This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

About that awful Lindsay Lohan movie

Posted by: James Lileks under Outstate Updated: January 11, 2013 - 12:14 PM

 That doesn't narrow it down, I know.

Here: A long, long read in the New York Times about Lindsay Lohan’slatest attempt to finish anything besides a cigarette. Shocker: someone hired her to do a picture. Stunning revelation: she finished it. But there’s more. While the story is sad enough when it deals with Lohan and her utterly self-inflicted situation, there are two other characters less familiar to the tabloid eye.

One is Bret Easton Ellis, who was a Hot Novelist in the 80s. He was Terry Nunn to Jay McInerny’s Deborah Harry, if you know what I mean. “American Psycho” and “Less Than Zero” were dreck, but they had a certain appeal to people convinced that the zeitgeist had gone totally nihilist and this was so awesome because they were in their early 30s, and they could parade their relevance in print so everyone knew they weren’t, you know, square or anything. Psycho killers hung up on brand names? Awesome. 

The other character is Paul Schrader, who has made some of the grimmest, dankest, most miserably depressing movies in the history of cinema. The purer the Schrader Vision in a movie, the more off-putting and disturbing the final product. He wrote “Taxi Driver,” which was brilliant. He did “Hardcore” with George C. Scott in full alcoholic slosh, which is painful and unwatchable. Hey, it’s the weekend - what say we trip down to Har-Mar and watch a movie about an uptight dad who enters the sin-sodden sad-land of commercial porn, because he thinks his daughter was in a snuff film?

There’s “Star 80,” which combines his own obsessions with Peter Bogdonovich’s ooky pervy cri de coeur - it’s horrible that his lover was murdered by Sean Penn’s character, but to A) make a movie about it, and B) take up with her sister - okay. Have a nice day. “Autofocus” was a fascinating movie about the star of “Hogan’s Heroes,” who ended up with his skull caved in by his Partner in Swinging - great soundtrack, nice period reconstruction, Greg Kinnear playing dark very well, but man: img source = “what-has-been-seen-cannot-be-unseen-cat.jpg,” if you know what I mean.

So now we have “The Canyons,” which he kickstarted and shot on a microbudget. This is like Ellis releasing his next novel only on Kindle, self-published. Not that there’s anything wrong with that - new technologies and distribution platforms can free up artists to do something new and unique. But it looks dreadful.

There are two trailers on the web. The first one is done in 40s/ 50s-style, and while it gets the fonts and wipes and other effects right, more or less, apparently no one told them that hiring the guy from Starbucks who does that funny not-French-but-kinda-French accent was a bad idea:

 

 

If trailers like this had a VO at all, it was stentorian and commanding, the voice of Official Morality.

Then there’s the 70s version, which goes for a scratchy grindhouse look.

 

 

The font’’s all wrong. More to the point, it looks nothing like the classic exploitation movies of the era. It lacks the requisite trash. There’s a 30s version as well - can’t embed for naughty language. It’s also nothing like 30s trailers. At first I thought it was something concocted to parody the attempt to recast the movie in classic-trailer from, but I think it’s legit. Read the story. It's sad all around, but at least Schrader has a nice house.

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