Filmmaker Paul Schrader can boast writing credits that few in Hollywood can. He penned the screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" and had success as a director, helming "American Gigolo" and "Affliction." But the filmmaker had disappeared from the public eye for most of the past 10 years, until a New York Times Magazine piece detailed the tumultuous production process of "The Canyons," a painstaking Kickstarter-funder slog exacerbated by the mercurial and irresponsible Lindsay Lohan.
Despite its considerable hurdles, the film, penned by "American Psycho author Brett Easton Ellis, eventually got made. But it had trouble finding an audience, due in part to rejections from many high-profile film festivals.
The movie, which details the lives of Tara (Lohan) and her boyfriend Christian (porn star James Deen), opened recently in limited release, and it screens Friday at 7 p.m. at the Alamo Ritz, where Schrader will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Lohan has received praise for her work in ‘The Canyons,’ which is getting mostly negative reviews, though some critics have been positive. Richard Brody wrote on the New Yorker’s site that "Schrader and Ellis have darkly fascinating things to say about the connections between sex, money, and power," and Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir called it "a visual symphony" and "often masterful," though "flawed and cold."
But then there are those like David Edelstein of New York Magazine, who writes, "‘The Canyons’ isn’t just bad, it’s rank — and it takes a peculiar sort of integrity to denude the frame of life to the point where it smells to heaven.
Decide for yourself Friday night at the Alamo Ritz, where the movie screens again on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit Drafthouse.com.