IFC films announced on Friday that it has picked up the distribution rights for Paul Schrader's The Canyons, which is not how it's best known. It's best known as That Lindsay Lohan Movie That Inspired the New York Times Article About How Tough It Is to Work With Lindsay Lohan. It's a long title. Now that it's survived the long odds to get to the theater, the next question is, will it be worth watching? The Times certainly suggested that red flags abounded, but let's take another view. Here's why I'll be watching:
1. On-Set Turmoil Isn't a Guarantee of Failure
The whole reason why actors and directors are given a whole lot of leeway to act out is because oftentimes a difficult actor/director can produce some great art. Apocalypse Now was such a disastrous shoot they made a documentary about it. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford famously hated each other on Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? You could have filled an entire Sunday edition of the Times with stories from the I Heart Huckabees set (I would read every one of those stories, still, today, in one sitting), if the YouTube videos are anything to go by. Three of my very favorite movies, right there.
2. Paul Schrader Has Greatness in Him
The man wrote Taxi Driver. He directed American Gigolo and Affliction. Sure, he hasn't had a hit in a while, but that possibility for greatness means if you like film, you owe it to yourself to see if he can make it happen again.
3. This James Deen Guy
All this talk of the porn actor who delivers the REAL performance to talk about in The Canyons certainly has my interest piqued. It could just be the producers blowing smoke, but you got the sense from the Times article that part of the frustration with Lindsay's antics was that they were getting in the way of what may have been a truly special performance by Deen.
We try to write her off. We all do. But so long as the world is still paying attention to her, there's a hope that one day she'll remind us why we started in the first place. Is it Lucy with the football? Sure, a little. But the fascination is undeniable.
5. Gus Van Sant Plays a Doctor
Directors acting! Who can resist it?
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