Monday, October 8, 2012

Let's All Sit Here Silently Mocking The Canyons Trailer

Twitter has been good for a lot of celebrities. It has allowed many to get a personal voice out there that didn't involve going through filters of press agents, publicity assistants, and studio executives. It's allowed many to connect further and more personally with their fans in ways that must have been unimaginable to Hollywood stars of yesteryear. Of course, with every plus there is a minus, and there are a growing number of celebrities who have found the reduced number of steps between their brain and the public has made for awkward and embarrassing mistakes.

One figure who I can't say has been well represented by Twitter is Bret Easton Ellis. Through his literature and appearances, he never came off as the most likeable man on the face of the Earth, but he was always unmistakably talented. This is the man who wrote my favourite book (Less Than Zero) and several other great ones that I have on my small book shelf. It appears that Twitter, however, has done a very noticable harm to his brand with many people, such as myself, thinking he comes off as little more than the stereotypical whingeing creep that many suspected but couldn't prove in concrete. Through his ridiculous, spam-worthy onslaught of 50 Shades of Grey research (he really is mad if he thought Hollywood would let him anywhere near a cash cow such as that book), his tired and repetitive vomit-spewing over "empire" and "post-empire" that I still don't think even he understands, his constant TMI tweets about his relationship with the much younger than he porn star, James Deen, and his increasingly strange, homophobic nature, he really has became a sort of Tom Cruise like oddity working on his own curious wavelength. I mention Tom Cruise because Ellis is not a fan of him. Obviously.

And that, dear readers, is what brings us to The Canyons. Just released is the trailer for the film that Ellis wrote the screenplay for. It is directed by Paul Schrader (whose Cat People remake we just discussed last week) and stars Deen and Lindsay Lohan in a spiral of excess in Los Angeles. Oh, and it looks ridiculous, and co-stars Gus Van Sant!

One suspects we're not meant to be taking The Canyons all that seriously when it flashes up text like "Where the sex is as cheap as the budget ... and the only way out is death!", but given the names involved it's hard to see this as anything but VERY SERIOUS AND NOT A JOKE! Bret Easton Ellis does not come across as a man with a sense of humour these days.

The film is supposedly a neo-noir that follows "five twenty-something's [sic] quest for power, love, sex and success in 2012 Hollywood", but the trailer only appears to show Deen and Lohan. Neither are given much of a chance to show much of what they'll be offering in terms of performance, but some of Lohan's actorly faces are far from encouraging that she is ready and waiting to emerge back into the world of serious acting. The grindhouse effect, with its weathered film strip appearance (despite obviously being filmed on digital) and flittering, filtered colours, feels tired and like it's so desperate to be an unofficial Valley of the Dolls sequel. Nothing says young twenty-somethings in LA like film grain and bongo drums! Look, it's obviously a means to minimalise the film's crowd-sourced budget appearance, but I doubt it will do much to distract from everything else that's going on.

As always with anything Ellis does, I'll still go in with great expectations since he's been involved in so many great projects, alas... the best bit about the trailer was the use of John Carpenter's Halloween score over the production house logo. The production company's name? "Post-Empire" :/


Anonymous said...

I agree with you, twitter has shown what's inside Bret's head...and it turns out he's as superficial as the characters he has written about for the past 25 years. Although, I suppose that shouldn't have been a big shock since he never stopped writing about vapid people. No growth.

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