From its inception, The Canyons sounded like a fiasco in the making, a Kickstarter-aided indie production featuring a director (Paul Schrader) and a writer (Bret Easton Ellis) many years removed from their signature works (1976’s Taxi Driver and 1985’s Less Than Zero, respectively), and a star, in Lindsay Lohan, whose many legal and substance abuse problems have been meticulously documented by the tabloid press. Inexplicably, New York Times reporter Stephen Rodrick was given access to the set and the editing suite, resulting in a wildly entertaining, Devil’s Candy-like account of Schrader and Lohan’s temperamental relationship and the uncertain fate of the finished product.
Just a week ago, it was reported that the Sundance Film Festival rejected The Canyons. Now the Hollywood Reporter quotes a SXSW “insider” claiming that SXSW has rejected it, too, citing “significant ‘quality issues’.” “It’s got an ugliness and a deadness to it,” says the source, which is frankly impossible to believe, based on riveting preview clips like this one. No word yet on whether the jewel of the festival year, the Paul Schrader’s Living Room Festival, has accepted it or not.