What do you get when you combine Lindsay Lohan, a “nerdy Jew” porn star, a hell-raising novelist, and one of Hollywood’s more controversial writer-directors of the last few decades?
The exquisite weirdness that is The Canyons, the curious new $150,000 feature that now has its first teaser. Described as a “contemporary L.A. noir,” the film boasts the first original screenplay by Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho author and Twitter troll extraordinaire. It’s also the first film in five years directed by Paul Schrader, a fellow iconoclast known for writing some of Martin Scorsese’s best films. The Canyons not only stars Lohan and “female-friendly” porn star James Deen—who chronicled the movie’s production on his hilarious, filthy, very NSFW blog—it also features an extended cameo from director Gus Van Sant, making one of his first appearances in front of the camera.
The movie supposedly chronicles a group of people in their 20s who have a chance encounter linked to their pasts. If the promise of eerie voyeurism and psychosexual exploits lives up to the talent involved, this could be a less thinky (and hotter) version of The Girlfriend Experience. But it’s just as easy to imagine a vapid, depressing exercise in writerly ego and exploitation worked up by two aging provocateurs with a clueless, desperate young cast.
Take your pick! For now, we defer to the film’s trailer, amusingly cut in a ’70s grindhouse style that at least sustains our curiosity, even if it does little to stifle the scent of a cheap stunt. If this doesn’t do it for you, stay tuned: Trailers in the styles of a ’60s sex comedy and a ’50s melodrama are also apparently on the way.