The Canyons | Chicago Reader

The Canyons

Paul Schrader directs an original screenplay by Bret Easton Ellis about shallow, sadistic Hollywood types. As one might expect of such a collaboration, the results are at once prurient and dour—it's one long wallow in the cesspool passed off as an act of moral indignation. A washed-up Lindsay Lohan (uncomfortably evoking Edie Sedgwick in Ciao! Manhattan) plays the girlfriend of a rich-kid producer (porn performer James Deen) who likes to watch her have sex with other men. When he learns she's been sleeping with the star of a movie he's producing (without letting him watch), he spirals into paranoia and violence. Ellis throws in lots of references to social media in a desperate bid for cultural currency, while Schrader intersperses the drama with pretentious shots of boarded-up movie theaters to suggest this is all a metaphor for the death of cinema.


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