Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis’ Hollywood satire “The Canyons” has been marred with bad buzz ever since Stephen Rodrick’s damning (and fantastically entertaining) New York Times Magazine feature ran, exposing a production fraught with trouble from the get-go. In addition to that, the film’s been rejected by both Sundance and SXSW, despite Schrader’s involvement. One of the most fascinating reveals made in the Rodrick’s article involved none other than Steven Soderbergh, who was approached by producer Braxton Pope, unsatisfied with Schrader’s rough cut. According to Rodrick, Soderbergh offered 72 hours of his time to have a go with the footage, but Schrader refused his input.
Indiewire sat down with Soderbergh yesterday to discuss what he’s said will be his final feature to open theatrically, “Side Effects,” and naturally, the conversation veered to “The Canyons.”
“I never wanted that to go beyond Paul,” Soderbergh explained. “When that came out I just went, ‘Oh god.’ My fear is I don’t want people viewing the movie through that lens, you know? That’s not what I was hoping for.
“It’s something that I have done for other people and it’s something that other people have done for me. So for me to have had that discussion wasn’t unusual at all. I have had other directors sit in my editing room and go through my movie with me, a lot. And I have sat in the editing room with other director friends at their request and walked through their movie. That’s a very normal occurrence in the sort of circle of director’s that I’m friends with. I was just behaving the way I normally behave with a friend.”
Asked about the quality of the cut he watched, Soderbergh said, “I really like what they did. I like the way they did it. I think it’s fascinating and there’s a spectacular sex scene it.”
Check back next week for our full interview with Soderbergh.