Photo: The Canyons Film/Sodium Fox
It looks like someone is eager to see "The Canyons" after all.
The micro-budget modern noir drama, directed by Paul Schrader and written by Bret Easton Ellis, has been generating all manner of bad press in recent weeks. The New York Times ran a widely publicized piece by Stephen Rodrick on the production of the film that made it sound like a disaster, putting particular emphasis on the behavior of leading lady Lindsay Lohan. Rodrick documented plenty of diva antics, a bit of drinking on set, and more than one meltdown by the troubled starlet.
Adult film superstar James Deen, who co-stars in the movie, told reporters that "Lindsay was like a child lashing out," and "(t)here were days when she would scream and yell and cry and refuse to come out." And despite the impressive resumes of both Schrader (who wrote "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" for Martin Scorsese and directed "American Gigolo," "Patty Hearst" and "Affliction") and Ellis (the novelist who penned "Less Than Zero," "The Rules Of Attraction" and "American Psycho"), a number of leading film festivals have rejected "The Canyons," including Sundance and SXSW.
But the organizers of the Boston Underground Film Festival want to see "The Canyons" in all its gritty glory, and have reached out to Schrader and producer Braxton Pope through the festival's web page.
"BRING THE CANYONS TO BOSTON!" shouts the headline over a recent post, and after referring to the movie's bad press, the festival officials declare, "We call shenanigans on this snubbing and unfair dismissal of "The Canyons," before anyone has even seen it, and would like to give the film the opportunity to screen in a sold-out 225 seat theater with an intelligent, passionate audience."
The offer goes on to add, "We fear you're going to take the film and recut it to placate those very provincial sensibilities you're seeking to be incompatible with. Don't. Show your film, the way you originally intended it to be seen, to a welcoming audience that wants to see it."
Believing "The Canyons" will be right up the Boston Underground Film Festival's alley of presenting films that "push the envelope in style and content through and through," the organizers have even offered to put a bit of money where their mouths are. "If you feel so compelled to accept this offer," the post states, "we will fly the both of you (Schrader and Pope), all-expenses paid, to Boston on a date of your convenience during the film festival, which is set to run from March 27-31, 2013, to present your film to a full house."
At this writing, there's been no word from Schrader and Pope if they're taking BUFF up on their offer, but at face value it seems pretty hard to turn down. Just don't expect them to bring Lohan along for the ride.