“The Canyons” Is Coming to Lincoln Center

Posted by Eugene Hernandez on 2.15.2013


James Deen and Lindsay Lohan on the set of The Canyons in Malibu. Image via The Canyons.

Paul Schrader's The Canyons, a new indie starring Lindsay Lohan and adult film star James Deen, is coming to the Film Society of Lincoln Center this summer. Written by Bret Easton Ellis and produced by Braxton Pope, the project is a modern day tale set in the dark recesses of LA's movie industry. 

IFC Films has just acquired the film and will debut it in a day-and-date digital release in conjunction with a special presentation here at Lincoln Center. The early summer event will include a screening of the film, as well as a conversation with Paul Schrader and New York Film Festival Director of Programming Kent Jones. The discussion will pick up on Schrader's master class on crowdsourcing and DIY production at last year's NYFF.

More details on the event will be announced soon by the Film Society.

The Canyons has generated considerable buzz in recent weeks even though few have seen the film. It stars Lohan and Deen as a sexually adventurous LA couple who are preparing to make a movie together. Set in the rich underbelly of Southern California, the duo draw various people back to their Malibu Canyon mansion as they also manipulate each other in an ongoing power play that intensifies as the story unfolds.

The low budget production was funded by Schrader and Ellis, and in part via crowd sourcing, with the actors receiving just $100 a day and payment  deferrals for their work. Schrader has called the movie, and the manner in which he made it, "cinema for the post-theatrical era." He enlisted film student support during production by teaching an on-set film class while directing the DIY movie and then finished it independently before bringing it to the film industry to secure a multi-platform release.

"We were trying to do something ourselves, in the micro-budget way, for the post theatrical era of movies," Schrader recently explained over drinks, talking about the film a few days before his reps at WME showed it to film companies hoping to line up a distribution deal.

"On one level, The Canyons is a visually and tonally precise, acid-etched horror story of souls wandering through a hyper-materialistic hell, with a fearless and, I think, stunning performance by Lindsay Lohan at its center; on another level, it’s an inspiration and an example to us all: moviemaking, let alone with such fervor, dedication and rigor," explained Kent Jones in a statement today as IFC Films announced its deal for the movie.

Lindsay Lohan has already earned quite a bit of attention for her unseen performance in The Canyons, mainly because of an extensive New York Times Magazine profile of the movie that was published last month. A few weeks later, Schrader responded to criticism in an Indiewire piece about the project.

"If you can't take a chance on a micro-budget film that you're paying for yourself," Paul Schrader expounded about the risks he's taken, "when can you take a chance?"

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