the fresh films reviews

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The Canyons (2013)

Director:
Paul Schrader

COUNTRY
USA

Genre
Erotic thriller

NORWEGIAN TITLE
The Canyons

RUNNING TIME
99 minutes

Producer:
Braxton Pope

Screenwriter:
Bret Easton Ellis


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Tara Lindsay Lohan
Christian James Deen
Ryan Nolan Funk
Gina Amanda Brooks
Cynthia Grey Tenille Houston
Dr. Campbell Gus Van Sant -

 

Review

It's always a special kind of seedy pleasure being transported into Bret Easton Ellis' cynic, cold worlds of decadence, narcissism and distrust. Even when it happens via a badly lit, crowdfunded low-budget flick with B-movie aesthetics such as this one directed by Paul Schrader. Lindsay Lohan and porn actor James Deen play a filthy rich Malibu couple who engage in casual sex with other couples. Amanda Brooks and Nolan Funk are an assistant and a struggling actor, respectively, who get tangled up with Lohan and Deen. The script operates in the borderland between erotic thriller and soft core porn. Tacky as that may sound, Ellis' characters are well-drawn and edgy, despite the fact that they are obviously as shallow as the society that formed them. The practically non-existent budget makes The Canyons tawdry to look at. But Schrader is often at his most interesting when given full creative control and operating on the fringes of everything. And he gets intriguing performances out of his two controversial stars, both of whom seem invested in this in a way that you probably haven't seen them before. For all of Ellis' sleazy aspirations, he definitely knows how to weave a story that vibrates within its own peculiar realm. There is also some evocative music by Brendan Canning and Me&John. New Queer Cinema icon Gus Van Sant appears in a cameo as a psychotherapist.

Copyright 11.5.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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