Critics praised Lindsay Lohan for the 2006 film Chapter 27
on the Lennon murder and now they’re gonna crucify her
A GAME doing the rounds is one in which we emerging/ nobody authors are asked to name our dream cast for the film of our novel.
I played recently and said I definitely wanted Lindsay Lohan to play Crystal Speares, the femme fatale of my novel, Iraqi Icicle. I said I thought she would make a good fist of the role. Besides, I added, think of the pre-publicity she would attract.
An excellent piece by Stephen Rodrick in the New York Times Magazine covers the filming and post-production of The Canyons, an LA film noir with a reputed budget of $250,000. Yair, that’s right, a quarter of a mill – total, not the catering bill.
Before we move to LA, I must say I was surprised to see an additional credit for the Rodrick article going to Editor, Sheila Glaser. In all my years in Australian journalism, I have never seen that done in our country. It was kinda nice to see the collaborative nature of journalism recognized, but I wondered if writer Rodrick was losing some of the glory for what is a glorious piece of journalism. To my distant Australian eyes, the unusual by-line reiterated that New York can be a strange place. But nowhere near as strange as Hollywood.
At the start of Rodrick’s article I was cheering passionately for the success of this venture. By the end, I was scratching my head in wonderment and was unsure what I thought about the film project, The Canyons.
Director (Hardcore, American Gigolo)/ screenwriter (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) Paul Schrader says he cannot raise enough money in Hollywood for the sorts of films he wants to make.
Author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) says he is disillusioned with the novel as an artform and wants to script films.
Schrader and Ellis both put $30,000 towards The Canyons, a film written by Ellis and directed by Schrader. Producer Braxton Pope does not say anything about Hollywood, literature or art but he has $30,000 which he kicks in. The trio raised another $160,000 through crowd-sourcing.
With that financial structure in place, I wanted The Canyons to succeed to prove you can make a decent publicly supported film noir for $250,ooo. But I really wanted it to succeed for the sake of Lindsay Lohan.
It is disgraceful how sections of the media, for fun and profit, have turned Lohan into the cartoon character LiLo, the poster girl of youthful self-destruction. Lots of young people have played up like second-hand lawnmowers and got over it. But the media script does not allow this possibility, in the third act, for Lohan.
When you read the Rodrick article, you will see that Lohan was sometimes unreliable and she caused a delay because of fear of the four-way sex scene in The Canyons. I did not read of one tantie from the woman working for $100 a day and a share of box office. Hardly the stuff worth the screaming headlines of her ruining the film making. The most offensive media banner read. “Why LiLo’s a Delusional AssholeWho’ll Never Legitimately Work Again.” WTF. FU, Jezebel.
Of the major players in the making of the film, only producer Braxton Pope comes across as focused and totally responsible.
Schrader seems sorta all right until we learn he has knocked back an offer from fellow director Steven Soderbergh. to do a free edit of the movie if given the footage for 72 hours.
Schrader said no. ‘The idea of 72 hours is a joke,’ Schrader said. ‘And you know what Soderbergh would do if another director offered to cut his film?’ Yair, Paul but Traffic had a budget of $46 million (grossed $207 million), not $250,000.
That was when I cooled on the positive fate of The Canyons. That and the ridiculous trailer which seems to be pitching the film for the bad-movie cult circuit.
Doubtless some critics will try to wing the film to the bad-is-good circuit by panning Lohan’s performance. Because that fits their cartoon script for her.
But she’ll be right when she comes to Oz for the film Iraqi Icicle. Cast and crew members will take her aside to gently explain we don’t do unreliability on our movie sets. We have this ensemble sort of thing going where you do not let the others down.
I will cry if our budget is only $250, 000 and we will not have lame self-deprecating trailers. Oh and Steven Soderbergh is welcome to fly his own way over for a final 72-hr edit.
I can’t find a release date for The Canyons. But quite a few critics have taken to reviewing the trailers. However and wherever it comes out, the film is likely to turn a handy profit. And Lindsay Lohan is the main person to thank for that.
Iraqi Icicle, the eBook is available HERE. The print book come out on January 26.