Paul Schrader’s already hotly debated new film “The Canyons” has a trailer, and in anticipation of the film’s August release, the UCLA Film & Television Archive kicks off a retrospective of the director’s work this weekend.
Originally funded via Kickstarter, “The Canyons” — written by literary provocateur Bret Easton Ellis and starring Lindsay Lohan and porn actor James Deen — began production in July 2012. The film is a scathing portrait of contemporary youth, glamor and sex. In January, The New York Times published a must-read profile of the production, and the many on-set histrionics of Lohan.
“Canyons” was rejected by Sundance and in the months that followed, was suspended in post-production limbo. At one point, Steven Soderbergh offered to cut the film. A controversial director but an indisputably great writer robbed of an Oscar nomination for his “Taxi Driver” screenplay, the obstinate Schrader declined. But right now he is happy with the film. In a recent piece he wrote for Film Comment, he compares Lohan to Marilyn Monroe. Okay then.
The film hits VOD platforms on August 2, with a theatrical release to follow on August 9.
Meanwhile, UCLA has compiled an exhaustive program of Schrader’s films, kicking off July 12 at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater, from “American Gigolo” (1980) to “The Walker” (2007). Other films include “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters,” “Auto Focus” and, finally, a screening of “The Canyons.” Watch the trailer below.