s not dumb.

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The Canyons
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